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.





Jun 23 3:52PM

Order up! Food menu is live at the Champion Tap Room! Test the wares this evening and every evening going forward. ... See moreSee less

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Jun 17 3:12PM

The CLAW showdown, benefitting the Sexual Assault Resource Agency, is TONIGHT!
A few quick notes:
- We need some time to get setup, so the taproom will be closed today until doors open at 7.
- Doors at 7, wrastlin' at 8. Come early and get a good spot for the showdown. The patio will be absolutely packed tonight.
- Beer sales will be outside only, the taproom will be closed to the public.
- We'll have two great food trucks here tonight. Spiked Food Truck with their Missile IPA brisket habanero sliders and debuting at Champion for the first time is Mexican Tacos! They'll be serving fantastic authentic Mexican goodies from tacos to tortas and more.
Come hang! This was an absolute blast last time and we are thrilled to be hosting CLAW again.
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Jun 15 2:53PM

Champion Brewing Company added an event.

Bring your pops down to the taproom this Sunday to show him a good time on the patio! Looks like the rain is going to let up by Sunday and well.. we have the perfect afternoon lined up for you and your rad dad.

From 3-7 Johnny Ghost will be here spinning some choice records and Gryffon's Aerie Farm will be grilling their to die for grass-fed beef burgers.

Doors open at 1, burgers and records start at 3. We'll have summertime favorites on tap, like Melee session IPA and True Love Mexican lager. This place'll be crawling with dads on Sunday, come bring yours!
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Jun 12 8:49PM

New label, same crushable session IPA. Coming soon! ... See moreSee less

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