by Charles McGuigan
Final Gravity, on September 16, celebrated its second full revolution around the sun with a day of food, music, and, of course, Tony Ammendolia’s award-winning craft beers brewed on Lakeside Avenue in Richmond’s North Side.
Throughout the day, until early evening, hundreds gathered inside the brewery at the Lakeside Towne Center, and many hundreds more enjoyed the event behind the brewery, where there were two premium food trucks—Go Go Vegan Go and Curbside Creations—dishing out fine cuisine, along with music provided by DJ’s PJ Sykes and Melissa Koch, and Mighty Joshua, an independent reggae artist.
Throughout the day, people sampled a number of Final Gravity’s special limited releases, including, Foggy Notion, Gold Foil, and, my particular favorite, Dark Matter, but they could also quaff some of the brewery’s long enduring favorites like Stepping Stone, Venus Rising, and The Doppler Effect.
There were also guest taps available from other craft beer breweries including Ardent Craft Ales, Triple Crossing Brewing, The Answer Brewpub, among others.
Final Gravity also sold a limited (200 bottles) first-time bottle release of a Brett wheat ale, along with a limited release of 100 Boom box Spaceman 16-ounce glasses.
I caught up with owner and master brewer Tony Ammendolia as he moved through the crowd, playing host to hundreds. He who very pleased with the amount of people who have joined the celebration, and thankful for the many volunteers who helped him host the event. “I couldn’t have done it without them,” he said.
The success of Henrico’s first microbrewery was almost instantaneous. From the time Tony tapped his first keg, customers appeared. Four years before Final Gravity opened, there was Original Gravity, the beer-brewing and wine-making shop, which is still an integral part of the business.
Now, with the increased volume of his brewery business, Tony plans to expand his operation once again, renting yet another space in Peter Francisco’s Lakeside Towne Center.
“With the amount of people we’re serving at the brewery, we sometimes don’t give our home-brewing customers the attention they deserve,” Tony told me.
To that end, sometime before the holidays, Tony plans to take over 6116-B Lakeside Avenue, right next door to the brewery, which is currently part of Pass It On Consignment. Home-brewing and wine-making supplies will be sold out of that storefront, under the banner of Original Gravity, giving Final Gravity Brewing the additional space it desperately needs.
“We keep expanding when we need to,” Tony said.
Final Gravity/Original Gravity
11-7, Tues & Wed; Thurs, 11-9; Fri &Sat 10-9; Sun, 11-6
6118 Lakeside Avenue
Richmond, VA 23228