By: Mat Taylor
The Third Annual Wahoo Cup Craft Brewers Invitational returns, this year to Kindred Spirit Brewery in Goochland, VA, on September 23, 2017. The Wahoo Cup aims to increase its support for its charity partner, Children of Fallen Patriots, by adding new breweries to the competition and special edition beer which is sure to attract new fans.
The Wahoo Cup was born of an idea a couple of alumni had a UVA Club of Richmond event in 2015. Both agreed that their two favorite cities, Richmond and Charlottesville, both had blossoming craft brewery scenes. Focusing on the beer movement was a great way to inspire some friendly rivalry in Central Virginia. Isn’t there a fun way to decide which city is producing the best beer? With the backing of the UVA Club, a public competition/party was developed to pit a selected beer from each of 6 breweries against the others’ offerings in an audience-choice contest. By choosing an equal number of breweries from each city, the breweries could win the Wahoo Cup trophy on behalf of their local scene.
The first year, South Street Brewery’s Twisted Gourd pumpkin chai ale took home the trophy. In year two, host Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery wowed the crowd with its Carrot Cake Imperial Ale. Now the competition has heated up with four more breweries joining, bringing the total to 10 elite beers that the crowd can choose from to award the Cup. The event’s location moves to Kindred Spirit this year, closer to Richmond. Will there by a new hometown advantage for the RVA breweries?
With all of the fun of the Wahoo Cup, the event wouldn’t be nearly as special if not for the cause it supports. The inaugural Wahoo Cup was scheduled for the weekend before Veterans Day, so finding an organization closely allied with the needs of our soldiers, past and present, was a natural fit. Children of Fallen Patriots is a national charity based in Reston, Virginia that provides scholarships to the families of soldiers who have died in service to our country. The vision of Children of Fallen Patriots is to ensure that every child of a fallen service member receives all their necessary college funding. Since its creation in 2002, CFP has provided over $16 million in scholarship assistance to over 800 students. As CFP tells us, “every donation serves as a reminder to those families who lost a loved one defending our freedom that Americans everywhere are grateful for their sacrifice.”
Based on that worthwhile cause, Richmond and Charlottesville’ best breweries have contributed their latest and best beers for judging by Central Virginia’s beer fans. The competing breweries scheduled to appear this year include, from Charlottesville; Blue Mountain, Champion, James River, South Street and Three Notch’d. From Richmond; Ardent Craft Ales, Hardywood Park, Kindred Spirit, Lickinghole Creek and Triple Crossing. The breweries will be serving their beers, by the taste and in full pours. Attendees will vote on their favorite brew of the day with the trophy ceremony beginning at 5:00 pm. Bands and food trucks will be at Kindred Spirit all day to keep the vibe lively. The event has no cover share and is open to the beer-loving public.
But simply serving beer didn’t seem like enough to support Fallen Patriots’ efforts. Kindred Spirit owner Joe Trottier suggested he could brew up a special event beer to increase the donation. Under the guidance of KSB’s brewers, a Wahoo Cup beer is the works for September’s big day. The beer will be brewed fresh at Kindred Spirit’s West Creek Parkway location and available on tap and in bottles to take home from the September 23 event.