Tasting Notes: Front Row Golden Ale from Starr Hill Brewery

FrontRowbottle1000This installment of Tasting Notes provides us with a little mid-week beverage break supplied by Starr Hill Brewery (Crozet, Virginia) and its newly released Front Row Golden Ale.

Debuting this month as Starr Hill’s newest Year-Round offering, Front Row is a light and refreshing Golden Ale that finds “the perfect balance of hop bitterness and a honey-like malt body.”  Coming in at a sessionable 4.9% ABV and 20 IBUs, this accessible ale promises to keep you in the front row when “savoring life’s moments in-person and sharing the experience with others.”  Front Row Golden Ale is available now in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles and on draft at craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Virginia, and throughout the rest of Starr Hill’s distribution area.

Now that all that background information is out of the way, I do believe it is time to grab a few glasses, find a bottle opener and get into some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Front Row Golden Ale from Starr Hill Brewery

Appearance:  Front Row fills the glass with a honey-hued golden colored brew that is topped with a perfect finger of bright white head.  The beer is pristine in clarity and displays countless single file lines of carbonation streaming the length of the pour to feed the top cap.  As dutiful as that carbonation presence is, the head does dissipate down to a chunky ring that leaves behind sticky sheets of lace whenever the glass is jostled.

Aroma: A clean Pilsner presence greets the nose first with honey-filled, biscuity tones.  The malt character picks up some light caramel notes before the hops stealthily balance things out with a lovely floral presence that is laced with a tinge of citrus.

Taste:  Pils malt takes the lead again by laying down a firm base that is biscuity and lightly bready.  A light layer of caramel and a dollop of honey then work their way in to round off the malt profile.  The hops easily glide in to restrain that sweetness with a balancing presence of ruby red grapefruit and floral tones.

Mouthfeel:  Although it is light in body with a moderate carbonation level, this beer still establishes itself with a little weight and texture (no doubt thanks to the added oats).  The balance is on point, never tipping one way or the other toward sweet or hoppy.  This level of balance keeps the experience super refreshing and easy drinking.  The ABV is light and it never really efforts to make its presence known.  Overall, this beer cleans up nicely and quickly, but there is just a wisp of honey left behind in the aftertaste from time to time.

Final Thoughts:  All in all, Front Row achieves exactly what it set out to do: be an accessible, easy-drinking brew that can go anywhere and pair well with any moment.  Although it is accessible and balanced, the Cascade hops have just enough presence to give the beer a likable personality and add dimension to that light malt foundation supported by biscuity, caramel and honey notes.  It is non-distracting while still remaining memorable . . . it is coy.  It is an experience that just works in a seemingly effortless manner, and the aptly named Front Row is here to join you front and center whenever you are out enjoying all that means most in life.  Prost!


Starr Hill Brewery Adds Front Row Golden Ale to Year-Round Lineup

Front-Row-12oz-Bottle_web-2Starr Hill Brewery (Crozet, Virginia) has officially announced that Front Row Golden Ale will be introduced this month as the brewery’s newest Year-Round offering.

Developed to be an accessible beer that puts you in the front row when “savoring life’s moments in-person and sharing the experience with others”, the aptly named Front Row is a light and refreshing Golden Ale that finds “the perfect balance” between a light dose of Cascade hops and “a honey-like malt body” supplied by the sweetness of Honey malt and oats.  Weighing in at just 4.9% ABV and 20 IBUs, the easy-drinking Front Row promises a “smooth mouthfeel and clean finish” that pairs beautifully with “a local concert, the big game, or [time spent with] friends around the fire.”

Front Row is available now in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles and on draft.  You find this new Year-Round offering at craft beer-focused retailers, bars and restaurants located in Alabama, Virginia and throughout the rest of Starr Hill’s distribution footprint.  Prost!

Vital Information for Front Row from Starr Hill Brewery

Release – Year-Round, launching February 2018
Style – American Blonde Ale/Golden Ale
ABV – 4.9%
IBUs – 20
Malts – Pilsner, Oats, Caramel & Honey
Hops – Cascade 
Yeast – Ale
Suggested Food Pairings – “FOOD: Grilled Calamari  CHEESE: Monterey Jack  DESSERT: Lemon Custard Tart”

Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 16 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder – https://starrhill.com/beer-finder/


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!