Charlottesville, VA — Charlottesville-based Champion Brewing Company is celebrating its fourth anniversary while looking ahead to an ambitious 2017. The company will begin the year by opening a taproom in downtown Richmond, Virginia. In February, Champion will open a combination brewery and restaurant on Charlottesville’s historic downtown mall.
Ken Rayher, formerly of Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, will be Champion’s Richmond Taproom brewer.
Rayher won aGreat American Beer Festival silver medal for his Grosse Teufel, a Lichtenhainer weisse brewed under Hardywood’s Brewer and Artist series in 2016 and contributed to the recipe for Hardywood’s flagship pils, a gold medal winner in the Virginia Craft Brewer’s Cup in2015.
Beer releases in late December and early 2017 include:
- Fruitbasket IPA, 70 IBU, 8% ABV, a West Coast-style Double IPA hopped exclusively with theelusive Mosiac hop. Known for its fruity, earthy, and herbal notes, this hopinteracts delightfully with the peel and juices of blood oranges’ and redgrapefruits’ intensity.
- MalibuNights IPA, 45 IBU, 6.5% ABV, a pink IPA with tangerines and organic hibiscusflavors.
Brasserie Saison, the restaurant/brewery opening in February at 111 E. Main Street, is a partnership between Hunter Smith, owner of Champion, and Wilson Richey, whose parent company, Ten Course Hospitality, has brought such culinary successes asRevolutionary Soup, The Whiskey Jar, The Pie Chest, The Alley Light, and The Bebedero to the downtown area. Tyler Teass (former executive sous chef at Rose’s Luxury in D.C.) has joined as head chef for theBrasserie.
Brasserie will offer classic small batch Saison, Farmhouse, and Bier du Garde style beers. Beers will be brewed by Champion using seasonal ingredients and will be inspired by the same countries that inspire the menu, leaning more heavily on Belgian and French influence. “Multiple styles of saison will be stable beers, including a wild and funky traditional saison as house beer, a fruity French-style saison, and some easy-drinking wheat beers,” said Smith.
“In addition to these beers, the draft list will have the stalwarts ofChampion Brewery’s lineup so that we can provide a style for every palette and frame of mind. We will also feature local ciders and keep a guest tap for our friends in the community and beyond whose beers we love. We will also have a bottle selection of beers from the countries that inspire our food.Beyond beer, we will have a full bar with inspired modern cocktails and a small wine selection,” said Smith.