Hardywood and VMFA Debut Forbidden Ale

Forbidden beer is available October 4

Richmond’s Hardywood Park Craft Brewery and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts partnered to brew a special beer in honor of the coming exhibition, Forbidden City: Imperial Treasures from the Palace Museum, Beijing, on view October 18, 2014 – January 11, 2015.

The Belgian white ale is infused with Asian dragon fruit, a first for the brewery, and will be available on October 4 at a special launch event at 2 p.m. at Hardywood. The local band Arizal created an original jazz score for the release event. A week later, the beer will be available on-site at the brewery, and at VMFA’s Best Café and Amuse Restaurant, Whole Foods, Shields Market, and other local markets.

“We wanted to focus on creating a beer that would bring elements from the realm of the Forbidden City,” Hardywood Head Brewer Brian Nelson said. “Although peculiar looking, dragon fruit lends a pleasant sweet flavor and subtle aroma. In a Belgian white ale, dragon fruit complements the wheat overtones in the ale and changes the color to a bright pink.

“Peculiar and interesting indeed, much like the Forbidden City,” he said.

This is the first time the museum has worked closely with a brewery and is the beginning of several partnerships supporting the Forbidden City exhibition. A four-day culinary event Fire, Flour & Fork begins October 30 and celebrates the best the Richmond region has to offer, including complex history, its rich artistic community and its established and rising culinary stars. VMFA Chef Greg Haley will team with Peter Chang on November 1 for a sold-out event. Their creations will inspire Amuse’s food and beverage menu for the run of Forbidden City, including a cocktail featuring the Forbidden beer. Additionally, Spike Communications has partnered with VMFA to develop and execute the creative marketing and advertising campaign, which includes the Forbidden beer label.

About the Forbidden City
The Palace Museum is located in the center of Beijing on the site of what was once the imperial palace, known as the Forbidden City. The residence was home to 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties from 1420 until the last emperor in 1924. The Palace Museum is the largest art museum in China and the largest palace in the world. Established in 1925, the Palace Museum holds more than 1.8 million works of art and artifacts, many of which are either on view in the palace halls or featured in special exhibitions in the palace. In 1987, the Palace Museum was listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO, and it attracted more than 14 million visitors from China and abroad in 2013.

About Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Founded in 2011 by two lifelong friends with a passion for craft beer, Hardywood Park is proud to be a member of the thriving craft beer scene in Richmond, Va. Being environmentally and socially responsible is a core value for Hardywood Park, with all power sourced from renewable energy sources. Hardywood also employs high efficiency equipment, which helps minimize water usage at the brewery, recycles its residual grain for composting and feed, uses 100% recycled packaging, uses reclaimed and sustainably “TreeCycled” wood for furniture, fixtures, tap handles and coasters. After two full years in business, Hardywood’s beer have earned a 2012 World Beer Cup medal, three Virginia Beer Cup medals, a 2013 Style Weekly Best in Show accolade, a 2013 Virginia Living Magazine Best in Virginia award, a prefect 100 score by Beer Advocate Magazine, and seven of its beers currently rank in the world for their respective style based on BeerAdvocate.com user reviews. The company was awarded the 2013 Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce Business Council Business of the Year Award for the City of Richmond. Hardywood currently distributes in central and northern Virginia, and Washington, D.C. To learn more about Hardywood, visit hardywood.com

About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
With a collection of art that spans the globe and more than 5,000 years, plus a wide array of special exhibitions, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) is recognized as one of the top comprehensive art museums in the United States. The museum’s permanent collection encompasses more than 23,000 works of art, including the largest public collection of Fabergé outside Russia and one of the nation’s finest collections of American Art, Art Nouveau and Art Deco. VMFA is home to acclaimed collections of English Silver and Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, British Sporting and Modern and Contemporary art, as well as renowned South Asian, Himalayan and African art. In May 2010, VMFA opened its doors to the public after a transformative expansion, the largest in its 75-year history. Programs include educational activities and studio classes for all ages, plus fun after-hours events. VMFA’s Statewide Partnership program includes traveling exhibitions, artist and teacher workshops, and lectures across the Commonwealth. VMFA is open 365 days a year and general admission is always free. For additional information, telephone 804.340.1400 or visit www.vmfa.museum.

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