Tasting Notes: Looking Glass IPA from Starr Hill Brewery

SHBLookingGlassPour600_editedThis week’s installment of Tasting Notes finds us reflecting on the India Pale Ale style as we take a long look at Looking Glass IPA from Starr Hill Brewery (Crozet, Virginia).

Currently serving as Starr Hill’s 2018 Spring Seasonal, Looking Glass IPA is a fruity India Pale Ale that sources pronounced “notes of juicy pineapple, mango and passion fruit” from an impressive hop bill comprised of Galaxy, Citra, Mosaic and Columbus hops.  Although Looking Glass (6.5% ABV, 40 IBUs) is packed with a “big hop aroma and flavor”, it remains incredibly easy-drinking “with minimal bitterness.”

Looking Glass IPA is available now and will hang around through April 2018.  You can expect to find this Seasonal brew available in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles and on draft at select craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Virginia and throughout the rest of Starr Hill’s distribution footprint.

Now that the background data has been properly presented, let’s gaze deeply into the Looking Glass and lose ourselves in some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Looking Glass IPA from Starr Hill Brewery

Appearance:  Slightly hazy in appearance, this IPA presents itself as a pale golden in color with just over a finger of bubbly white foam resting on top.  When held to direct light, the golden tones take on a bit of a soft orange hue.  Although hazy, the beer avoids being ridiculously cloudy and allows the drinker to see the tiny carbonation bubbles hard at work within.  Head retention is good, falling gradually to a lasting cap that leaves an intricate web of lace behind on the glass.

Aroma:  A strong tropical wave hits the nose first with a crash of pineapple and mango.  Grapefruit zest and orange juice act as a solid foundation for those tropical notes and the hops close out with just a grace of pine.  Malts lie underneath with a subtly sweet presence of clean grain.  Mighty juicy and oh-so pleasant.

Taste:  That juiciness carries over onto the palate as Looking Glass basically comes across as a fruit bowl of mango, passion fruit, grapefruit and pineapple blended into a base of sweet orange juice.  The zest of various citrus fruits and a touch of resinous pine then surface to cut the fruitiness at the perfect moment.  The malts and yeast mingle throughout the experience to add some balancing sweetness, but otherwise they are not really players in this game.  The hops are the star, and they flex their ability to provide both a fruit-laden flavor and a subdued but present level of bitterness.

Mouthfeel:  Falling on the lighter side of medium in body with a moderate carbonation, this IPA provides an experience that is quite smooth and easy drinking.  It is nicely balanced and dry, but there is a sharp – but not harsh – jab of bitterness that creeps in near the finish.  The ABV does bring a bit of warmth to the throat at times, but it is not at all out of hand.  The aftertaste is a lingering presence of orange juice with a twist of pineapple.

Final Thoughts:  What we have here is middle ground. Looking Glass IPA has found a comfortable spot somewhere between classic American IPAs and those newfangled hazy brews that everyone is so gaga over these days.  Sure, it definitely has some characteristics of the New England/Hazy IPA: a slightly hazy appearance, a good amount of balance, and a serious burst of tropical juiciness sourced from a sublime hop bill.  With that said, it is not so hazy/cloudy/muddy that it comes across as a tall pour of orange juice in a fancy glass.  It still retains a semblance of that invigorating hop bite that many of us long for when we see the letters “IPA” or the words “India Pale Ale”.  It is there in middle.  It is a balanced and juicy not-so-filtered American IPA.  It is a more bitter, less hazy New England-style IPA.  It is the neutral ground between the two where fans of either style can come together and discuss their allegiances (like adults) over a beer that appeals to both of them.  Now that we are at a point where we are altering and adding style guidelines to accommodate changing tastes and preferences, Looking Glass IPA serves as a much-needed place to discuss where we have been and where we will go in this ever-evolving, hop-fueled realm of craft beer.  It sparks a conversation and I can certainly get behind that.  Be sure to check this one out before its Seasonal run comes to a close at the end of April.  Prost!

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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/

Tasting Notes: Chipotle Double Bass from Starr Hill Brewery

SHBChipotle1000.jpgFor this week’s installment of Tasting Notes, we unwrap a Box of Chocolates from Starr Hill Brewery (Charlottesville, Virginia) to enjoy some Chipotle Double Bass Double Chocolate Stout as a holiday treat.

Not too long ago, we brought you news of Starr Hill Brewery’s intentions to treat the craft beer community to its Box of Chocolates Stout Pack containing variants of its fan-favorite Double Bass Double Chocolate Stout.  To create this collection of liquid indulgence, the brewers at Starr Hill infused Double Bass “with all-natural ingredients including organic peppermint leaves, smoke-dried jalapeño peppers, and locally roasted whole coffee beans.”  The results were stellar, and Double Bass Double Chocolate Stout, Peppermint Double Bass, Chipotle Double Bass and Mocha Double Bass (three 12 oz. bottles of each) earned their place in a Mixed 12-pack that is guaranteed to satisfy the sweet tooth of any craft beer fan.  The Box of Chocolates Stout Pack was officially released in mid-November in limited quantities, but there are still a few packs floating around at select beer retailers located within Starr Hill Brewery’s distribution area.  (hint, hint . . . A Box of Chocolates Stout Pack would make for an amazing holiday gift if you are still out there scrambling for ideas)

To keep this post from being a novel-length read, we decided to sit down with all four Box of Chocolate offerings and pick an office favorite to feature in this week’s Tasting Notes.  Since all four Double Bass beers proved to be damn tasty, this was a difficult task that we took incredibly seriously.  Maybe too seriously.  There was much deliberation and disagreement . . . words were said . . . non-holiday appropriate gestures were exchanged . . . palates were challenged . . .  things got weird and borderline violent . . . but we eventually came to an agreement that Chipotle Double Bass has earned the spotlight.  With that now resolved, let’s get to those Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Chipotle Double Bass from Starr Hill Brewery

Appearance: Nearly black, Chipotle Double Bass is actually the darkest of browns in color.  When held to direct light, this is fully confirmed as dark cola and caramel tones push through at the top and bottom of the glass.  Even so, the beer remains completely opaque and its carbonation level is not visible.  The pour produced a solid finger of brown sugar-colored head that has decent retention.  The foam eventually falls to a thin ring that leaves behind some spotty lacing.

Aroma:  The OG Double Bass Double Chocolate Stout is alive and well here with defined notes of dark chocolate, dark roast coffee and vanilla showing up big out of the gate.  The chipotle subtly moves in with a good deal of smoke, peppery heat and just a touch of green veggie presence.  As soon as those aromas hit your nose, there is no denying that you want a sip.

Taste:  The chipotle certainly finds its footing in the flavor with pleasant, nicely developed notes of smoke and heat.  More smoke than heat really . . . and it is lovely.  Chocolate, coffee and roasted malt tones turn up in timely fashion to tame the heat and support the smoke.  The flavor profile eventually closes with a soothing presence of vanilla and cocoa.

Mouthfeel:  Medium in body with a medium carbonation level, this brew has a solid weight to it but avoids being too heavy, overbearing or sticky.  It is mostly sweet on the palate, but the chipotle actually lends a hand in creating a nice balance.  There is a slight tingle of heat on the throat . . . from the peppers.  The ABV, on the other hand, is well hidden and incredibly tame for 7.8%.  The aftertaste is a little smoke, some vanilla, and touch of peppery spice.

Final Thoughts:  “Composed.” “Complex.” “Entrancing.” “Tempting.” “Sexy AF” (told you things got weird).  These are just a few of the many descriptors that were thrown around while we discussed Chipotle Double Bass, and they are all dead on.  When you are dealing with an ingredient as powerful as chipotles, it is so easy to end up with an unrefined experience completely dominated by one note.  Not at all the case here.  Double Bass Double Chocolate Stout’s original characteristics of dark chocolate, mocha and vanilla are all here to be placed gently alongside that chipotle.  Hell, even the chipotle has a crazy amount of depth with distinguishable, stand-alone levels of gorgeous smoke and reserved heat.  The chipotles absolutely make their presence known, but they never push the boundaries, get out of hand or bully the notes that are found at the soul of Double Bass.  The base beer and the featured ingredient both end up with equal billing, resulting in an experience that is notable and praise-worthy.  Seriously, you need to check out Chipotle Double Bass and the rest of the variants found in Starr Hill’s Box of Chocolates Stout Pack while you still have the chance.  Make it happen.  Prost!

Starr Hill Brewery to Release Box of Chocolates Stout Pack

Box of Chocolates Pack_editedStarr Hill Brewery (Charlottesville, Virginia) announced today that it will begin the limited release of Box of Chocolates Stout Pack, a variety 12-pack containing Double Bass Double Chocolate Stout and three of its variants, on November 15.

First introduced at the start of 2017 as a part of Starr Hill Brewery’s All Access Series, the original Double Bass Double Chocolate Stout quickly achieved fan favorite status thanks to its “massive additions of cocoa [that bring] forward aromas of dark chocolate, mocha and vanilla.”  Looking back at that first release, the folks at Starr Hill realized this 7.8% ABV Imperial Stout had limitless potential as a base beer that could carry a plethora of other flavors and ingredients.  Since they have experienced success with the Four Kings IPA Pack that features variants of their King of Hop Imperial IPA, why not give Double Bass a similar platform with the release of Box of Chocolates Stout Pack?

This new variety 12-pack will consist of Double Bass Double Chocolate Stout and three variants that have been “infused with all-natural ingredients including organic peppermint leaves, smoke-dried jalapeño peppers, and locally roasted whole coffee beans” (three bottles of each beer in each pack).  For a little more information on these brews, here are the official names and descriptions for all four offerings that will be included in the Box of Chocolates Stout Pack:

  • Double Bass Double Chocolate Stout – This rich imperial stout is all about malt and chocolate. Aromas of dark chocolate, mocha and vanilla arise from cocoa additions. Robust bittersweet chocolate and dark fruit lead into a smooth finish.
  • Peppermint Double Bass – Bittersweet aromas arise from cocoa additions while fresh mint and chocolate notes lead into a smooth finish.
  • Chipotle Double Bass – Bittersweet aromas arise from cocoa additions while smoked pepper and chocolate notes lead into a smooth finish.
  • Mocha Double Bass – Bittersweet and roasted aromas arise from cocoa additions while coffee and chocolate notes lead into a smooth finish.

“With the great response we received from our Four Kings IPAs, we thought our Double Bass Double Chocolate Stout would be a great complementary base beer to take this idea in a new direction,” said Starr Hill Brewmaster, Robbie O’Cain. “Box of Chocolates is arriving just in time for the holiday season and will be a perfect pairing for festive desserts and winter gatherings.”

The Box of Chocolates Stout Pack will first debut in the Starr Hill Brewery Tap Room in Crozet, Virginia on Wednesday, November 15 and then enter distribution in mid-November.  You can expect to find limited quantities of Box of Chocolates available in 12-packs of 12 oz. bottles and on draft at exclusive craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Virginia, and throughout the rest of Starr Hill’s distribution footprint. Prost!

Box of Chocolates Lineup

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!

 

Tasting Notes: The Love from Starr Hill Brewery

LoveCan1000This week’s Tasting Notes brings it in for the real thing as we experience The Love Wheat Beer from Starr Hill Brewery (Charlottesville, Virginia).

The Love comes to us by way of Starr Hill’s new Summer Jam Can Variety Pack, the brewery’s first ever mixed 16-pack of 12 oz. cans (click here for more details).  This established, Year-Round offering is a German Hefeweizen that “is distinguished by its extremely light body and fruity aroma, finished with spicy notes.”  At just 5.1% ABV and 9 IBUs, The Love is an easy-drinking, approachable beer that is a fantastic go-to for any occasion or season.  You can find The Love in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles, in the Summer Jam Can Variety Pack and on draft at craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Virginia and throughout the rest of Starr Hill Brewery’s distribution area.

Alright, let’s get into some Tasting Notes and see what The Love is all about!

Tasting Notes for The Love Wheat Beer from Starr Hill Brewery

Appearance: The Love hits the glass as a hazy, golden rod-colored brew topped with nearly two fingers of pure white, pillowy foam.  Held to the light, a myriad of yellows, from light straw to deep gold, burst forth.  The body holds its haze, but a lively carbonation presence can be seen working hard within.  The head has fantastic retention, and that foam leaves behind some impressive, chunky lace patterns whenever the beer is jostled.

Aroma: Just as they should, banana and clove are the first notes to waft from the glass.  Hearty wheat provides a solid, grain-based backbone.  A grace of bubblegum develops before the profile closes with a refreshing breeze of lemon zest.

Taste:  The yeast is hard at work here as well with clove and other light phenols leading the way.  An earthy and floral character develops to work beautifully alongside the wheat malts and a light spice note.  Citrus tones brighten things up a bit before the beer settles in for a very satisfying finish filled with ripe banana.

Mouthfeel: This brew is medium in body with a bright carbonation level.  This provides an experience that is wonderfully light and crisp on the palate.  The ABV can be located if you go looking, but it has very little intention to make itself known.  Aftertaste is minimal, but a little bit of banana and bubblegum does hang around from time to time.

Final Thoughts:   Full disclosure – this is not my first experience with this beer and it certainly will not be my last.  The Love impressed me a long time ago when a first sip emphatically read as a German Hefeweizen.  I know what the label description says, but I have had a good amount of encounters with American takes on the style that left me disappointed or wanting more.  Not the case with The Love.  This beer proudly possesses that needed and showcased balance between the wheat foundation and the playful yeast character.  Then we have the citrus qualities that bring it all together to result in an approachable, refreshing offering that we all long for after a hot and humid summer day. The folks at Starr Hill did a fantastic job with this beer, and it is clear that they did their homework before placing the word “German” anywhere on the label.  That’s respect, and it shows in each and every pour of The Love.  Well done.  Prost!

Starr Hill Brewery Releases Summer Jam Can Variety Pack

starrhillSummerJamStarr Hill Brewery (Charlottesville, Virginia) has officially announced the launch of Summer Jam as the brewery’s first ever variety 16-pack of 12 oz. cans.

To give their fans a more easily accessible option so that they may enjoy Starr Hill beers at this summer’s music festivals, barbeques and pool parties, the brewery has united a selection of warm weather brews in the newly released Summer Jam Can Variety Pack.  This variety 16-pack will consist of four 12 oz. cans of each of the following summer-worthy brews:

  • Remastered Grateful Pale Ale – “A fresh spin on the American Pale Ale. This remastered recipe gives Grateful a fruitier hop aroma, more citrus hop flavor and a smoother, fuller body.”  ABV – 4.7%  IBUs – 45
  • The Hook Grapefruit Session IPA – “The tart freshness of grapefruit perfectly complements this full-flavored beer’s bright citrus hop character, while its sessionable body brings you back for more.”  ABV – 4.9%  IBUs – 38
  • The Love Wheat Beer – “The Love is an unfiltered wheat beer, also known as a Hefeweizen. It is distinguished by its extremely light body and fruity aroma, finished with spicy notes.”  ABV – 5.1%  IBUs – 9
  • Warehouse Pils – “In celebration of the Dave Matthews Band 25th Anniversary show, we’ve brewed a special beer: a German Pilsner is dry-hopped with German hops, golden in color with a mildly floral flavor and a crisp malt finish. It’s perfect for those warm spring days–this we admit tastes so good.”  ABV – 5.5%  IBUs – 20

“We’re thrilled to release this unique package as our first can variety pack just in time for summer,” says Jack Goodall, Marketing Manager at Starr Hill Brewery. “As the temperatures rise and craft beer fans hit the road for their own summer tours, these cans are the perfect companion for any outdoor adventure.”

Always proud of their musical roots, “the Starr Hill team has also curated a collaborative Spotify playlist of their favorite songs” to pair with the beers of Summer Jam and all of your endless summertime adventures.  Check out the free, two-hour playlist by clicking here.

The Summer Jam Can Variety Pack is out now and available throughout the summer months.  You can find this mixed 16-pack of 12 oz. cans at fine craft beer retailers located in Alabama, Virginia and throughout the rest of Starr Hill Brewery’s distribution footprint.  Prost!

Tasting Notes: Grateful Pale Ale from Starr Hill Brewery

GratefullabelAlways grateful for another amazing week, we show our thanks by having a look at the newly “Remastered” version of Grateful Pale Ale from Starr Hill Brewery (Charlottesville, Virginia).

Not too long ago, we hit you with the news that Starr Hill Brewery had “Remastered” a classic by updating the recipe for their Grateful Pale Ale.  The brewers decided to take Grateful back in the direction of an American Pale Ale instead of a Session IPA.  The beer was tweaked so that it would carry a fuller mouthfeel to support “a revamped hop bill [featuring] Cascade, Mosaic, Centennial and Falconer’s Flight.”  Thanks to hop-bursting techniques, Grateful Pale Ale now has enhanced aroma and flavor profiles that have been carefully balanced by the beer’s sturdier malt backbone.  Grateful Pale Ale – Remastered is available now in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 12 oz. cans, and on draft at craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Virginia and throughout the rest of Starr Hill’s distribution area.

Now that the particulars are out of the way, let’s really see what these changes are all about by getting into some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Grateful Pale Ale – Remastered from Starr Hill Brewery

Appearance: Grateful Pale Ale pours up a soft golden in color with a little over a finger of white foam resting on top.  Held to the light, bright yellows gain vibrancy, push forward and dominate the color.  Despite a slight chill haze, the body is clear and shows off a vivacious carbonation presence.  The head recedes quickly to a fluffy ring that successfully lays down a complete sheet of lace on one side of the glass.

Aroma:  Lemon and orange zest make themselves known first with a very fresh floral tone following closely behind.  This opens a bit further to expose a bit of grassiness and grapefruit.  This fresh and citrusy aromatic profile just screams of refreshment and clean hop goodness.

Taste: Right off the sip, citrus gets all up on the palate with big notes of grapefruit, orange and tangerine (zest and juice).  That floral and grassy earthiness turns up here as well to break things up a bit.  All of this hop character eventually gives way to a softly sweet malt layer.  The malts are nondescript in flavor, adding just enough sweetness for balance.

Mouthfeel:  This Pale Ale is medium in body with a medium carbonation level.  The beer has good weight to it, allowing it to linger just a bit on the palate.  Although this brew is hop forward in flavor and aroma, the bitterness has been nearly canceled out with a beautiful balancing sweetness.  The ABV has minimal effect, and the beer proves to be wonderfully refreshing and easy-drinking.  A little orange zest is left behind to linger in the aftertaste.

Final Thoughts: With its newly reformulated recipe, Grateful Pale Ale – Remastered certainly harkens back to the days of the classic American Pale Ale in body and feel while still staying current with its pronounced but balanced hop character.  Don’t let us mislead you because this beer absolutely highlights all the citrusy and refreshing qualities possessed by the utilized hops.  Hop fiends will surely find plenty to like in Grateful Pale Ale, but there is more at work here that must be lauded. This beer’s dedication to the Pale Ale may appear subtle on the surface, but it easily gets your attention if you happen to go looking for it. Its mouthfeel has a luxurious weight and texture to it that you just cannot find in today’s Session IPAs.  Then you have Grateful’s laser-focused balance that gives you hop flavor with very little residual bitterness.  This approach to the American Pale Ale provides us with a beer that can either be crushed without a thought after mowing the lawn or slow-sipped and contemplated over while relaxing after dinner.  Grateful Pale Ale – Remastered has depth, and it is clear that a lot of thought went into its development.  Incredibly well done and we will definitely be back for more.  Prost!

Starr Hill Brewery Remasters its Grateful Pale Ale

Remastered-Grateful-1_editedStarr Hill Brewery (Charlottesville, Virginia) has officially announced the release of a newly-updated version of their classic Grateful Pale Ale.

To keep up with the ever-evolving craft beer landscape, the brewers at Starr Hill decided to give their Grateful Pale Ale the Remastered treatment.  Their overall approach to this update was to take the beer in more of an American Pale Ale direction rather than that of a Session IPA.  The first stage of this transition was to add “Carafoam and Torrefied Wheat . . . to the malt bill for a fuller mouthfeel.”  The hop bill was then revamped to feature “Cascade, Mosaic, Centennial and Falconer’s Flight in the kettle and dry-hop, replacing Chinook, Topaz and Columbus.”  Thanks to the utilization of hop-bursting techniques, Grateful Pale Ale now exhibits enhanced hop aromas and flavors that are balanced beautifully by the beer’s new malt backbone.

“Similar to when we refreshed the recipe for Northern Lights IPA, we didn’t want to throw out the soul of Grateful,” says Robbie O’Cain, Brewmaster at Starr Hill Brewery. “For Grateful fans out there, this is an enhanced, balanced version of this beer that’s perfect for the warm summer months ahead.”

Grateful Pale Ale – Remastered is available now as a part of the brewery’s Core Lineup.  This offering can be found in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 6-packs of 12 oz. cans, and on draft at craft beer-friendly establishments located in Alabama, Virginia, and throughout the rest of Starr Hill Brewery’s distribution area.  Keep an eye out for Grateful Pale Ale – Remastered while on your next beer run so that you can experience this new take on an old classic.  Prost!

Vital Information for Grateful Pale Ale – Remastered from Starr Hill Brewery

Release – Year-Round/Core Lineup, Remastered version launches late May 2017
Style – American Pale Ale
ABV – 4.7%
IBUs – 45
Featured Hops – Cascade, Mosaic, Centennial & Falconer’s Flight
Featured Malts – Carafoam & Torrefied Wheat
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder – http://starrhill.com/Beer-Finder/