The Charlottesville 29

If there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?

Tag: Champion Brewing Company

Beer Run Auction: Brew Your Own Charlottesville Beer

Beer Run pic

Here is your chance to experience Beer Run like you never have before, while helping to feed the area’s hungry: The Charlottesville 29 Restaurant Auctions. Along with all of the other restaurants in The Charlottesville 29, Beer Run has created a once-in-a-lifetime experience for whoever pledges the highest donation to The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. Thanks to the generosity of Beer Run and Champion Brewing Company, the entire winning bid goes directly to the food bank. And, thanks to the efficiency of the food bank, each dollar donated creates four meals for the area’s hungry.

The Beer Run signature experience for The Charlottesville 29 Restaurant Auctions:

Brew Your Own Charlottesville Beer

Now open for more than a decade, Beer Run has fueled Charlottesville’s love of good beer — both drinking it and brewing it. The winner of the Beer Run auction will have the chance to enjoy our area’s beer scene in a whole new way: create their own beer for a local brewery, a collaboration with Champion Brewing Company.

In advance of brewing day, the auction winner will discuss ideas with the Champion brewing team, who will help to design and name the beer based on input from the auction winner. When brewing day comes, the auction winner and nine guests will begin their day with breakfast and beer at Beer Run. From there, they will be off to Champion, where they will make the beer with Champion’s brewers. When the work is done, the group will return to Beer Run for a celebratory dinner and beer.

Finally, a few weeks later when the beer is ready, Beer Run will host a happy hour event, open to the public, celebrating Champion’s release of the auction winner’s collaboration. At the release event, the auction winner’s group may enjoy the beer they created, on the house.

Note: The winning bidder will schedule their experience at a time that is mutually convenient for Beer Run and Champion.


Bidding for Beer Run’s experience has ended. Winning bid: $4,000.

Fruitbasket Arrives at Champion on January 23


Big hype beers are dying.

With so much good beer available these days, rare is the occasion when special releases  generate the mania they once did. Some consumers even suspect breweries of artificially suppressing supply of some beers to manufacture scarcity and the hype it can yield.

In many cases, though, there are good reasons for supply of a great beer to be so limited. Like hard work. Take Fruitbasket, by Champion Brewing Company. First released in 2014, Fruitbasket is an IPA with extravagant amounts of Mosaic hops, and, to complement the hops’ natural fruitiness, actual fruit. That fruit is what creates the hard work: zesting and juicing by hand 4,000 pounds of blood orange and grapefruit, and then adding the zest and juice to the beer as it nears the end of fermentation. With all that work, Champion has limited Fruitbasket to a once-a-year release, each January.

For this year’s iteration, though, the team took a slightly different approach. “We are always searching for ways to innovate and streamline our process while improving the quality of our beer,” says Josh Skinner, Champion’s Lead Brewer. That led them to aseptic fruit puree. “We have been playing around with adding purees to beers at the taproom for a couple of years now,” says Skinner, “and have been really impressed with their consistency and the quality of the beers made with them.”

So, for Fruitbasket this year, instead of all that zesting and juicing by hand, the Champion team added aseptic puree of blood orange and red grapefruit. The result: “the best Fruitbasket yet,” says Skinner. That’s high praise for a beer once called the best beer made in Virginia.

A 70 IBU, 8 % ABV Double IPA, 2019’s Fruitbasket will be released at the Champion tap room in Charlottesville on Wednesday, January 23 at 4 pm.

Five Finds on Friday: Zach Miller

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Zach Miller, co-owner of Timbercreek Market, set to re-open next month with the addition of a new onsite restaurant, Back Forty. While the market will still offer meat and produce from Timbercreek Farm and other local sources, Back Forty will be a full-service restaurant under the direction of chef Tucker Yoder. “Back 40 is his restaurant,” says Miller. “We simply are along for the ride.” For that ride, Chef Yoder says to expect “a more refined version of the things we are doing now.” There is even a bar with house cocktails, and Yoder has already begun jarring cherries in rye and sorghum for that very purpose. Miller’s picks:

1) Falconer Hoppy Wheat Ale from Champion Brewing Company. “You can always find a Champion at our house, but this beer is at the top of my list. Hunter’s beers are all great which is why we are collaborating on a special release with Champion for our new restaurant. We will grow the crops and Hunter will create a magic beer.”

2) The Steakhouse Burger at Citizen Burger Bar, served rare. “Shameless self promotion? Yes. But what is there not to like? So many great flavors in between the greatest bread in town – an Albemarle Baking Company brioche.”

3) F8 by Jake Busching Wines. “Jake’s wines are great! The F8 is not only great but the grapes are grown by my friend Carl Tinder, so knowing the farmer makes it a win and it’s really good to top it off!”

4) 434 Summer Pale Ale from Three Notch’d Brewery. “Another find in our kitchen. It is a delicious light drinking summer beer that our beer buyer, Maggie Slinkman, has made a staple at the market for the summer.”

5) Spicy Peanut Tofu at Revolutionary Soup. “This is my go-to spot for lunch when I am downtown. If I eat lunch it needs to be light and quick and Rev Soup delivers every time.”