Craft beer and homebrewing go hand in hand.
So as Richmond’s scene gains prominence, the homebrewing community is stepping forward to show its merits on state and national levels.
“We want to highlight our great brew city and all it has to offer the homebrew community,” Anna Shore, president of James River Homebrewers, said in an email. “Shouldn’t a national conference for brewers be hosted here?”
A national conference would mean clubs affiliated with the American Homebrewers Association, based in Colorado, would flock to RVA for a long summer weekend of meetings, seminars, demonstrations, sharing recipes and, well, drinking beer. The 2015 conference is scheduled for June 11-13 in San Diego.
As a step in that direction, members of Virginia homebrew clubs will be in Richmond beginning Friday as part of the “chartering weekend” for the Va Old Dominion Homebrewers Guild. The summit is an effort to showcase regional cooperation.
“The events of the weekend have been specifically selected to demonstrate the event possibilities for a brew conference,” Shore said. “We have the full support of the craft brew community, distributors and the Richmond economic and political leadership.”
At least seven state clubs will be represented, not quite as many as Shore had hoped. “Lots of competing brew events, like a brewing competition in Roanoke, are diminishing the guest list.” But the level of camaraderie offsets that, she said.
The Va Old Dominion HomeBrewers Guild Summit will include a gathering at Mekong Restaurant on Nov. 7, a members-only Beeristoric tour the following day and visits to local breweries such as Hardywood Park, Ardent Craft Ales, Triple Crossing, Isley, Center of the Universe, Midnight, Lickinghole Creek, Extra Billy’s, Legend and Rusty Beaver. The weekend culminates with the summit at Strangeways Brewing on Nov. 9.