WDEL Blog: Rick Jensen's World Famous Thirsty Thursday Blog

Starr Hill Brewery in VA and Old Dominion Black Cherry Soda

Mark Thompson and Brian Shields of Starr Hill stopped by our "Thirsty Studio" this week. Starr Hill Brewery is located in Crozet, Va, 12 miles west of Charlottesville.

Mark is a native of Charlottesville, which is where Starr Hill began, but because of the success of the brewery, they moved to Crozet where they could expand into what is now the largest brewery in VA.

Since we here in Delaware are spoiled by our beer water (see Twin Lakes blog from 2 weeks past), Rick wanted to know what kind of water they have down there in Virginey. Since the brewery is nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, they have extremely fresh ground water with a lot of limestone that helps to condition the water, making it some of the best brewing water in the country.

The first beer we sampled was Northern Lights, Starr Hill's classic American-style India Pale Ale, the best selling IPA in the state for lovers. While Mark said we would get citrus on the nose, it seems our noses weren't up to par as all of us missed that. Gene and Laurie did love the unusual malty finish of this IPA, giving it a 5 out of a 6 pack.

Gene and Rick discussed how they have become "bitter men" when it comes to their IPAs, meaning they love those high IBUs, but Gina and Laurie agreed they embodied that trait in more ways than one. I became offended when Rick tried to claim that only men like IPAs.

The next beer we tried got us all hot and bothered... kind of. We were all very excited to try Boxcarr, Starr Hill's Pumpkin Porter. Most pumpkin beers are not done in a porter style and this one really takes the cake (or pie). This pumpkin porter is pretty flippin' awesome. Laurie put it best when she said "this is a porter first". This is a drinkable, tasty beer, with a hint of pumpkin taste, but not that artificial syrup flavoring that a lot of pumpkin beers have. Starr Hill uses pumpkin mash in this porter to give it a fall flavor all its own.

Things got really interesting when Rick ran out of the studio and came back with Capriotti's signature Thanksgiving sub, the Bobbie. This roast turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce sandwich paired with the Boxcarr pumpkin porter is a beautiful thing your taste buds should really experience. Pick up some Boxcarr at Premiere Wine & Spirits Limestone Road location before this seasonal beer leaves the shevles until next year.

From Fall we moved to Winter with Starr Hill's Snow Blind Doppelbock lager. This lager will not only warm you on those cold winter nights, but at 7.5% it will make even the most uncomfortable holiday conversations about significant others, career paths and offspring, sting much less. Visions and aromas of sugarplums dance on your tastebuds, followed by smooth malts and a warm alcohol finish in your chest.

We all missed the softdrink section of the show over the past few weeks so we were very happy when Greg brought in a delicious Old Dominion Black Cherry Soda. It received rave reviews all accross the board and we realized that Greg is a great person to ask random questions to... he seems either have all the answers, or does a good job faking it.

~ Sabrina

Gene's Wicked Ale Trivia:
Q: What noted award winning brewery was first to package their beer in a 6-pack in the 1940s?
A: Pabst Blue Ribbon
*Apparently it was determined after numerous studies that a 6-pack was the most an average housewife could carry. Boy did us ladies have a field day with that comment :)




Lauren Haugh is the winner of a $50 Brewers Outlet gift card for registering on www.wdel.com/brew. Sign up today!

Posted at 12:22pm on November 8, 2013 by Sabrina Sabia

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Comments on this post:

Tue, Nov 19, 2013 12:47am
I'm not sure where to post this, but since Black Cherry Soda was featured and this is about that, here it is.

Has Greg tried the Diet brand called Waist Watchers? I didn't used to drink diet, but they have a black cherry with a Splenda base which I have difficulty in knowing whether it is diet, except by its lower density. They also have a Chocolate Soda, which I originally got as a prank to switch out for someone's cola, then surprisingly liked it, even though until I discovered this brand, I do not drink diet....

They come to us from the Adirondacks, so my guess is real good water is perhaps the reason they are surprisingly good. (Mine were from Delaware's ShopRites)

(The orange soda was ok, but not as good of a mix as the other too... Just wanted to post this, primarily looking for a second opinion from others with discerning tastes. Sorry to change the subject of the thread)

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