G&G Bracket

Hardywood Park Wins G&G’s Southern Craft Brewery Bracket

The Richmond brewery edged Atlanta’s Scofflaw to take the top spot

After five rounds of head-to-head match-ups and with more than 300,000 votes cast, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery of Richmond, Virginia, has emerged victorious from a field of thirty-two competitors in Garden & Gun’s Southern Craft Brewery Bracket.

Hardywood edged Atlanta’s Scofflaw Brewing Co. in the championship round by just 79 votes, 5,116-5,037.

“It’s pretty thrilling to bring home a big win to Virginia,” says Eric McKay, who co-founded the brewery—one of the first in Richmond’s now-booming craft beer scene—in 2011 with childhood friend Patrick Murtaugh. “Everyone who’s enjoyed a Hardywood got behind [the voting],” Murtaugh adds.

Photo: Courtesy of Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Hardywood, based in Richmond, Virginia, opened in 2011.

The brewery’s wide-ranging lineup includes traditional offerings such as its German-style Pilsner, as well as specialty brews like its popular Gingerbread Stout, a milk stout brewed with locally sourced ginger and honey. Last Saturday, they also rolled out one of their annual beers, Foolery, an imperial milk stout aged in bourbon barrels.

In addition to their bracket win, McKay and Murtaugh have plenty more accomplishments to toast. This weekend, Hardywood will host a grand-opening celebration for their new 55,000-square-foot brewery and taproom, in the West Creek neighborhood of Richmond, about twenty minutes from their original downtown location.

The runner-up, Scofflaw, began in August 2016 with beers developed on a one-barrel brew system in co-founder Matt Shirah’s mother-in-law’s basement. Shirah and co-founder Travis Herman started out distributing primarily to bars and restaurants around Atlanta, as well as out of a taproom in Atlanta’s Westside. Driven largely by word of mouth, Scofflaw quickly made its name known with its lineup of stellar IPAs, including the aptly named Basement IPA.

Congratulations to Hardywood, and all the breweries. And thank you to all who voted.

Text by Caroline Sanders and Tom Wilmes