11.29: Champion Hires Ken Rayher as Richmond Taproom Brewer

Champion Brewing Company announced today the addition of two linchpins to its new Richmond operation. Ken Rayher, formerly of Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, will be Champion’s Richmond Taproom brewer, and Cary Carpenter, formerly of The Whiskey Jar in Charlottesville, will manage the bar. The new brewpub, due to open at the end of this year, will be at 401 E. Grace Street, in the former Aurora space in downtown Richmond.

“We’re excited to have Ken join the Champion team, and to have Cary making the move to Richmond to manage the taproom. Our expansion into downtown Richmond is greatly enhanced by the team we’ve been fortunate enough to attract,” said Hunter Smith, founder of Champion.

Ken Rayher

Ken Rayher

Rayher, a Roanoke native who has lived in Richmond for more than 17 years, won a Great American Beer Festival silver medal for his Grosse Teufel, a Lichtenhainer weisse brewed under Hardywood’s Brewer and Artist series in 2016 and contributed to the recipe for Hardywood’s flagship pils, a gold medal winner in the Virginia Craft Brewer’s Cup in 2015.  “I’ve always been a fan of Champion’s passion and commitment, not just to brewing but to music, culture, and the collaborative spirit that comes through in the finished product. I think the Taproom is going to be a great fit for Richmond’s creative culture,” said Rayher.

Cary Carpenter has been a fixture in Charlottesville’s restaurant scene, with stints at Parallel 38 and the Charlottesville Champion Taproom, as well as being a former partner in The Whiskey Jar. Carpenter’s move to Richmond coincided with the Champion opportunity. “The Richmond food and drink culture is especially exciting with more than 10 craft breweries and cideries within the city limits,” said Carpenter.

As announced in August, 2016, the taproom will feature a sandwich and taco menu offered by chefs Jason Alley and Michele Jones of Pasture and Comfort restaurants.





Feb 9 4:49AM

We are thrilled to present a rare opportunity to see the Albemarle Ensemble wind quintet perform at our humble taproom. The quintet will be performing inside the taproom, starting around 6:30. Free to all!

The Albemarle Ensemble has been in residence at the University of Virginia since 1987. A wind quintet, the group has performed throughout the Eastern United States, including at Carnegie Hall. The ensemble received a Virginia Commission for the Arts grant for educational programs and several other grants for recording and touring projects. The five members of the ensemble serve as Principals of The Charlottesville Symphony at the University of Virginia as well as members of the Music Performance Faculty at the University.

Flute: Kelly Sulick
Oboe: Kelly Peral
Clarinet: Shawn Earle
Horn: Katy Ambrose
Bassoon: Elizabeth Roberts

Feb 22 6:30PM
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2/22: Albemarle Ensemble Wind Quintet at Champion!

Feb 7 2:50PM

Ready the limes, True Love season is imminent. ... See moreSee less

Ready the limes, True Love season is imminent.

Feb 1 5:40PM


EYEHATEGOD (New Orleans legends)
CRO-MAGS (NYHC legends)
BUZZOV-EN (NC and beyond)

In CHARLOTTESVILLE at Champion Brewing Company!

Outdoor show, rain or shine. No Outside Booze, Period!
Thursday March 29th 2018
6PM Doors // 7PM Sounds
$10 // All Ages

The heavy showcases at Champion just got a whole notch crazier when New Orleans sludge legends EYEHATEGOD and NY hardcore legends CRO-MAGS both play their debut Charlottesville shows (as far as we know). In the tradition of Mike IX and John Joseph, Kirk Lloyd will also be in attendance fronting the maniacal special guests and legends in their own right, BUZZOV-EN!! This event also marks the first time that the Charlottesville location has teamed up with RVA-based SLIMEHOLE PRODUCTIONS to curate a gig together after working together since late Summer in Richmond. Tickets are cheaper than anywhere else you'll see this tour and they'll be available at the door and on-sale online FRIDAY 2/2. A legendary show the likes of which Charlottesville has not seen - prepare yourself!!

Mar 29 7:00PM
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3/29: EyeHateGod, Cro Mags, & Buzzov-en at Champion C-ville!


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Wait what. Cville? Holy shit!!!

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