by Steve Deason
They were a few rocky moments last year at the Capital Ale House National Beer Expo. Alex Papajohn, owner of Variant Events, says its inaugural schedule was too aggressive. So this year, he says, he’s pared things back to improve core events.
Papajohn also says that the experienced team at All About Beer Magazine has come on board as a national partner, joining the continued support of Capital Ale House as title sponsor.
All About Beer will take a lead role in recruiting presenters, beer and content for a series of Saturday morning seminars. Patrick Tiernan, chief operating officer of Stone Brewing Co., and Jason Armstrong, its director of national sales, are scheduled to present a seminar on the company’s philosophy and the plans they have for the Richmond location.
The expo runs Thursday, July 16, to Saturday, July 18, with most events taking place at the Richmond Convention Center.
The main event, the Walk-Around Grand Tasting, will be held Saturday from 2-6 p.m. at the convention center. The VIP session will be twice as long as last year, and attendees will have exclusive access to 18 rare and sought-after beers. All About Beer Magazine beer editor Ken Weaver is assisting with the selection of more than 160 beers for the walk around. Breweries will include Allagash Brewing Co., Devils Backbone, Harpoon and Wild Wolf Brewing, plus plenty of local breweries. Food, wine and cider also will be available.
The festivities kick off Thursday night with parties at Richmond-area breweries. Friday brings the Style Weekly-sponsored Taco Throwdown, where 16 chefs will show off their stuff wrapped in corn tortillas.
You can also hit the Flapjack Brunch at Julep’s New Southern Cuisine on Saturday at 10 a.m., attend a seminar or two about the future of beer or the rise of sours, and wrap things up Saturday night with Expo After Hours at Capital Ale House Downtown.
Details and ticket information can be found at nationalbeerexpo.com.