Sippy Time Beer Review – Devil’s Backbone, Strangeways and Hardywood Park

Kevin DiFrango/Stunt Granny

Devil’s Backbone Vienna Lager by Kevin DiFrango/Stunt Granny

Earlier this year, I went to Richmond to see my niece star in her high school’s production of Annie. It was a great play and reminded me of how much I had forgotten about this particular story. While I was there, I naturally tried more beers from the RVA area. Here’s what I tried.

Devil’s Backbone Brewing Co.Vienna Lager – I wanted to stop at the brewery itself but didn’t because Google’s directions were terrible. Note to self, just follow the signs. I got to try this one while I was in Richmond though. Since it’s the style of one of my all time favorites (Eliot Ness by Great Lakes Brewery), I had to give it a whirl. It was not a disappointment. The maltiness comes through because of a very low IBU total (18) which always makes me happy. It’s not too sweet though. It could be considered a session beer to boot at 4.9% ABV. I’ll be more than happy to make it a Sippy Time Beer any time of the year.

K.DiFrango/Stunt Granny


Hardywood Park Craft BreweryWRIR X – This beer was a collaboration with a local independent radio station and is a Belgian style pale ale. Naturally with the Belgian style you get a bit more kick from the yeast than one does from most style yeasts. That allows a low volume of hops to help come through in both flavor and smell. The dose for the flavor only adds up to 26 IBU. The smell is helped with a dry hopping with Azacca hops. At 5.3% ABV, it also isn’t going to crack you over the head when you drink it. Considering it was early spring when I had this beer, it was a perfect time to be drinking this beer. Just like beers, it is always good to support local radios stations. I guess I’ll have to listen the next time I visit my older brother and his family.



Strangeways Brewing Co.Gwar Blood – I didn’t see this choice of beverages when we visited Strangeways in 2014. I would have tried it on name alone because Gwar is one of the most enjoyable acts in all of heavy metal. In my opinion, Rob Zombie is the only act going that has a stage show that competes with Gwar’s. Strangeways named it after the band because they make their home in Richmond. Rest in peace Dave Brockie. So when I saw it on the menu, it was a must try between the name and producer. It’s a hopped up Red Ale, which is awfully close to an amber ale. It didn’t seem overly hopped at 45 IBU because the sweetness of the malts balanced it out nicely. At 5.5% ABV, it’s a beer that you can enjoy without stumbling into the mouth of a giant maggot on stage like Jerry Springer did when I saw Gwar. – Kevin

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