Last week, Shaun and I took a road trip to Charleston, SC to visit family, relax on the beach, and explore a new city. Of course, we had to plan brewery visits on our road trip down, as well as at the final destination.
First up: The Answer Brewpub
That morning, our original plan was to leave at 7 AM.
6:30 AM: alarm One goes off. Sigh.
6:40 SM: alarm Two goes off.
No word from Shaun. I call him to see what the status is, and find out he’s still sleeping and his alarm had been set for weekday only. I groan and tell him I’m going back to bed for an hour.
Three hours and one Wawa stop later: our GPS told us that The Answer was located in a somewhat dingy looking strip mall on Broad Street in Richmond, VA. Upon walking up to the door, we saw the sign noting that the brewery entrance was out back.
Pulling around, we saw much more of a brewery entrance I am used to seeing – warehouse style. We knew we were in the right place since there were two guys sitting outside with a cooler, and two other cars idling by. Turns out, our late start was a blessing in disguise since I got an extra 45 minutes of sleep and the timing ended up perfectly: right as we pulled in, the door was opened by the hostess, and we started to follow the guys with their cooler inside.
And by started, I mean I was immediately distracted by the sign below:
Turns out they had a brewcat! A million questions raced through my head, but mostly, where can I find this cat?!
Once inside, we got to scope out the surroundings: a hostess stand and a glass case / bulletin board that are both filled up with merchandise greets you. Once again, I was drawn to the cat sighting– a cat shirtswhere he seemed to be dressed up as a pirate, but I later found out it was a knight.
The second shirt I noticed was the one I ended up buying and can’t wait to start wearing.
The floorplan was surprisingly large, with a ton of tables, a stage for live bands, a long wooden bar, a side “game” room, and a smaller back bar.
We went and sat down at the front bar, and I started the day off with a Shannon Spiker, a Berliner Weisse Sour made with apricot, peaches, and blood orange. I immediately knew why the Andalls were such a big deal, they were basically like drinking a slightly champagne-y, thick, deliciously sweet juice, with 3.5% alcohol!
Next up, I ordered a flight: Petty Larceny, 2 scoops, Cherry Popsicle, and Kromer Juice: Raspberry. Just look at these colors!
Petty Larceny is a single hopped Mosaic Session IPA, and I love a good Mosaic IPA! However, the Andalls were the main event and my favorite of the three was definitely the Kromer Juice. This is a sour gose that is a “Mike Kromer magic lemonade mixed with passionfruit and raspberries”. The colors of all three were amazingly bright and drinking each one was like discovering a new juice. The Kromer Juices come in a variety of flavors and I definitely have it on my list to try more.
Since it was only noon and we hadn’t eaten since our 8AM Wawa stop, we decided to order some food. Although I was debating a few things on the menu, the gentlemen next to us insisted on the Wake N’ Bacon (which I had already seen online before going and it was at the top of my list), since it was a staple of The Answer.
While we waited for our food, I asked our bartender about the brewcat we had read about outside. She explained that Felicia was a neighborhood cat, whom they had started putting food out for every once and awhile. Eventually, they assumed her owners moved away since she was always around, so they starting taking care of her with vet visits and made her their brewcat! She appears on their 2nd Anniversary merchandise and has a Popsicle style sour fruit beer named after her, Pholicia.
Shortly after ordering, the most delicious breakfast was placed in front of me: bacon fried rice with a fried/slightly runny egg and an additional bacon slice on top. I devoured the majority of it in .5 seconds, before snapping a photo, and I REGRET NOTHING. Bacon fried rice should be added to more restaurants for sure. Also, pro tip here: Leftover bacon fried rice is a quick and easy re-heat breakfast meal, just throw some scrambled eggs on top!
Since I didn’t get a photo due to excitement and hunger (story of my life), here is one courtesy of TheAnswerBrewpub.com.
Note: I greatly appreciate when the food from the internet is the food you get in real life at a restaurant. This is not one of those exaggerated marketing photos, this is how it comes to you (well, minus the beer).
Two thumbs up for that.
Considering this was only our first brewery stop in Richmond, and the halfway stop on our road trip to Charleston, we decided to grab some merchandise and continue on. Of course, I bought the neon yellow “Beer is the Answer” tank, and their 2nd Year Anniversary small tasting glass (featuring Felicia as some sort of flying machine?)
I hadn’t feel like a frozen slushy first thing that morning, so we briefly stopped at The Answer on the way home the following weekend. BIG MISTAKE to not try the Frozan’s the first time! These slushees are a game changer. I really wish I could drink them every day in the summer. I thought the Andall drinks were amazing, but making them in a slushee version just elevates them to an entirely different level. I honestly can’t do them justice, so just take my advice, and stop for one if you’re ever in Richmond. I definitely will, and fingers crossed that next time I get a sighting of Felicia.
Overall thoughts on The Answer: A big open space, I’d like to go back to when they have some live music going since it had an awesome setup. Get the Frozans, the Wake’N Bacon, and keep an eye out for Felicia!
Our 2nd brew stop on the way down to Charleston was The Veil!
P.S. In case you want to “shop my style”, here’s the Kimono I relied on for the 11 hour roadtrip. Light weight and comfy!: