Random Row Brewing Company
608 Preston Ave A
Visited on April 15, 2017
Is there anything harder than, after a night of drinking and enjoying life until 3:00 am in the morning, pulling yourself out of bed at the crack of noon to go drink some more? Of course there is – I’m not an idiot – but that’s how my trip to Random Row with my wife started on this particular Saturday morning.
First off, if you happen to be in the same predicament, I heartily encourage you to stop by Bodo’s Bagels beforehand. The line may be crazy, but the bagels are well worth it. And nothing helps a hangover like a shitton of carbs.
Okay, maybe more beer does.
Random Row is up a small hill and kind of tucked away around the corner of a random brick building just outside the mall of downtown Charlottesville. The brewery is reminiscent of many similar establishments inside of old industrial brick buildings. Concrete floors, a long wooden bar, lots of long tables and a row of brewing equipment in the back inside of a slightly dark atmosphere. It’s nice – just not unique by any means.
I’m assuming the food truck game here is pretty decent, as when we walked in there was a gentleman under a folding tent cooking waffles and breakfast meats for the patrons. I would have grabbed some had I not been stuffed of bagel.
As for the beer, it was pretty solid. The first beer I tasted out of the sampler, however, was spectacular. The Hill Golden Lager is everything you want in a German lager. It was clean and crisp, and you could taste the grains along with a slight note of sulfur from the yeast.
After that, I was eager to get my hands on the rest of the flight…but nothing stood out nearly as much afterward. The IPAs were fine. There was some stronger imperial stouts and a Belgian triple. Again, all pretty good, just nothing with the same wow factor.
And then there was the “Would You Be Mine?” beer. A collaboration with Three Notch’d Brewing up the road, it was described as a “Preston” style IPA. I’ve never heard of a Preston style IPA. Sounds like bullshit to me.
It had a very interesting flavor to it – something that almost tasted like anise or black licorice. I’m not entirely sure it was supposed to be there. When I called over the bartender to ask about it, he struggled for a bit before looking the beer up on his computer and simply saying that it was brewed with Scottish ale yeast.
Yeah, bro, I’ve had plenty of beers brewed with Scottish ale yeast, and that ain’t the reason for this flavor profile. Deducting points on having bartenders that don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about.
Total: 64 (of 80)