guest post by Ashley Glasco
My husband and I had the pleasure of visiting a local brewery, Center of the Universe, located in the southern reaches of Ashland, Virginia. With a plethora of such places in and around Richmond these days, we arrived wondering what made this place different.
A brewery is a brewery, right? Usual overpriced beers with fun names and unique tastes.
We spoke with a number of people during our endeavor, and throughout our stay learned that COTU is much more than just a building that serves beer; it is a cornerstone of the community.
Tom took us on a tour of the building, showing us the upcoming rooms for tastings and private events, older rooms along with their history, and of course the area where their beers are made! As we went through the tour, Tom’s passion for what he does became clear. Not just in the product they present, but an attitude that breathes life into a welcoming environment. From the excitement and well wishes of a young couple holding their reception to maintaining his cool while handling a malfunctioning CO2 cartridge, he is someone who has a million things going on at any given moment, but still takes time to talk with patrons on a personal level. The attitude extends to the staff who are prompt and happy to assist, even as customers overwhelmed the bar during the Saturday event we attended. There was good music playing on the jukebox, conversations amongst all types of people, and the best pinball games in town. COTU was alive and thriving with good vibes and a sense of warmth on the inside scene, and the outside was even better.
We decided to buy some food from the truck Kava Kava Gourmet. They specialize in Persian style dishes that are fused with European tastes. I ordered the Gnocchi, which consists of Italian sausage, Thai basil, sun-dried tomatoes marinated in masala wine and a marinara sauce. My husband ordered the Butternut Squash Ravioli served in a pistachio cream sauce with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Both dishes were extraordinary! The texture and taste screamed “fresh” and blended well with the sauces. The fresh parmesan gave the overall dishes a boost to perfection. The food tasted authentic, well prepared, and went above all expectations of a food truck. Make sure to pay them a visit if you see them out and about; you won’t be disappointed!
With our evening winding down along with the band, our bellies full, and our glasses almost empty, I took one last look around thinking about the name of the business. Center of the Universe is not a self-centered name based on what a mayor said about his town or a crossroads of railways near the area. It’s about a business that centers its focus on the community and the individuals within. Ultimately, the center of our universes is here in Richmond for the time being. I challenge you to come together to celebrate with a great beer and good times at Center of the Universe Brewing.
Hello there! My name is Ashley and I am a wedding and portrait photographer based in Richmond, Virginia. I am also a wife and mother and LOVE event planning! I enjoy discovering new restaurants, visiting local breweries and exploring RVA while hosting monthly Girls Night Out events. You can usually catch me with my laptop and a cup of coffee!