May 18, 2014

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery


I think I have the makings of becoming a beer snob, and Hardywood Park Craft Brewery may be to blame (or thank!).  This brewery, located in the heart of Richmond near Hermitage Road, opened in 2011 as the craft brewery scene in the River City first began to blossom.  Currently there are around 2,768 breweries operating in the United States, and of those breweries, 60 are in Virginia.

When we visited the brewery last Saturday, they had 10 to 12 beers on tap, including their signature Hardywood Cream Ale and their Hardywood Bohemian Pils.  The Cream Ale caught my eye immediately, and after a generous (free) taste, I was sold.  The Cream Ale is crisp and has a light finish.  I'm not partial to very bitter beers, and the Cream Ale suited me exactly.  Recalling his love for Czech beers during our time in Prague, Mr. Gypsy ordered the Bohemian Pils.  Unfortunately, the beer was rather flat (hopefully the result of a bad batch and not an indication of all their Bohemian Pils).  However, we are definitely willing to give this beer another try on our next visit.

Our third beer of the day was the HYPE Kristallweiss, a German-style beer with a decent-sized head (for American beers, that is) and a glorious, wheaty finish.  This beer did not disappoint, especially for those of you partial to hefeweizen.  This beer would be an excellent pairing to a generous portion of German sausage and sauerkraut!

We will definitely return to Hardywood.  They have a good selection, prices are reasonable for craft breweries ($5-7 per 12oz serving), their tasting rooms are large and airy, and the outdoor picnic bench seating was relaxing.  And you can even see their brew tanks for yourself!  Hardywood certainly has opportunity to grow, but their foundation is solid, and I look forward to seeing how they will improve upon themselves in the future.

Hardywood Cream Ale: 4/5
Hardywood Bohemian Pils: 1/5 (flat, willing to try again though)
HYPE Kristallweiss: 3/5

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