February 17, 2015
Gifting Great Beer at Starr Hill Brewery
Sometimes there's no better ending to the day than a tall, cold glass of love. The Love, that is. If you've ever sampled this wheat beer from Starr Hill Brewery in Charlottesville, Virginia, you'll know what I'm talking about.
My serendipitous mini-road trip through the Blue Ridge Parkway culminated in a stop at Starr Hill Brewery (after a detour or two, of course!). Although this brewery has become a household name in the town, the University, and my region since its establishment in the mid-1990s, this was my first visit. My beer palate can't believe I waited this long.
The Love as soon as I saw the menu, I began instead with samples of Shakedown, a chocolate-cherry stout. It was like sipping on a chocolate cherry cordial, only without the overwhelming sweetness that usually accompanies those candies. As delicious as it was, however, I was satisfied with just a sample.
Next on my list was the Monticello Reserve, a colonial-style ale inspired by what Mr. Jefferson himself might have consumed at his plantation home a short drive east of the brewery. This unfiltered wheat brew has a hardy taste to it, and the cloudiness of the beer would make any European wheat-beer drinker happy. When it came time to order a full glass, I had a difficult time choosing between the Monticello Reserve and The Love.
But true Love conquers all (or at least my taste buds!). Like the Monticello Reserve, The Love is an unfiltered wheat beer, but whereas the Monticello featured the more mild and "earthy" flavors of corn and citrus, The Love had a slightly spicier edge -- not at all overwhelmingly so, but enough for a great aftertaste.
As I live within 35 minutes of this wonderful brewery, I will certainly be back to enjoy these great craft brews, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for Starr Hill!