Our co-founders, Eric McKay and Patrick Murtaugh, were introduced at a young age through the friendship of their parents. Their families would vacation together so it wasn’t long before the two would forge a strong friendship of their own. Years down the road, a well-timed meet-up at a sheep station in Australia, brought their passion for homebrewing and craft beer culture into sharp focus. It was there, at Hardywood Park, where they shared their first glass of full-flavored home-brewed beer. That day inspired ten years of hard work and planning — Eric on the business side and Patrick on the brewing side — and brought their dream into reality with the launch of Hardywood Park Craft Brewery.
Hardywood officially began its mission to brew with purpose in late 2011 as one of only two craft breweries in the city of Richmond. Shortly thereafter, we were honored to host the signing of SB 604, which allowed craft breweries to sell beer from their taprooms directly to consumers and paved the way for Richmond to earn its place as one of the top craft beer destinations in the world.
Our original brewhouse and taproom was a vacant warehouse discovered in a long-forgotten neighborhood known nearly a century prior as Richmond’s German Brewing District. Hardywood has been drawing new life to this forgotten area one draft pour at a time. We now operate a 20-barrel brewhouse and taproom in the original location, as well as a 3.5-barrel pilot brewery and taproom in Charlottesville, VA, and a 60-barrel brewhouse and destination brewery in the West Creek area of Richmond, right on the border of Goochland County.
Today, Hardywood continues to develop and deliver on its mission with a sharp focus on brewing quality, sourcing local, environmental stewardship, community engagement, and giving back.
Brew With Purpose
“It isn’t just about making great beer, it’s about making great beer consistently. It’s the perfect mix of art and science.” – Kate Lee, Vice President of Operations & Quality
Ranked as Virginia’s Top Brewery in 2014, 2015, & 2016 by RateBeer.com users, Hardywood brews both innovative and traditional ales and lagers at the highest caliber, with steadfast quality assurance standards. Hardywood beer has earned international acclaim, including medals at the Great American Beer Festival, World Beer Cup, and Australian International Beer Awards.
Our beer is inspired by the diverse climate, agriculture, and community that surrounds us. We take great pride in supporting local growers, brewing with more Virginia ingredients than any other brewery and highlighting the eclectic variety of flavors that only Virginia-grown products can provide. Through our Virginia Roots Series and other small-batch beers, we have brewed with Virginia-sourced hops, malted barley, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, pumpkins, peaches, honey, ginger, locally roasted coffee beans, herbs, and spices.
Preserving our environment is built into the very core of our brand. Hardywood was the first brewery in Virginia powered entirely by renewable energy, including solar, biomass, and wind through the Dominion Virginia Green Power Program. We package with 100% recycled materials, work with local farms to reuse our spent grain as compost and feed, and a number of our beers are brewed in support of organizations dedicated to environmental awareness and protection. For these efforts and more, we were honored to be named Virginia Green Brewery of the Year in 2015.
“When brewing beer that genuinely reflects the spirit of Richmond, we disregard the norm and engage the community from conception to brew day.” – Eric McKay, President & Co-founder
We host a variety of unique events and festivals that unite our community and support local artists, makers, and musicians. Visit our events calendar to learn about everything that our taproom has to offer!
Hardywood contributes to countless local and national non-profit organizations per year. Annual beneficiaries include The James River Association, The Virginia Capital Trail Foundation, Ales for ALS, World Pediatric Project and more!