Pairing Richmond Beer with a Unique Food Experience
I sat down to talk to one of the owners of District 5 and Southern Railway Taphouse on their newest endeavor, Shiplock Brewing. Shiplock Brewing is located in Shockoe Bottom, an eclectic neighborhood in downtown Richmond.
Shockoe Bottom sits just East of the city center and along the James River. It’s one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods and has seen a revival in the last twenty years. It’s the perfect location for a brewery. Shiplock Brewing just opened in December 2018, and it is already getting rave reviews on social media.
“I loved their IPA…with a Bavarian pretzel”—Matt L on Facebook.
I walked into Shiplock Brewing and immediately noticed that the beautiful space is full of modern textures and materials. It’s inviting and bright. Huge industrial windows will open to the outside, in warmer temperatures. The area also includes a surprise for visitors. A food truck is parked inside the building, adding something fun and a different twist. We all love a creative food truck menu. Well, you can enjoy this food truck during any season—on any day that the brewery is open. The truck serves lunch and dinner with a full menu of delicious options. You don’t always find a food truck parked as a permanent kitchen in a brewing company, but this fits the neighborhood and the Richmond beer vibe.
Paula: What was your inspiration for Shiplock Brewing?
Shiplock Brewing: We have been talking about starting a brewery ever since opening Southern Railway Taphouse. We got really interested in all the different breweries and the different types of beers that are being produced in Richmond. We just happened to get lucky when space became available that had all of its brewery equipment.
Paula: Are there any particular things that set Shiplock Brewing apart from your other endeavors?
Shiplock Brewing: Our brewer, James McGraw, is very passionate about brewing German-inspired beers while also offering other styles of Richmond favorites such as IPAs and porters. We have tried to offer a little something for everyone here. We have a full ABC license for those who don’t care for beer.
McGraw also brews sodas for kids or adults searching for a non-alcohol option. Shiplock offers both an orange soda and a root beer. Both sodas can be served as floats too.
The brewery offers a family-friendly experience, including a varied menu of food options.
Paula: Virginia is seeing a trend of including food in the brewery experience. Tell us about your Food Truck menu.
Shiplock Brewing: Anybody that visits should be able to find something that they like and enjoy. Shiplock offers a variety of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and fresh pizza. We also have vegetarian options and even have a gluten-free pizza crust made with cauliflower that is really good.
Paula: What made you decide to put a food truck inside the building?
Shiplock Brewing: We tried to do a humorous take on the Richmond beer scene. Many of the Richmond breweries bring food trucks in on certain days to feed their customers. Most breweries in Richmond do not offer food from their own truck. We thought it would be funny.
Paula: We agree! As soon as Dine Wine & Stein heard that you are introducing a food truck to your indoor environment, we knew that we needed to write a story. Your menu sealed the idea. It indeed has something for every visitor.
Paula: Is there anything else you would like to share with people about Shiplock Brewing?
Shiplock Brewing: We would like for people to come and check us out, see the space, try our beers and hopefully enjoy themselves.
While visiting, I was able to sample several of their menu options. My favorite was the Fried Green Tomatoes with house-made Pimento Cheese. I paired this Southern favorite with the Belgian Triple.
The brewing also pours several IPA’s and a Winter Ale—all pair nicely with a food truck pizza. And their pizza is fantastic. It’s a combination of the toppings and the wood-fire oven.
The menu also includes burgers, tacos, wings. Just about anything that you desire while enjoying a cold brew.
This Richmond family knows food so; I have one last question….
Paula: Can you tell me about The Annex?
Shiplock Brewing: We are opening a new restaurant in the Fan district in early 2019. It’s a quaint Tex-Mex spot with a broad range of Tequilas and a homey atmosphere.
Do not miss the opportunity to try this Richmond brewery. The fun vibe is contagious. Both the team and space are inviting. Richmond is full of wonderful places and neighborhoods. I suggest a visit to Shockoe Bottom and Shiplock Brewing this weekend.
Another great place to visit in Richmond for fun craft beverages is Scotts Addition.