What’s Brewing In Richmond?

With autumn’s cooler temps, many of you are enjoying the beautiful outdoors— walking, running or cycling— to explore all that the River City has to offer in the fall. A refreshing beverage afterwards is the perfect way many of our readers like to replenish and relax. So what’s new that’s brewing in the world of beer and wine?

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Renowned Richmond runner Rich Saunders highly recommends the recently opened Richbrau Brewing Co. as the go-to place. Located in historic Shockoe Bottom at 5 South 20th Street, between E. Main and E. Cary Streets, it’s a vibrant, re-energized area flowing with good vibes. Big bonus: it’s less than a minute away from the scenic Capital Trail, a favorite for runners like Saunders, who just kicked off a brand new after-work running group that meets at Richbrau to run the trail and comes back for drinks after logging the miles. “It’s a reincarnation of the previous Richbrau Brewing that was located on Shockoe Slip, now with new owners and a new beer lineup,” says Saunders. “The taproom space shares the same space with the brewing equipment which makes for an intimate, but unique experience. The owners have transformed a previous auto garage- it’s pretty cool.”

Richbrau Brewing Co. owner, Hank Schmidt, gave River City Mag a tour; he revealed an aesthetically beautiful interior infused with positive energy that clearly abounds here. “Richbrau is Richmond’s beer,” says Schmidt.  “It has been part of the Richmond beer scene in one iteration or another since 1933.”

Schmidt’s personal favorite:

“The Psychic Horse IPA. It is an easy beer to enjoy for its well-rounded mouthfeel and citrusy hops with a taste that lingers and entices you to have more. We hope our guests come out for the great beer and stay for the stories and atmosphere.”

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If the crisp autumn air has you choosing to stay inside to watch sports and cheer for your favorite team, you’ll be happy to know that a crowd-favorite sports bar, Wood & Iron Gameday, has plans to open a brand new location in Scott’s Addition. The exact date is yet to be announced, but hopes are for late December or early 2020, according to co-owners Kevin McGrath and Steve Rogge. “We had been looking for a location in the city for Wood & Iron and were really excited about the development going on in Scott’s Addition, so opening a place there was an easy decision,” says Rogge. “The location on Roseneath has great visibility and an open concept design that fit our needs and expectations.”

McGrath adds that the popular features at the current Midlothian location will be here also. “We’ll have approximately 35 televisions with local and national sports packages for all game days,” he says.

For beverages: “Everything from craft and local brews to domestic light drafts on tap,” states McGrath. “We will have 30-36 draft lines total. We’ll also feature fresh squeezed cocktails and a variety of wines.”

“My favorite mixed drink is our orange and grapefruit crushes which are made to order with fresh squeezed fruit,” says Rogge.  “They are very refreshing on the hot summer days, but are too good to pass up in the winter as well. These are incredibly popular with our guests.”

“We absolutely love the Scott’s Addition neighborhood,” states McGrath. “The local vibe in the neighborhood is second to none. We are very excited to work alongside all of our great, new neighbors.”

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If you want to enjoy an exquisite glass of wine without having to drive far, the elegant Lemaire at The Jefferson Hotel offers new autumn selections. 

“Lemaire has just introduced a new wine list that offers a diverse selection of bottles from the old and new world that we would consider the best of their types,” says public relations manager Jennifer Crisp. “The new list also includes a rarities section that features highly sought after, allocated wines from the best vintages, alongside areas of value throughout the list.”

Crisp adds that the outdoor lounge at Lemaire has just been newly refurbished, “as a beautiful new space perfect this fall when the temperature is cooler and the foliage along historic Franklin Street is changing.”

Lemaire’s general manager Chauncey Jenkins tells River City Mag his personal recommendation for the best beverage to try:

“I would highly recommend the Shape Shifter as it has truly become one of our signature cocktails and is an adventure in a glass. The drink uses our personal selection barrel of Buffalo Trace as the base spirit and is paired with dolin rouge, cynar and bitters. The star of this drink and the reason behind the name it bears— is the Campari ice sphere that dilutes as the drink is consumed – transforming the beverage from a Manhattan variant into a boulevardier (a negroni that subs rye for gin).”

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Richmond has so many wonderful places for you to try; we hope you enjoy the exceptional experience at these three remarkable locations we’ve featured which were recommended by some of our readers.

Eileen Abbott
Author: Eileen Abbott