South Street Brewery
106 W South St
Visited on December 5, 2012
A couple of weeks ago my fiancé and I ventured out to Charlottesville for a concert. We had some time to kill, so we hit up Devil’s Backbone – about a 45-minute drive out to the mountains from the small college town. After a sampler, we headed into town to try out Charlottesville’s only brewpub within the city limits – South Street Brewery.
The place is pretty simple, but pretty nice. There’s a nice long bar to pull up to, plenty of tables and booths, and even a few pieces of cushy furniture to lounge around on. Exposed red brick and dim lighting gives it a nice collegiate atmosphere without being dingy or snotty. The servers seem to know what they’re doing for the most part, and the brewers wander out from time to time to give their concoctions a sampling.
When we visited, there were around eight varieties on tap, which is right around the number I like to see. From what I tried, everything was decent, but nothing was even close to being notable. Most came off a little bit thin on both the malt backbone and the hop finishes. And a hand-pulled version of a strawberry nut brown had a metallic taste that I assume comes from kegging into stainless steel or less-than-desirable water to begin with. Of the varieties they had, my favorite was a Belgo Pale heavily featuring the citrus notes of Pacific Northwest hop varieties.
We also tried a bit of the food, ordering a plate full of nachos topped with black beans, salsa, sour cream, cheese, etc. The blue corn chips tasted a tad on the stale side to me, but the dish left both of us feeling satisfied. The rest of the menu is pretty impressive. They have a lot of locally-sourced dishes that aren’t on the cheap side. I would bet that it is a great place to come for a quality sit-down meal.