Starr Hill Brewing Company
5391 3 Notch’d Road
Visited on July 1, 2012
Driving back from a concert in Richmond, I managed to talk my ever patient fiancé into stopping at a brewery. Well, slightly patient. I mean she does enjoy all of these shenanigans too. The brewery that was most on the way back was Starr Hill. And what worked out even better is that they don’t have food, which we didn’t want, since we had just had an amazing brunch in Richmond.
Starr Hill is in a funny kind of spot. It’s large, brick building is on a semi-major road of a very small town outside of Charlottesville. It’s basically a warehouse, which makes sense since it is the spot where they actually brew their beer. There’s not much of a “tap room” to speak of – it’s more like a square bar set down in the middle of a giant room.
Their beers aren’t bad. I found most of the offerings to lack a large amount of depth or complexity. They did have some interesting offerings, like a beer based off of a recipe found at Thomas Jefferson’s historical estate Monticello.
That particular brew should have stayed buried.
Even their Imperial IPA lacked a certain bit of depth and impressiveness. I was fully prepared to walk away with a growler full of something, but nothing really struck my fancy. Don’t get me wrong, they are all solid and quality beers. It’s just that there are plenty of other offerings out there I’d rather be drinking. I’d pick up a six pack of Sam Adams or Sierra Nevada before one of Starr Hill, despite the non-locality.
The one caveat – their Vienna style lager Jomo. That’s a pretty good German lager, which you don’t find many of around this country. Plenty of places try, but few come up with the flavors accurately portrayed by Jomo. Come to think of it, their stout and amber are pretty tasty as well. It’s just the pales and IPAs I found to be disappointing.
Oh, and the tasting and regular tour are free. That’s also a good caveat. Love a place that hands out free beer!
Total: 65 (out of 80)