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Suggestions for tasting room hours

on Sat, 10/08/2011 - 9:49pm

We are in the process of deciding on a regular schedule for tours, samples and growler fills. We would love to here your suggestions. What two days of the week work best for you?

Andy's picture

I think Saturday would work pretty well for most people.
Darin's picture

And maybe a random weekday like tuesday or wednesday. Don't let those growlers sit empty too long!
Tammy's picture

I was wondering if you guys had planned on hours past Oct. 28th such as the 29th. Trying to schedule time to come by with friends.
Wendy's picture

Do you know what your hours will be on Saturday Nov 5th? My sister in law and I are trying to bring our husbands there for their birthdays. Thanks!
wacbzz's picture

Today was the first time I've been able to get to the brewery. I guess I'm late to the show, but here nonetheless. Great idea to pipe the music into the tasting room but with all the people (ie, at least three workers and not customers) that I noticed walking about, I wondered why nobody stopped to talk to me - or any of the six or so people in the room - about the brewery...? Outside of the tasting room, where is your beer available? I'm definitely interested in the tour - who runs it? What's it all about? I understand the brewery is small right now, but it WILL get bigger. More people will come. Give them a reason. Ideas for the tasting room? Live music. Sponsors. Of course, nothing big at first, but given what I've read about opening day attendance and followers on Facebook, build it and they will come. Eventually, if you so desire to bring in a large crowd, food must be involved. For now though, get excited. Have a couple of people there to fill growlers. Have somebody there to explain what people see when they look through the picture window. When I was there today (for fifteen minutes), people were walking in and out of the door. You will get the traffic simply because you guys have a good product (WOW - the Gingerbread Stout is outstanding). Make us feel welcome. Show us why you guys rock. I can read all day about your training in Germany, but to talk with the guys in the tasting room that actually do the brewing would make me/us buy even more. I am excited that you guys are here.
eric.mckay's picture

Thank you very much for visiting the brewery and for taking the time to share your experience. We make it a point to be at the brewery during tasting room hours whenever possible to speak with our guests. When we're not here, at least one member our brewing team is on site (two served free samples, hosted a free tour, and filled growlers Friday night), and they're always eager to answer questions. Patrick (brewmaster), Brian (head brewer) and I had to leave early Friday for a prior commitment. We greatly appreciate all of the visitors we get at the brewery and certainly didn't mean to make you feel unwelcome, and we hope to have you back sometime down the road. Our core business is brewing beer for local distribution. We totally agree that great food and tunes will help draw crowds, but, other than the few times a year when we can get a banquet license, we'll leave that for all the great bars and restaurants in the area serving our beer. Our energy will continue to be tightly focused on brewing great beer, and we'll always look forward to having fairly intimate groups in to sample our beer, check out our brewery and learn about our story. Cheers, Eric
Glenn Cobb's picture

Eric, we stopped by Saturday for the second time and glad to finally meet you. I agree with you comment about staying focused on brewing GREAT BEER!. That's what it's about... great tasting beer. For those that may comment about serving food or whatever... it's all about the great tasting beer you guys are brewing! The tasting room is just that... don't worry about some comments about making it more than that right now. Stay focused on your core value of brewing great beer and that will keep people coming back. I love the fact you're using local ingredients and glad to have a brewer in Richmond brewing great tasting beer. Legends is good but the beer I've tasted from ya'll is a notch above. Keep up the great work!
Andrew's picture

I'm seeing "busy" on the tasting room hours on the Google calendar on the website. Does that mean open?
Angela's picture

Same question as Andrew. I'm seeing "busy" on the tasting room hours on the Google calendar on the website. Does that mean open?
Patrick.Murtaugh's picture

Hi, we were having trouble with the tasting room section of our website. This week we are open Thurs and Fri from 4-7PM and Sat from 2-5PM.
Stuart Toraason's picture

Was wondering if you all were interested in having music in the tasting room. We have a 3 piece bluegrass band and have been playing markets, vineyards etc. Thanks, Stuart
Josh's picture

Similar to the music question, I do fine art and have set up at vineyards, stores, galleries, etc. Would love to tag team a tasting or event.
Darcey's picture

Will you have tasting room hours this Fri? And what retail locations sell your beers? Thanks!
Kevin's picture

I don't normally post comments but when you have such a poor experience I feel it necessary to do so. I'm not sure where to start with this one... I walked in with a growler from another VA brewery and the first thing that was said to me was "want that filled?" Not even a hello or at the very least, have you been here before? It wasn't busy and still no one took the time to explain what/how/when about the TWO beers they have. (side note: there is a special version of SIngel, that apparently is housed in bourbon barrels, but I was not allowed to have. Only the bartenders friend that was standing next us was) The bartender even poured herself some of the secret brew and drank it in front of us. I thought it would be great to have a local brewery right here in RVA so I could cut down on the trips to C'ville but until they get it together I'll be making my monthly trek up 64
Rick's picture

From your comment and an earlier one it sounds to me like they're still trying to figure out how to deal with the public. Sure, brewing beer is the core of the business but if you're going to open your doors to the public you should make the experience enjoyable for the people who show up.
eric.mckay's picture

Thanks, Rick. While it really bums us out to see comments like the isolated (hopefully!) reactions described above, we leave them on our site to let it be known to the public that we greatly value feedback of any kind, that we don't think we're doing everything perfectly, and that we always want to improve. As Hardywood is one of just a few non-restaurant breweries in Virginia, hosting a brewery tasting room subjected to Virginia's unique ABC laws is definitely a new experience for nearly all of our visitors, and it's a learning experience for us. We've been happily surprised (and occasionally overwhelmed) with the turnout during our tasting room hours, and while the general feedback we've received in person and via email, phone, and social media has been extremely positive, we certainly take any negative feedback to heart and address it with our team as an opportunity for improvement. Please keep the feedback coming as we strive to become a truly extraordinary brewery.
Patrick.Murtaugh's picture

Kevin, thank you for your feedback. Positive or negative, it helps us to improve and develop as a young company. While producing the highest quality beer is our core focus, we do want people to feel welcome when they come in to visit the tasting room to check out our operation and enjoy free samples, tours, discussion with our brewers, etc. Given the nature of the tasting room (we can't legally sell beer for on-premise consumption, we don't ask our visitors to tip our servers, and public hours are limited to a few afternoons a week due to an extremely labor-intensive production schedule), we rely on our brewers and beer passionate volunteers to serve beer in the tasting room. While they may not individually greet each person who comes in to visit (we had over 200 visitors on the date of your post - Dec. 23), I assure you, they are very friendly and would be happy to answer any question you might have about our beers or the brewing process. Regarding the non-Hardywood growler, I can assure you that we're just as happy to fill growlers from another brewery, store, restaurant, etc. as we are to fill our own. Our only stipulation is that, as required by Virginia law, the growler includes the appropriate Government Warning. As for the barrel aged beer, we encourage our brewers to experiment with innovative approaches. However, until these concept beers demonstrate a level of quality that we would be proud of and meet our approval for public consumption, we prefer not to offer these beers for "beta testing" so to speak. Going forward we will ask that these are not sampled in front of our guests. That said, we've started doing a lot more experimental brewing, including brewing creative recipes on our pilot brewing system, aging beer in various barrels, ingredient blending, etc. and will likely be green-lighting several concept beers for public sampling, and will be very grateful for any feedback that we receive. Thanks again for your comments and we truly regret that you had such a negative experience. I hope you will continue to patronize our friends out in Charlottesville, and in the meantime, we'll continue working passionately to brew great beer right here in Richmond and to offer our guests an enjoyable, and always improving, experience.
Doug's picture

Are kegs available for sale to the general public? If so where, through what distributer?
eric.mckay's picture

Hi Doug, Thanks for asking! We do not have a permit to sell kegs directly to consumers at the brewery, however, most of the better beer stores in town are licensed to sell kegs. Our beers are all distributed through Brown Distributing. With a few days notice, most of the stores that sell kegs can get Hardywood Singel in 1/2 barrel or 1/6 barrel kegs. When available, our Reserve Series beers are available in 1/6 barrel kegs. Cheers, Eric
BILL BOYER III's picture The Better your Choice ~ "HARDYWOOD PARK" ~ The Better your Benefits !
Shep's picture

Eric and Rachel - Thank you for opening your doors to me a few weeks back. Hardywood was my first chance to really get a feel for how a hand craft brewery operates. I loved the chance to meet you two and learn about your beer, and I came to appreciate it even more after a good day of bottling. I pretty much exclusively drink Singel when I'm out in Richmond now, and hope you'll share the love with Charlottesville before I graduate in May. I would be glad to help you figure out where beer loving students drink the most, and wish you the best of luck with all that you're doing. Cheers, -Shep
eric.mckay's picture

Shep, thanks so much for coming in to help us out! Charlottesville is definitely a fantastic beer town, and we'd love to sell our beer there once capacity allows. In the meantime, we'll keep hand filling each bottle with a lot of love! Cheers!
Rob Robbins's picture

With the new Squirrels baseball season upon us now Hardywood would be a great destination to sample a few brews before the games on Saturday evening.
Blaine's picture

A bunch of us lost a close personal friend Bill Crabtree who was an artist for Virginia is for Lovers. Bill was only 44 and a great soul. We came to Hardywood after the funeral to share experiences and great beer around a pic nic table much the way we have done for the last 30 years. It was the perfect setting. Thanks.