If you are a craft beer fan living in the old dominion state, chances are you’ve heard of Hardywood’s Gingerbread Stout. What you may not know is that it was only the third beer the brewery ever made. In October 2011, the brewery’s owners were approached by a representative of the nearby Castlemonte Farms who had heard that Hardywood was interested in sourcing local ingredients to incorporate into their beer and brought them a sample of baby Hawaiian white ginger. After some research the owners discovered that no other brewery had yet produced a gingerbread cookie inspired holiday seasonal beer, and began creating test batches using an imperial porter base to which they added different ratios of vanilla bean, ginger, honey and lactose. Although only a handful of people showed up at the brewery for the first release event, the brewery received increasingly positive feedback on the beer and ultimately sent a bottle to the editors of BeerAdvocate magazine for review. The official review was published shortly after with a glowing 100/100 rating. In May 2012, GBS was entered into the herbed and spiced beer category at the World Beer cup and was awarded the bronze medal.
Needless to say, the 2012 release caught more traction with some 1,500 people attending the event. The beer sold out in a matter of hours. In fall 2013, Hardywood gave the green light to sell the GBS outside of the city of Richmond for the first time, while they also began releasing limited barrel-aged variants of the base beer. This year, the brewery is releasing a different variant of Gingerbread Stout every Saturday for seven consecutive Saturdays beginning November 4th. The full roster includes: Bourbon Barrel GBS, Rum Barrel GBS, Apple Brandy GBS, Rye Whiskey Barrel GBS, Christmas Morning (GBS w/ coffee), Kentucky Christmas Morning (Bourbon Barrel Christmas Morning), and Double Barrel GBS. These beers will be limited, so keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages for availability and release information. The original Gingerbread Stout however is now in stock with no limit to consumers. Happy Holidays!