Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Richmond, Virginia’s Award-Winning Hardywood Park Craft Brewery Combines Imagination and Civic Pride to be Virginia’s Top-Rated Craft Brewery
Even though Eric McKay and Patrick Murtaugh had been close friends for many years, it took a 2001 meeting at a sheep station (Hardywood Park Ranch) in Southeastern Australia for the two friends to realize they had similar dreams and goals. It was on that occasion that the two friends first tasted a malty home brew Amber Ale brewed by sheep rancher David Crawford that inspired the pair to return to Richmond, Virginia and open their own craft beer operation.
“We were astounded that beer could not only have so much flavor and complexity, but you could brew it on such a small scale,” recalled Eric McKay. “So began our decades-long obsession with craft beer.”
It took almost a decade before Hardywood Park became a reality as one of Richmond’s two craft breweries. Shortly thereafter, Virginia passed its SB 604 law that allowed craft breweries to sell beer from their taprooms directly to consumers, and Hardywood Park was well on its way to becoming the state’s finest craft brewery.
A long-forgotten vacant warehouse in an area formerly known as Richmond’s German Brewing District became the company’s original brewhouse and taproom. For a number of years, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery slowly grew, as in McKay’s words, “one pour at a time.”
Today, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery has grown and prospered. The original location is now a 20-barrel brewhouse and taproom and a second pilot brewery (3.5 barrel) has opened in Charlottesville. A newer 60-barrel destination brewery has also opened in Richmond’s West Creek Area. Ranked as Virginia’s top Brewery since 2014, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery has also won national and international acclaim at the Great American Beer Festival, World Beer Cup and the Australian International Beer Awards.
The company sources many of its ingredients locally including hops, malted barley, coffee beans and a host of other locally grown fruits and spices. The physical plant is powered by renewable energy through the Dominion Virginia Green Power Program and includes solar, biomass and wind energy.
Founder Eric McKay puts his company’s role in perspective. He stated, “When brewing beer that genuinely reflects the spirit of Richmond, we disregard the norm and engage the community from conception to brew day.”
It is an honor to introduce this award-winning, civic-minded, totally creative craft brewery to our Craft Beer Club members. We raise a glass to toast the Hardywood Park Craft Brewery and its excellent products. Enjoy!
Map of the area
1) WHO WERE THE FIRST PROFESSIONAL BREWERS - MEN OR WOMEN?
The first professional brewers were all women. This occurred in ancient Peru, where the breweries were operated by ‘women of the elite’. These ladies had to be of noble birth or extremely beautiful in order to be allowed to brew the beer.
2) TRUE OR FALSE: BEERS IS BEST WHEN ENJOYED ICE COLD.
False. Serving beer ice cold is not the best way to enjoy a brew. The sensation of coldness inhibits the tongue’s taste receptors, and so, by over-chilling your beer, you are in turn numbing your palate to nuances of flavors. (Tell that to the big commercial breweries that spend trillions of dollars advertising ice-cold beers that would be over chilled).
3) HOW LONG DID PROHIBITION LAST IN THE UNITED STATES?
Prohibition in the United States lasted a total of 13 years, 10 months, 19 days, 17 hours and 32.5 minutes. Repeal occurred at 4:31 p.m., on December 5, 1933. Then President Franklin D. Roosevelt immediately declared, “What America needs now is a drink”. Obviously, he was re-elected with great acclaim.