Dec 23, 2014

Hardywood RVA IPA

Hardywood RVA IPA is what the brewery refers to as a community hopped beer. Since 2011, the Richmond company has been gathering freshly harvested hops (in a range of varieties) from area home growers in an effort to capture “…the terroir of Richmond and the spirit of its hop growing beer enthusiasts.”

Well, I don’t know if it’s done all that, but I do know that this 7% ABV (62 IBU) wet-hopped IPA is pretty darn good. I’m assuming that the recipe shifts a bit each year as the variety and amount of hops harvested is probably continually flux — making any past comparisons to previous releases moot. This year, and the bottle I enjoyed back in October, is quite earthy and grassy, but also has a rather pilsner-like character that I found intriguing.


RVA IPA pours a rich amber in color with a frothy cap of off-white foam that displayed excellent lacing as it dropped.

Hardywood RVA IPA photo


The brew has grassy, lightly spicy hop character that doesn’t present much fruitiness other than a good bit of grapefruit, as well as distant evergreen notes. It smells vaguely pislner-ish.


The pilsner character presents itself a bit on the tongue as well, but the earthy, grassy hop profile shouts IPA with each swallow. There’s more fruit (grapefruit) here as well as a more pronounced pine and floral hop trait. Bread and light caramel do their best to balance it all out along with a light sweetness as the beer flows to a gently warming finish.


I enjoyed RVA IPA quite a bit. The earthy, leafy and grassy character definitely lets you know it’s heavily hopped, but even at 62 IBU, it’s not a palate wrecker in terms of bitterness. As this is my first encounter with the release, I’m really looking forward to how future efforts vary in aroma and flavor.

Rating: 4/5

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