by Colby Rogers
The Capital Ale House National Beer Expo comes to Richmond July 15-20, featuring breweries from across the country showcasing more than 200 craft beers.
Style Weekly is one of the event sponsors, with a Taco Throwdown on Friday, July 18. Attendees can sample tacos created by Richmond chefs, paired with more than 30 craft beers and wine samples.
The main event will be the Walk-Around Grand Tasting that Saturday, with more than 150 brews present and accounted for across town. Look for an app to help navigate the rising tide of beer.
Some beers to watch for: entries from a trio of California breweries — Ballast Point (San Diego), the Bruery (Orange County) and Firestone Walker (Paso Robles). These are considered by many beer aficionados to be world-class breweries.
The rare-in-Richmond Terrapin Tangerine Dreamsicle, a collaboration between the Terrapin Beer Co. of Athens, Ga., and Green Flash of San Diego, has garnered some good buzz.
Speaking of Green Flash, it will bring its West Coast IPA, considered by many to be one of the best U.S.-made India pale ales.
Flying Dog Brewing's Dead Rise Old Bay Summer Ale will be making its local debut in Richmond — which has more than a few beer nerds on the edges of their seats.
And more: 21st Amendment Brewery, Anchor Brewing, DC Brau, Maine Beer Co., Ommegang, Uinta Brewing and Victory Brewing. Find an expanded listing and more festival info at nationalbeerexpo.com.
Dishing the menu: Now that popular Charlottesville Tex-Mex transplant Continental Divide has started dinner service, here are a few menu items that caught our eye:
Tuna tostada: Grilled rare tuna steak and puréed black beans on a crisp flour tortilla, with goat cheese, red pepper coulis and jalapeño glaze.
Santa Fe enchilada: Yellow and blue corn tortillas layered with grilled chicken and cheese, spicy chipotle sauce and cilantro crema.
Black Angus meatloaf: Ground black Angus topped with chipotle barbecue sauce, served with green chili mac and cheese.
Continental Divide, 2501 W. Main St., 359-9690. eatdivide.com.
Cupcakes and Chardonnay: Carytown Cupcakes will begin serving wine, prosecco and local craft beers July 11. For the launch, cupcake lovers can sample a few pairings. There's a Cadillac cupcake — vanilla cake, key lime curd and Grand Marnier butter cream — alongside a chardonnay, and a raspberry cupcake alongside Bolle Felici Prosecco. Beers will include offerings from Hardywood and Devils Backbone, with Blue Bee Cider. Carytown Cupcakes, 3111 W. Cary St., 335-2253. carytown-cupcakes.com.
Now available: Lickinghole Creek Brewery's Pony Pasture Pilsner, released July 5. Look for bottles of this small, single batch floating around town. Featuring continental pilsner and cara malts, alongside sterling and saaz hops, the beer is described by Lickinghole Creek as a "noble aromatic blend of earth and spice … Perfect for hot Virginia days down by the Rivah." Bottles still may be available for sale at the brewery. Call 314-4380 for details. Lickinghole Creek Brewery, 4100 Knolls Point Drive, Goochland. lickingholecreek.com.
Belle Isle Craft Spirits premium moonshine is available in 100 ABC stores across the state, as well as in bars and restaurants here in River City. This is the distillery's first spirit following the company's launch in 2012 by three local college graduates. If you'd like to try before you buy, look for Belle Isle Craft Spirits behind the bar at such establishments as Heritage, Balliceaux and LeMaire. A list of locations is at belleislecraftspirits.com. Belle Isle Craft Spirits, 615 Maury St.