Hardywood Craft Brewery Richmond VA

Derek Moorman

By Derek Moorman

March 9, 2015

This is the first in a series of profiles we're creating about local breweries in Richmond, VA. We offer brewery tours any time, and we thought it would be cool to offer you information on some of the stops on the tour. An esteemed guest author, Derek Moorman, was so gracious as to write this post. Stay tuned for more on the rockin' Richmond craft beer scene!

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery Richmond VA

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By October of 2011, lifelong friends and Hardywood Park co-founders Eric Mckay and Patrick Murtaugh were ready to offer their years of experience and training in the craft beer industry to the public. Richmond provided a perfect home for their operations due to a swelling of interest in craft beer and a shortage of local breweries. Since opening, Hardywood’s creativity, community-minded approach, dedication to integrity in their practices and ingredients, and respect for their craft has made them a pillar of the Richmond craft beer scene as well as a nationally respected craft beer entity.

The Brewery

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Located at 2408 Ownby Lane between The Diamond and Richmond’s Fan District, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery sits appropriately in the heart of what was once a German brewing district. The brewing takes place in a 12,000 square foot fully conditioned facility and the property includes two on-premise tasting rooms that are available to the public Wednesday through Sunday. Tasting rooms are also available for private events.

Hardywood’s tasting room features a rotating selection of beers from their Reserve series and their Barrel series as well as their year round flagship selections. The Reserve series is seasonal and always features at least one locally harvested ingredient. The Barrel series consists of beers that have been aged in various barrels that Eric and Patrick have acquired since opening. They have been known to use bourbon barrels as well as rum, apple brandy, tequila, and wine barrels. In addition to these offerings, the tasting room often features a small batch brew that is not available outside of the brewery. Beers in the tasting room are available in glasses, half glasses, growlers and kegs for private use.

While you will not find a kitchen on the premises at Hardywood, food is never at a shortage. Food trucks are just part of the atmosphere that has made Hardywood one of Richmond’s favorite local jaunts. There always seems to be something going on at Hardywood whether it’s live music, a seasonal release party, a holiday party or just bocce ball and cornhole. Eric and Patrick, while serious as they can be about their craft seem to love showing Richmond a good time.

The Beer

Singel – This Belgian Abbey style blonde ale was Hardywood Park’s original flagship beer. The spelling is a play on the Belgian “dubbel” and “tripel.” Singel is available year round.

The Great Return – This West-Coast style IPA is a perfect example of Hardywood’s dedication to the environment and the local community. Proceeds from sales of The Great Return go to the James River Association, whose efforts are directly related to the return of the Atlantic Sturgeon to the waters of the James; thus the name, The Great Return. The Great Return is available year round and can be tasted day-fresh every three weeks on Wednesday.

Gingerbread Stout – The Beer that put Hardywood on the map from a national standpoint. Brewed with locally harvested ginger and honey, this imperial milk-stout scored a perfect 100 rating from Beer Advocate Magazine in 2012 and won a bronze medal at the world beer cup that same year. Gingerbread Stout is available in early winter but as the legend grows this beer can be hard to get your hands on.

Hoplar – This dry hopped Imperial India Pale Ale is finished on Virginia tulip poplar wood rather than the traditional oak. The result is a uniquely balanced IPA that achieved a rating of 99 from The Brothers at Beer Advocate Magazine. The wood used to give Hoplar its unique flavor comes from a massive poplar tree that fell on Richmond’s Bell Creek Road during Hurricane Isabel in 2003.

For a full list of Hardywood craft beers and descriptions visit

http://www.hardywood.com/beer.

Here are some other photos taken by fans of Hardywood - used with permission.

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Other Info On Hardywood

Hardywood Park is named after a sheep station in Australia. Eric and Patrick spent time there in 2001 and together discovered a love for the homebrewed beer that their host served them every evening with dinner.

Eric Mckay and Patrick Murtaugh are both respected and licensed beer judges and in 2010 Eric became Richmond’s first certified cicerone.
Hardywood gives out over 1,000 hop rhizomes every year to anyone interested in growing hops locally. When the hops are harvested the growers are encouraged to donate some of their crop to Hardywood for inclusion in their 100% community hopped beer, RVA IPA.

For more info on Hardywood Craft Brewery, Richmond VA, visit them at http://www.hardywood.com/

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