In our state, Starr Hill Brewery is an immensely popular microbrewery. Their beers can be found in many grocery stores and their beers are on tap in even more bars. So when He and I passed it on the way back from a wedding this weekend, we knew we had to make a stop.
We only had less than two hours before they closed when we arrived. So the smartest move to us was just go through their two flights. Starr Hill has a large selection of brews, roughly 16 taps on deck. At the time, there were the “Classic Setlist” and the “Backstage Pass” flights. The Classic was exactly that, five of their most popular brews. While the Backstage Pass featured newer brews.
I really enjoyed the Classic Setlist flight the most though. That flight had a wider selection of beer types and the Backstage Pass seemed to focus on Pale Ales, with mostly IPA’S.
The brewery itself stunning on the inside. The overall theme was very industrial. The tasting room was surrounded on three sides by the factory part of Starr Hill. Large glass walls provided a wonderful look into that area that these beers were brewed and bottled in. The niceness of the tasting room made it feel like you were in a bar and the tiny, packed room only adding to that feeling. But that is the difference between a small, new brewery and a well-established place like Starr Hill.
It was great stopping to visit a brewery that is so popular in my state, but the overall vibe disappointed me a little. While crowded and lively, it just reminded me too much of a bar and there was not enough of the “rusticness” that I love so much in a brewery. The bartenders seemed tired and were spread thin for the amount of beer drinkers visiting. Perhaps if I had come a different day or time, my experience would have been better.
It wasn’t only the vibe that left me feeling a little disappointed after visiting Starr Hill, their small range of beers was a little unexpected. There wasn’t much diversity between the 16 options they offered. The amount of pale ales they had, especially India pale ales, were totally overwhelming. For someone like me, who doesn’t particularly like pale ales, it was hard to work my way through the flights.