Tailgate Throwdown: Richmond Roundup, UR vs. UVa, 9/6/14 – @CampWahoo

Posted by  VBR Staff   in  Other     4 years ago     958 Views     1 Comment  

For our second attempt at the Tailgate Throwdown, we had a much easier opponent to plan for – Richmond!  Given the number of breweries in and around the state capitol, we decided to open the competition to any and all comers from the Richmond metro area (ultimately allowing nearby Short Pump in following a very heated debate).  A tad unfocused?  Sure.  But it’s a tailgate, so them’s the rules!

Tailgate Throwdown:  Richmond Roundup
Game:  University of Richmond vs. UVa, September 6, 2014

Featured Beers:  Legend Lager, Hardywood Cream Ale, Hardywood Singel, Hardywood Capital Trail Pale Ale, Strangeways Delightfully Immoral Grisette, Lickinghole Creek Four Pillars Imperial IPA,  Lickinghole Creek Creator Hoppelbock
# of Tasters:  6

UR cooler Quite the lineup, no?  Due to some poor planning, all three of us brought a Hardywood to the mix.  Hamilton has done separate reviews of the Cream Ale, Grisette, and Creator Hoppelbock so remember that the scores here reflect the crowd and my own notes.

tailgate - richmond roundup(And no, the Striped Bass was not in the competition.  If you’re following the Twitter wars, we’ve turned it into quite the distraction for ourselves!)

Beer #1:  Hardywood Cream Ale
Profile:  Light, low ABV.
Tasting Notes:  “Reminds me of cream soda.”  “Is that…vanilla?”
Overall:  In a better setting the Cream Ale is a standout beer.  For me, though, it didn’t pair well either with the hot weather (90-95ish) or the tailgate theme (burgers, hot dogs, mac & cheese).  I agree with Hamilton’s review almost to a T, but it didn’t quite do it for me on this day…not that the crowd agreed with me in the slightest.
Crowd Score:  9.0
My Score:  7.0

Beer #2:  Lickinghole Creek Four Pillars
Profile:  Subtle cornucopia of flavors, with an ABV that’s closer to a Dubbel than an Imperial.
Tasting Notes:  “Malty and kind of sweet.”  “Not quite hoppy enough.”
Overall:  Paired surprisingly well with some Whole Foods mac & cheese and Wayside fried chicken!  Some of the crowd were a bit disappointed in this one as they were expecting a more hop-forward style, but you could easily bring along a few of these to a more laid back tailgate as it’s very versatile with food.
Crowd Score:  7.5
My Score:  8.0

Interjection:  Hopefully you’re starting to notice how the beers are being judged – it’s not just how well the beer tastes, but how well it matches the spirit of tailgating and the possible kinds of food you’d encounter.  A great beer does not necessarily make for a great tailgating beer!

Beer #3:  Hardywood Singel
Profile:  A Belgian Blonde, meaning you get hops, fruit, and a bit of tartness.
Tasting Notes:  “Dry but not in a hoppy kind of way.”  “Smooth, but a little bitter.”  “Good to finish with.”
Overall:  This is a beer that may be better suited to draught than bottles, and should certainly be sipped to appreciate the complexity.  Not the best tailgate fit, but if you’re packing some flavored brats or hot dogs you won’t go too wrong including this.
Crowd Score:  7.0
My Score:  6.0

Beer #4:  Legend Lager
Profile:  Slightly darker than your average lager, brewed to be more crisp than palatte-clinging.
Tasting Notes:  “Doesn’t stand out.”  “Not my favorite of theirs, but decent.”
Overall:  Bringing a lager to a craft beer competition is almost asking for it, but this was one of my submissions (the Hardywood Singel being the other).  I liked that the profile can adapt better to what you’re eating rather than being specific to one kind of food.  The lager style and crispness also made this more of the “classic” tailgating style, just with better execution.  Paired decently with everything off the grill.
Crowd Score:  6.0
My Score:  8.0

Beer #5:  Strangeways Grisette
Profile:  An experimental blend of ESBs and English-style ales
Tasting Notes:  “Very tart.”  “Goes great with the relish on this dog.”  “Can’t say I’d have more than one.”
Overall:  A mixed bag here.  To me it finished at the rear of the pack on the day, but others thought it was very good with some of the food.  I could see it going very well with pickles, strangely…
Crowd Score:  7.0
My Score:  4.0

Beer #6:  Hardywood Capital Trail
Profile:  An APA meant to be a more everyday addition to your beer fridge.
Tasting Notes:  “Good but not exceptional.”
Overall:  Another mixed bag here, but more for the crowd than myself.  To me, APAs are either golden and smooth or copper and hoppy.  My favorites are the former, but those who see “pale ale” and are looking for something closer to an IPA are typically not as happy.  I generally agree with the comment here, but think the crowd was a little too harsh.
Crowd Score:  6.0
My Score:  8.0

Beer #7:  Lickinghole Creek Hoppelbock
Profile:  A limited edition, experimental doppelbock with some stout and Imperial elements for good measure.
Tasting Notes:  “Luscious.”  “Dark and stormy!”  “Complex.”
Overall:  Burgers and beer.  Beer and burgers.  You would not want to base a tailgate around this one (and may have a hard time finding enough of it!) but this is a quintessential red meat kind of beer.  Better suited for straight hamburgers than cheeseburgers, but since I hadn’t quite learned that this is a tasting and that we need not finish a bottle of each, for once in my life I didn’t miss the cheese so much!
Crowd Score:  8.0
My Score:  8.5

Final Thoughts:  We’re getting on track with this idea, but instead of limiting the field we made this one a little too open.  Ideally, we’d have one entry from a number of breweries with all of them having a style in common (say, lagers or IPAs) so we can judge them better.  The sheer volume of beer also led to (unfortunately captured on phone for posting on Facebook) moments like this:

UR danceThankfully, they didn’t get a recording of me trying to pitch my voice for “I Believe in a Thing Called Love!”  Regardless of the variety of beers on display for this edition of the Tailgate Throwdown, however, we did have a clear winner at the end of the day…and it’s not one any of us would have predicted going into it!

Winner:  Lickinghole Creek Creator Hoppelbock



Former founder and writer for LambethField.com, now Co-Founder and writer for Virginia Brew Review. Life is too short to drink bad beer, but just long enough to write about it.