Backstage with Richmond’s Brewery Boom


Talk about arduous research. I got to write an article for River City Magazine about the symbiotic relationship between Richmond’s breweries and bands. Lots of boozy fun was had, and I’m super-duper excited to share the results — click here to check it out over at Richmond Navigator’s site.

I wanted to say thanks to a few people who helped me put this together: Lee Graves of the Bluz Catz (author of Richmond Beer: A History of Brewing in the River City), Cheyenne Burnham at Strangeways, David Hunter of the Fredds Unplugged (founder of the Fans of Virginia Craft Breweries group), and bassist Brian Cruse, who I got to see twice at Hardywood.

The first time I saw Cruse, I picked up a CD copy of Con Legno, an album released in 2013 that’s credited to Brian Cruse & the J.Smith Trio. While I’m incredibly attached to those tunes and would recommend them highly (and have posted two of them below), I’m just as thrilled about the new album he’s releasing under the B-Snaptet banner. The group is doing a pre-release celebration tomorrow evening at Crossroads Coffee, and an official release party at Hardywood next Friday. If you’re a jazz fan, I’d consider these can’t-miss events. I had a chance to listen to the new record and it’s excellent. More coverage to come on that.

For now, enjoy the Con Legno tracks below, have a look at the River City article, and then hit up one of Richmond’s breweries for some locally produced hooch. You’ll be supporting the RVA economy, and you might even find a new favorite jazz ensemble.

Brian Cruse & the J.Smith Trio — “Con Legno” [Spotify/iTunes]

Brian Cruse & the J.Smith Trio — “Stir Fry” [Spotify/iTunes]

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