When pondering the state of Richmond craft beer, it feels easy to overlook Stone Brewing sometimes. It’s out there beyond Church Hill, doing its own thing — an outpost for a much larger company. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t part of the Richmond brewery scene. Well-known for its India pale ales, Stone has three new seasonal releases to check out the next time you’re scouring the beer case.
The first is its Mocha IPA, a sort of flavor-hybrid with the styling of a stout. Drinkers seeking cocoa and coffee should keep this one in mind: Stone‘s website describes the taste as “a beautiful, pleasure-seeking meld of imperial IPA and mocha indulgence.” In fact, this one sounds like it still might be delightful if you have a few bottles kicking around once the weather starts to cool down.
The second seasonal release is the Ghost Hammer IPA — completely new for this year. Available in a distinctive silver-and-white can, it has tropical and floral notes great for summer sipping. But if the name sounds like a Halloween release, consider this — the beer is named after the phantom knockings of brewery pipes expanding and contracting in the darkness. See, nothing to be afraid of.
Finally, the brewery goes all-in with orange peel and vanilla beans this year in its Ruinten Triple IPA. This isn’t the beer’s first time around the block, and it’s known to be a favorite among people who like their brew extra hoppy. stonebrewing.com.
When life hands you lemons: The Anthem LemonAid Restaurant Challenge is raising funds for children with cancer July 14-16. Participating restaurants will dream up creative, lemon-themed dishes and donate a portion of each sold to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University. Last year’s winner was Buz and Ned’s Real Barbecue, which stepped up to the plate with freshly squeezed lemonade. In the summer heat, that’s not really a surprise. This year, participating restaurants include Baja Bean Co., the Daily Kitchen and Bar, and East Coast Provisions — 15 local restaurants and breweries in all.
Want a preview? Elizabeth Kincaid over at RVA Hospitality, the restaurant group that includes Tarrant’s Cafe, Tarrant’s West and Max’s on Broad, will offer some sample dishes from its 2017 entries. Diners at Tarrant’s might try the rockfish with lemon-buttered artichokes and garlic sauce over brown rice and vegetables, while their counterparts to the west can order chicken piccata over tricolor tortellini. Meanwhile, Max’s on Broad will feature Point Judith fried calamari with lemon pinwheels and fennel. After dinner, you can try a Citrus by the Bay, a spiked lemonade cocktail made by bartender Sean Rapoza. Full restaurant listings can be found at anthemlemonaid.com.
July Food Events
The month may already be half over, but there’s still plenty of local food to enjoy. Here’s a quick rundown of some events you might not have considered.
Sunday, July 16: The Midtown State Fair. Even if this isn’t the official state fair, it has all the trappings — just small-scale. Baking contests, farm-to-table goodies and cook-offs. Of particular note, attendees will have access to a special discount code for tickets to Fire, Flour and Fork 2017 when they go on sale Aug. 1. midtownstatefair.com.
Wednesday, July 26: The American Legion Crab Feast. Leave the kids with a babysitter and enjoy a day of crab legs, hot dogs, beer and volleyball on the James River. The event is adults-only and tickets cost $30. legioncrabfeast.com.
Thursday, July 27: OK, if you’re feeling a bit guilty about leaving the kids at home while you wolfed down crab legs at the James River, then why not make up for it by taking them to Henricus Discovery Days: Food of the 17th century? Re-enactors at the second successful English settlement in the New World will teach you all about breakfast, lunch and dinner for colonists and Native Americans alike in the 1600s. Tickets cost $10 per child, $7 for adults. henricus.org.
Saturday, July 29: The Valentine is opening a new exhibit, “Neustras Historias: Latinos in Richmond.” To celebrate, it’ll close down Clay Street for a party featuring music, dancing lessons and empanada trucks. thevalentine.org.
Throughout July: The Valentine isn’t the only museum getting in on the food game, only this one’s a little different because you’ll have to pack a lunch. But what you’ll be giving up in culinary delight — depending on your skill — you’ll gain in scientific knowledge with the Science Museum of Virginia’s Lunch Break Science series. This month, you can learn about the ecology of the James River on July 12, the art and science of micropaleontology on July 19 and the engineering behind the replacement of the Huguenot Memorial Bridge on July 26. smv.org.