By DCBeer contributor Josh "JP" Perry
Name: Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Location: Richmond, VA
Type: Production brewery
Available in DC Market: Yes
Brief History: Founded in 2011 by lifelong friends Eric McKay and Patrick Murtaugh. Eric and Patrick first discovered hand crafted beer in 2001 at a sheep station in Australia called Hardywood Park, and have been brewing and introducing people to great beer ever since.
Beer 1: Gingerbread Stout: (Imperial milk stout with fresh local ginger and honey / 9.2% ABV)
In Their Words: Brewed with baby ginger from Casselmonte Farm and wildflower honey from Bearer Farms,capturing the terroir of central Virginia in a rich, creamy libation with a velvety mouthfeel and an intriguing evolution of flavors from milk chocolate and vanilla to honeycomb and cinnamon to a snap of ginger in the finish.
Food Pairing: Dark Chocolate Budino (Confection of creamy dark chocolate with a pinch of fleur de sel, covered in dark chocolate ganache.)
Our Thoughts: I truly believe this is one of the better flavored stouts on the market and has, if not already, the potential to become a Whale in the near future. The hint of ginger really pulls the chocolate and honey together to make for an incredible favor profile. With a budino, the creaminess with a hint of salt should really solidify the gingerbread character from the beer, as malt and salt lend to a graham cracker profile in brewing.
Beer 2: The Great Return (West Coast Style India Pale Ale / 7.5% ABV)
In Their Words: Bold, resinous and bursting with bright grapefruit aroma, this IPA is a tribute to the decades of hard work by conservationists to restore the James River as a bounty of vibrant aquatic life, eco-friendly recreational activity, and in our case, fresh brewing water. These efforts have culminated recently with the symbolic return of the endangered Atlantic sturgeon by contributing $10 a BBL to the James River Association.
Food Pairing: Cured Sturgeon with Asian Pear, Pea Shoots and Lime Powder.
Our Thoughts: I have picked this beer up twice and found the aroma and palate quite nice, but for me the hop blend is a bit off for a West Coast style IPA; really hoping for more citrus and pine, less earth. If you are an IPA person, I believe you will fully enjoy this beer with a great cause.They hit this pairing dead on with the fish and fruit, as these hops will add some earth.
This profile is a part of the DCBeer.com SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2014 SAVOR participants.