One-half mile North of South Street Brewery used to be Main Street’s STARR HILL RESTAURANT & BREWERY (until ’06). Its factory-like dining space and brick-walled bar area had Old World charm during December ’04 visit. The upstairs music hall booked many national acts, making this a doubly good find. Now, Starr Hill bottles its brews for local consumption at its present Crozet location and they’ve found a following all the way up the East Coast.

Like South Street Brewery, Starr Hill offered one ‘outsider’ brew sample, the spruce hop-embittered orange-tangy Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. Sour-doughed wheat-husked floral-spiced earthen-hopped Vienna-styled Mojo Lager, nut-breaded citric-bruised butternut-teased Amber Ale, and mildly bitter pine-needled grapefruit-peeled sedation Pale Ale fit lightweights, but caramel-malted coffee-roasted maraschino cherry-tinged Chocolate Porter and serene black chocolate centered, coffee-toffee-flurried, anise-currant-laced, Irish-styled Dark Starr Stout, though pleasantly medium-bodied, befit bolder thirsts.

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