RVA Collab House's head brewer Stefan McFayden is making beer with your favorite local band. And restaurant. And museum. (Photo by Stephanie Breijo)
Scott's Addition is getting another brewery, and it's getting it tonight. But before you throw your hands up in exultation of — or exasperation with — the neighborhood's overflowing beer scene, know this: Three Notch'd Brewing Co.'s RVA Collab House is putting a spin on the city's beer scene, and it's enlisting the help of your favorite restaurants, venues, nonprofits, bands, museums and even other breweries.
A small-batch, 3.5-barrel offshoot of Charlottesville's Three Notch'd Brewing Co., the RVA Collab House is built on an experimental program that creates unique beers — roughly one per week — that are conceptualized and brewed with local businesses.
"When [Three Notch'd Brewing Co.] started thinking about a Richmond location, with so many great businesses, they really wanted to put a focus on the collaboration. So that became the concept of this particular business,” says Stefan McFayden, RVA Collab House's head brewer.
Inside the 2,000-square-foot taproom at 2930 W. Broad St., you'll eventually find 12 beers on tap: six Three Notch'd flagships and brews from the Charlottesville headquarters, and another six brewed here in Richmond. When the brewery and taproom opens today at 4 p.m., you'll find three Richmond recipes on the board already, though they were technically brewed in Charlottesville prior to the Collab House's opening. One is a partnership with The Rogue Gentlemen: a fernet saison brewed with the key spices and herbs that comprise the amaro liqueur — namely, fresh orange peel, dried orange peel, coriander, chamomile and star anise. Another local collab available today is the 25 Goes by Quick, made in partnership with Midlothian's Sergio's, a restaurant that was looking for a blood orange and basil gose to complement its pizza. The third Richmond recipe isn't a collab, but it is the Hops Addition, a recipe McFayden's been perfecting since his homebrew days here in the River City; though RVA Collab House will release a new brew each week with its "Tap That Thursday" series, expect this one to be a semi-regular option as the other taps rotate frequently.
“Once we come up with an idea, I generally just invite [the collaborator] in for a brew day," says McFayden of the collaborative process. "Collaborations are a great time for people to learn more about the brewing process and get their hands dirty and help out. Honestly, it’s really fun brewing with other people.”
Keep your eyes peeled for future collaborations such as the coffee-porter partnership with Confluence Coffee Co., as well as a beer made with The Broadberry, No BS! Brass Band and RVA Mag. Do you have an idea for your own collaboration? Drop the team a line via this online form and let them know.
Beer runs around $5 per pint in the 150-person taproom, which also boasts a patio, but during its Thursday release nights, you'll find the Collab House's newest beer for only $3. This Saturday's grand opening party runs from noon to 10 p.m.
“It’s such an important city in the craft beer movement, and there’s a lot of opportunity in Scott’s Addition," McFayden says. "People always ask me, ‘So, are you worried about having so much competition around the neighborhood?’ And I don’t really view it as competition. I view it as other people to work with. There are a lot of people with a lot of good ideas out there, and having them in such a small area is awesome.”
Three Notch'd Brewing Co.'s RVA Collab House is located at 2930 W. Broad St. and opens to the public today at 4 p.m., with regular hours of Tuesday to Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m.; Friday from 3 to 10 p.m.; Saturday from noon to 10 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. Stop by for the brewery's grand opening party on Saturday, Oct. 1, from noon to 10 p.m.