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RVAle: A Collaboration in Hops


Richmond is a city steeped in collaboration. We’ve got murals painted by artists from all over the world on our walls. We’ve got an open source logo that anyone can download, modify and use as their own. Now our breweries are getting into the act with Center of the Universe‘s release of RVAle Summer Belgian Ale.

In January of this year COTU co-founders Phil and Chris Ray invited home brewers to their Ashland brew house. These brewers were able to take home some COTU wort (basically unfermented beer) to add to their own concoctions. Six weeks later, the homebrewers brought their ales back to be judged by COTU, Brown’s Distributing and Caboose Wine and Cheese. Scott Golden’s recipe was the winner and put into production as RVAle by COTU.

RVAle is a light, refreshingly spiced summer Belgian.  It is similar to a saison, but brewed with Belgian yeast, which attributes to a cleaner flavor profile.  The light-bodied beer is bursting with citrus and spice notes and accompanied by traditional Belgian esters, clocking in at 4.5% ABV and 24 IBU’s.


RVAle is available at the COTU tasting room, Capital Ale House, Rappahannock, the Savory Grain and others around the region while supplies last. COTU will be celebrating Oktoberfest with Das Bier Run September 13 starting at 2 p.m. with proceeds benefiting Autism Speaks.

Check out RVACraftBeer.com for all your Richmond Region Craft Beer needs!

Five Iced Coffees to Grab Before Summer Ends


Summer is winding down and before we know it visitors to the Richmond Region will be bundled up in cozy sweaters and oohing and ahhing at tacky lights. But, while the weather is still sweltering and the river still running fast with kayakers, rafters and swimmers, we thought we’d give you five iced coffees to grab before the leaves turn.


1. BLACK HAND COFFEE CO. – Despite the imposing name (Black Hand was a secret military society involved in the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand which basically started WWI), this is a welcoming and friendly shop – that’s one of their baristas in the first image. Black Hand is tucked away in a quiet neighborhood on Patterson Ave. and they roast beans from Indonesia, Costa Rica, and Brazil in house each morning. Why not take your iced coffee for a stroll on the grounds of the nearby VMFA?


2. MONUMENT CITY COFFEE AND RECORDS Monument City is a coffee shop and a record store because that’s how the Richmond Region rolls. This combination of vinyl and coffee is a perfect fit for the shop’s Grace Street outpost. They also happen to make a spectacular Iced Coffee. Their special twist is to make the ice cubes out of coffee the night before, ensuring that your coffee never waters down in the summer humidity.


3. Sefton Coffee Co. – Stepping into Sefton Coffee Co. at 24 N. 8th St. feels like stepping inside a delicious, minty cupcake. The shotgun space, with its high tin ceilings, tasteful appointments and counters handmade by owner Jennie Skinner, is a triumph in comfortable high design. It’s also got some pretty great coffee. Skinner makes all the flavoring, powders and syrups, on site. The shop features a rotating menu of hot and cold drinks (a malted iced coffee was on the menu recently.)

farmhouse3 4. Urban Farmhouse – With three locations in Church Hill, Shockoe Bottom and Midlothian, Urban Farmhouse is easy to pop into and grab an iced coffee no matter where your Richmond Region plans take you. Urban Farmhouse, in addition to serving fair trade iced coffee, stocks a full pantry of local goods from wine to craft beer and local sauces and cider.


5. ROSTOV’S COFFEE & TEA – Rostov’s has been in the coffee, and tea, business for over 35 years. The shop at 1618 West Main St. roasts over 1,500 pounds of coffee on site using a Jabez-Burns roaster from the 1930s. The iced coffee at Rostov’s is cold brewed overnight in a concentrated toddy. You can take a two-week supply with you for about five bucks!

Check out VisitRichmondVA.com for even more caffeinated suggestions!









Five Sharkproof Aquatic Adventures in Richmond

Everybody loves Shark Week on TV. In person, not so much. Thankfully, the Richmond Region has aquatic adventures for the whole family, minus hammerheads and great whites and tiger sharks.

10430409_10152131589816875_8186850130604101105_n1. KINGS DOMINION WATERWORKS PARK – This 20-acre park will satisfy everyone in the family from the thrill seeker to the beach bum. Whether all 650,000 gallons of Big Wave Bay are your speed or you’d rather float along all day in the Lazy Rider, Waterworks will keep you wet and smiling. Admission to Waterworks is included in every single, affordable admission to Kings Dominion!




photo courtesy of joepyrek

2. TEXAS BEACH – Park in the lot on Texas Ave. or walk the Northbank Trail out from the city to this secluded, sandy beach along the James River. Adults, and kids, can cool off on the rocks, under the shade of a tree or swing into the river on a rope swing, all for free.



_IGP06273. RIVERSIDE OUTFITTERS – Want to go white water rafting, through the city, with the family? Riverside Outfitters has you covered. Want to go on a standup paddleboard trip? They’ve got it. Guided kayaking? Yep. Kayak rentals? You can probably tell where this is going. Riverside Outfitters is your one-stop shop for all manner of James River fun.



4. HADAD’S LAKE – On the surface, Hadad’s Lake looks like an idyllic midcentury amusement straight out of the resort from “Dirty Dancing.” Of course, that resort didn’t have a BLOB, rope swings or play host each year to the GWAR B-Q.



5. “GREAT WHITE SHARK” at the SCIENCE MUSEUM OF VIRGINIA – It’s Shark Week. You need sharks, we get it. Check out this film in the museum’s Dome on a giant screen until Aug. 15.

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Five Richmond Ideas for Fans From Fans

TrainingCamp01It’s the last weekend of the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Camp in the Richmond Region. We asked some fans what folks should do off the field before the team heads home.

We talked to Tillmon and Ashley first:TrainingCamp02

1. Carytown: “It has anything for anybody,” Tillmon said. Both praised Galaxy Diner for its array of vegetarian and gluten-free options. Tillmon said that One Eyed Jacques, at 3104 West Cary Street, was a required stop for gamers.




Mike, Kim, Moon and Kiersten were full of suggestions for kids, of all ages, coming into TrainingCamp03town for the last weekend of camp.

2. Kings Dominion: Moon said the rides and roller coasters at Kings Dominion were a favorite local attraction. Kim said the WaterWorks water park was a great way to beat the summer heat. Morgan Moses, a rookie at camp this year, recommended Kings Dominion in our last post!

3. Canal Walk/River Walk: Kim said the canal and river walks, running from Shockoe Bottom up to Belle Isle along the picturesque James River, were relaxing spots for a stroll no matter the time of day.

4. Bottoms Up Pizza: Everyone agreed that Bottoms Up Pizza, at 1700 Dock Street in Shockoe Bottom, was a favorite place to grab a slice.

5. Metro Richmond Zoo: The zoo made a big splash last year with the baby Cheetah Cam! Now Meerkat pups are taking center stage and everybody agreed they would have to get to the zoo soon to see them; and maybe to ride the Treetop Zoofari zip line.

As always, check out www.VisitRichmondVA.com for even more fun ideas…and have fun at camp!