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Friday, June 8, 2018

And the Winners Are...

Virginia Craft Beer Cup results, Negroni Week, plus other food and drink news

Posted By on Fri, Jun 8, 2018 at 4:00 AM

The Virginia Craft Beer Cup was last week, and unsurprisingly, Richmond was well-represented. Held by the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild, the annual competition was at the WestRock building downtown. More than 100 Virginia breweries submitted beers for the blind taste test.

Henrico County’s Final Gravity Brewing Co. took home both gold and silver in the India pale ale category, and Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery placed first with spiced beer and second in strong American ale. Other local winners include Stone Brewing, Vasen Brewing, Ardent Craft Ales, Garden Grove Brewing and Urban Winery, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Strangeways Brewing and Trapezium Brewing in Petersburg.

You can find a list of winners here.

Gin and Generosity If you follow any local restaurants and bars on social media, you may have seen some recent posts about Negroni Week and thought to yourself, “An entire week dedicated to one cocktail? OK, Richmond.”

But as it turns out, bars across the globe are celebrating this three-ingredient cocktail -- gin, Campari and sweet vermouth -- by offering specials and donating to charity.

It’s sponsored by Imbibe Magazine, and since the first Negroni Week in 2013 the effort has grown to include more than 7,700 venues worldwide and has raised almost $1.5 million for charitable causes.

More than a dozen Richmond-area businesses are participating. Can Can Brasserie will donate $1 from every Negroni sale to the Richmond Wildlife Center, and Max’s on Broad has chosen the Richmond Animal League as its beneficiary.

For information and a list of local participating restaurants, check out the official Negroni Week website.

Make Mine iThaiz

In this week’s restaurant review, Style writer Phaedra Hise visits iThaiz, the strip mall joint at 1108 Courthouse Road in Chesterfield County.

Owner and chef Petsuda “Pai” Netsan works alongside her father, Charlie Netsan, a seasoned chef who’s cooked in Thailand and Richmond. They make all the sauces and complex dishes from scratch, and the menu features a lot more than Americanized classics like pad thai and pad see ew.

Hise describes the crispy duck with fried basil and fried egg as the best Thai dish she’s ever tasted, and raves about the nuba num tok salad, which is piled with beef and fresh mint.

Read the review here.

Eastward Expansion

One of our Richmond-based booze purveyors just took the leap into a second location. Buskey Cider, which has been brewing and pouring creative ciders in Scott’s Addition since 2016, is opening a satellite taproom on the Eastern Shore. It held a soft opening at its new Cape Charles tasting room at the end of May, and the official opening date is set for Saturday, June 16.

Short Pump Shenanigans

Speaking of expansion: Trying to keep track of every opening and closing in Richmond proper, much less in the surrounding counties, is enough to make your head spin. But we can’t help but notice that as our lovely city continues to thrive in the food-and-booze realm, more spots we love are expanding into the suburbs. A few:

Carytown Cupcakes, the beloved bakery at 3111 W. Cary St., soon will open a location inside Short Pump Town Center, next to the Pandora store.

The Pit and the Peel, which has been serving up juices, smoothies, salads and snacks since its first location opened near Virginia Commonwealth University in 2015, will open its fourth location in Short Pump Town Center next to Athleta.

Also on the docket for the area is Bartaco, a Connecticut-based taco-and-tequila chain with two other locations in Virginia. Bartaco is the final piece to the restaurant puzzle in the GreenGate shopping center, which is less than a mile from Short Pump Town Center.

Pay It Forward

No matter how hard I try to keep reusable grocery bags in my car, there’s only about a 50 percent chance that I’ll make it into the store with them. I must not be alone, because beloved local market Ellwood Thompson’s has launched an effort to address exactly that. The new bag-share program allows customers to take a bag when they’ve neglected to bring their own, or leave a bag when they have an extra and feel like paying it forward to the next forgetful shopper.

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