Starr Hill Brewery Provides a Look at its 2018 Lineup

StarrHillpourStarr Hill Brewery (Charlottesville, Virginia) sent out a press release today to officially announce its 2018 Product Calendar.

Just as we do with all brewery release calendars, we have posted Starr Hill Brewery’s full 2018 Product Calendar below so that you can go over it at your own leisure.  That said, this calendar is absolutely loaded with interesting content and we would be remiss if we did not go over a few of the highlights:

  • Starr Hill will launch Front Row Golden Ale in early 2018 as the brewery’s newest Year-Round offering.  At 4.9% ABV, “this light and refreshing beer is the perfect balance of Honey malt and Cascade hops for a smooth body and clean finish.” Front Row will initially launch on draft, “followed by six-pack [of 12 oz.] bottles, this spring with a Golden Ticket Giveaway contest” – a promotion that gives fans a chance to “enter to win concert tickets and an exclusive Front Row Tour Pack of prizes.”
  • In March 2018, the brewery will introduce its new BoomBox 8-pack of 16 oz. cans.  This mixed pack will feature Front Row Golden Ale and Northern Lights IPA (four 16 oz. cans of each), “a link to free music content, and will be available year-round.”
  • Looking Glass IPA will arrive in February as the brewery’s new Spring Seasonal.  “Loaded with notes of juicy pineapple, mango and passion fruit, this IPA packs big hop aroma and flavor with minimal bitterness.”  Looking Glass IPA will replace Reviver Red IPA in the seasonal lineup, but The Hook Grapefruit Session IPA (summer), Last Leaf Maple Brown Ale (fall) and Snow Blind Doppelbock (winter) will all return in 2018.
  • The Heavy Rotation Series, “an ongoing playlist of new beer and music”, returns in 2018 “with something fresh available in 6-packs and on draft every three months.” Next year’s lineup will include 2-Tone Vanilla Porter (January), Amber Ale (March), Hibiscus Lager (June), Festie Oktoberfest Lager (September) and Dark Starr Dry Irish Stout (December).
  • Starr Hill’s All Access Series will go draft-only in 2018.  This series will feature “old favorites and new recipes developed at the Pilot Brewery & Side Stage in Roanoke.”  Releases include Denali Double IPA (January), Berliner Weisse (March), NE-Style IPA (May), a non-IPA style Roanoke Pilot Brew (July), an IPA style Roanoke Pilot Brew (September) and Little Red Roostarr (November).

Alright, that should be everything that we wanted to cover, but there is still plenty of goodness left for you to discover on the calendar below.  Give it a good look so that you are properly prepared for another great year of beer with Starr Hill in 2018.  Prost!




Tasting Notes: Festie from Starr Hill Brewery

FestieStarr_editedNow that Oktoberfest season is in full swing, we shift the focus of Tasting Notes to the beers brewed to honor this great tradition.  First up, we take a look at Festie Oktoberfest Lager from Starr Hill Brewery (Crozet, Virginia).

Staying true to their belief that “a great playlist is all about what’s new and what’s next”, the music lovin’ souls at Starr Hill Brewery established the Heavy Rotation Series as a means “to keep fresh styles of beer coming your way.”  Festie Oktoberfest Lager has arrived as the current release in this series, and it is Starr Hill’s “tribute to the great German lager.” At 4.8% ABV, this “rich and malty” offering is meant to “[invoke] the German tradition of Oktoberfest, while also paying homage to the end of the summer music festival season.”  As an added bonus, the intentions behind this beer are further echoed with a specially curated Spotify Playlist “featuring tunes that combine flavors of folk, funk, jam band, and rock to pair perfectly with a bottle of Festie” (click here to listen).

Festie Oktoberfest Lager is out now and available throughout Oktoberfest season.  You can expect to find this Limited Release offering in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles, in the Fall Tour Variety 12-pack, and on draft at craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Virginia, and throughout the rest of Starr Hill’s distribution area.

With all of those necessary background details now out of the way, I do believe it is time to fill a glass and get our Oktoberfest on with some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Festie Oktoberfest Lager from Starr Hill Brewery

Appearance: Festie fills the glass as a rich amber-colored brew that has chestnut tones.  When held to direct light, the amber notes brighten and the color softens.  The beer is crystal clear and shows a steady carbonation presence that is doing its best to feed the finger of off-white foam that was built during the pour.  That head fades with a quickness, reducing down to a thin ring that leaves minimal spots of lace behind on the glass.

Aroma: The aromatics begin with a light caramel malt character that slowly opens to take on a nutty quality – almonds and hazelnuts.  Bready notes eventually work their way forward to round the aroma off with a clean grain presence and just a grace of sweetness.

Taste: In an unexpected twist, the flavor profile actually leads with a faintly herbal, lightly sweetened tea-like quality. Caramelized nuts then surface to bring some sweetness before a hearty, bready malt note settles in.  The classic grain character establishes itself firmly thanks to the complementing German lager yeast. The flavor closes just as it started . . . with a light wash of that herbal/tea note.

Mouthfeel: This lager is on the lighter side of medium in body with a crisp carbonation level.  It is lightly sweet on the palate, but well balanced by that touch of herbal character.  The 4.8% ABV shows no interest in playing a factor here, and that just further adds to the offering’s easy-drinking nature.  The aftertaste is just a breath of lingering nuttiness.

Final Thoughts: Overall, Festie is a very clean, delightfully approachable, and refreshingly light representation of the Oktoberfest/Märzen, but still has all the flavor one expects to find from a beer of the style.  The beer’s light body and low ABV just aids in its high level of drinkability, making it a perfect candidate to fill massive steins at Oktoberfest celebrations taking place throughout the Southeast.  If you are looking to get festive without getting (too) sloppy this Oktoberfest season, Starr Hill Brewery’s Festie Oktoberfest Lager is certainly a beer that should be in your sights.  Be sure to check it out before its limited run comes to an end.  Prost!


Starr Hill Brewery Releases 2017 Lineup Calendar

allaccessshbStarr Hill Brewery (Crozet, Virginia) offers the craft beer community a glimpse into the future with the official release of the brewery’s 2017 Lineup Calendar.

Just as we’ve done with previous posts concerning brewery release calendars, we are going to post Starr Hill Brewery’s 2017 Lineup below so that you can check it out on your own.  Before we do so, Starr Hill is going big once again this year and we need to cover a few highlights first:

  • The brewery’s All Access Series will see three new additions: Double Bass Double Chocolate Stout (January), brewed with generous cocoa additions for a mocha aroma with a bittersweet chocolate and dark fruit finish; Hop Buzz Coffee IPA (April), dry-hopped with whole coffee beans for a roasty aroma with subtle coffee flavor and citrus hops on the finish; & Resinate Imperial Red IPA (July), brewed with specialty malts for a ruby-red hue and firm maltiness, with American hops imparting citrus aroma and flavor.
  • Starr Hill’s Heavy Rotation Series will also feature three new brews: Warehouse Pils (March), a German Pilsner dry-hopped with German hops, golden in color with a mildly floral flavor and a crisp malt finish; Festie Oktoberfest Lager (September), a smooth and malty tribute to the great German Märzen, makes its awaited return to 6-packs for the first time in over four years; & Two-Tone Vanilla Porter (December), melds the aroma and flavor of real vanilla beans with the sweetness of chocolate, malt and subtle caramel notes.
  • The draft-only Debut Series will be rocking four new offerings: Scotch Ale (January), characterized by its huge malty nose and features a full, sweet palate with very little hop bitterness; Denali Double IPA (April), highlights the fruity aroma of Denali hops; Farmhouse IPA (July), blends American hops with spicy notes from the French yeast; & Russian Imperial Stout (October), for the holidays with special ingredients to be announced.
  • Arriving in February, the Spring Tour Variety Pack will be the first seasonal variety 12-pack of bottles released by the brewery in 2017.  It will feature Grateful Pale Ale, Reviver Red IPA, The Love Wheat Beer, & Warehouse Pils.

Check out the rest of the 2017 releases on the calendar available below, and settle in for another great year of craft beer from Starr Hill Brewery. Prost!