Reviewed: Hardywood Richmond Lager
Product description: Here in Richmond, we’re not afraid of doing things the hard way. We are a community of artists, creators and innovators. We respect time honored tradition, craftsmanship and quality over quantity. We go the extra mile, and when the job is done, we know we’ve earned the right to kick back and enjoy a cold one. For a hard day’s work, and whatever follows, we give you Richmond Lager. We are proud to continue supporting Virginia agriculture. Virginia-grown Cascade hops constitute 20% of the hop bill for Richmond Lager, lending subtle notes of citrus in the finish. A portion of the grain bill incorporates Virginia grown and malted 2-row barley.
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery – Hardywood Richmond Lager – 12 oz. bottle poured into specialty glassware – 5.0% abv.
We’re already off to a great start here because I love the stubby bottle with the retro designed silk-screen label. The design matches perfectly with the beer inside as you shall see.
Into the glass, Richmond Lager is bright straw-colored with heavy carbonation and generous, soda-like, fizzy foam that persists for several minutes. The aroma begins with bright lemon, but as it reaches room temperature, it shifts over to frosted flakes, white corn, and freshly baked cornbread. The flavor matches with white corn, sugar cube, frosted flakes, and rice; which all combine to give it a cream ale character or at least something very American. There’s a farm fresh grain quality about it with persisting sweetness, which helps give the beer more body than I expected. High carbonation at the front of the palate is met with a somewhat oily, dense maltiness in the mid-palate. For the finish, it is crisp and bright with a lingering sourdough-like acidity that lasts for at least a couple of minutes.
The overall package is a refreshing, simple, well-made pale lager that feels to me like an authentic reproduction of what your everyday beer in America would have tasted like pre-prohibition. There’s a perfect aesthetic here for that go-to refreshing beer after a long day at work. It’s something I’d imagine today’s macro pale lagers tasted like before their transformation into soapy seltzer water.
I love these types of beers and would like to see them gain popularity. Not everyone can handle IPA for their daily imbibement. But here we are in 2017, and good pale lager in this country is as rare as it has ever been. Let’s help bring it back!