Weekend Pick: Illumination and More at Hardywood Park Brewery

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We are coming down the home stretch of the holiday season. This can be a tense time for a multitude of reasons. Maybe your in-laws are coming to town and you’re house is a complete wreck and your guest room is non-existent, buried under piles of dirty clothes and pizza boxes (c’mon guys, you really should clean that up). Maybe you still have some shopping left to do, or maybe you haven’t started yet. Maybe you are an anti-consumerist and have spent the past month outside Target yelling at people to stop buying stuff. Maybe you are Ebenezer Scrooge, Scrooge McDuck, or maybe you don’t really hate Christmas but feel like you have to because you have Scrooge as a middle name and need to keep up appearances.

Whatever the reason, we feel you. Christmas time can be a hard time, even unbearable, for some and even the most joyous can have moments of melancholy when they can’t find a parking spot at the shopping center, let their tree run dry, or find out THE LAST DAMN ELMO DOLL WAS SOLD 10 MINUTES AGO. But here’s the thing, this time of year is about celebrating the good things that happen despite the chaos raging all around us. It’s a time to kick back, relax, listen to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas,” and reflect on what really matters in this world.

What really matters is beer, festive lights, and possibly even some Shakespearean drinking games.

If these things matter to you – and they should – take a break from the hustle to visit Richmond’s Hardywood Park Brewery this weekend. They are pulling out all the stops for the last weekend before the big day with events on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for the beer drinking public.

The festivities kick off with a live performance by the Hot Seats. They will be playing old time, bluegrass, and stringband starting at 6pm.

The main event is Saturday’s 3rd Annual Illumination solstice celebration. The brewery will be screening the holiday classic National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on the big screen beginning at 4pm. Tribe of Soul will play a holiday set starting at 6pm, and The Green Hearts will play power chords at 7:15pm. The draft lineup will include everything under the sun from Hardywood Park Brewery including select 2013 Reserve Series beers, barrel aged stouts, holiday twists on the Russian Imperial Stout, and of course Gingerbread Stout (plus Gingerbread on nitro).

Festivities wrap on Sunday with a truly unique event: Shakesbeer at Bardywood, Part One: The Drinking Scenes. I’ll let the people in charge explain: “A company of actors will take over the brew house and play some of Shakespeare’s tipsiest scenes in and among the crowd. Come toast along with the characters, sing carols and celebrate the spirit(s) of the season. Santa gives the good children toys, but Santa gives the adults (both naughty and nice) Shakesbeer at Bardywood! So shake off your inner Scrooge with some Shakesbeer and let the revels begin!”

So….yeah, that sounds like a good time. See you there!


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