This snow stuff is getting old. I have friends that are from Buffalo, NY that live in Hampton Roads now and just write all of this off. Getting up and shoveling your driveway and sidewalk (and your neighbors) are normal, everyday activities. I think it is for the birds and that is why I’m in The Commonwealth. While we are about to get hit again Wednesday/Thursday, I have come to an executive decision that even thought the bitter cold weather is still here I’m done with stout reviews for now. It is time to embrace spring whenever it gets here and start looking at some different beers out there.
Typically this time of year you are going to see the hoppier beers hit the market followed closely by the farmhouses. The news these days are the big DIPAs with release parties from California to Virginia. But another style trend emerging has been Red IPAs. We saw this a little last spring and fall, and it continues again. This time around we REvisit Starr Hill for their latest concoction.
Reviver, Starr Hill Brewery (Crozet, VA)
Red Ale/India Pale Ale, ABV: 6.2%, IBU: 45
Presentation: Bottle pour into tulip glass.
Appearance: Red to reddish brown in color, very clear, medium head off white dissipating medium fast.
Smell: A mix medium-strong hops and citrus zest, with caramel/very lightly toasted malts poking through at times.
Taste: This is a very distinct front/middle/back beer, almost compartmentalized. The front is your red/amber malts, then the hops kick in halfway through, then it cleans up with the lemon zest at the end. It exhibits just enough of each and neither overpowers, but compliments one another very nicely
ABV/IBU Feel: Clean and refreshing. The initial sweetness is offset by the middle and latest citrus hops and leaves a decent mouth reset. The ABV of 6.2% is noticable up front, but no more than any straight up IPA. The IBUs are around 45, which puts that between their Grateful and Northern Lights IPA, needed to push through the front, but not stick around afterwards.
Overall: I love this beer for 2 reasons. First, the overall balance between malt and hops is excellent. When you present two different styles in 1 beer, you want shared experience, not just a hoppy red or an amber with hops. Secondly, this is a great example beer. If you are getting into beer tasting or wanting to learn about beer styles, this one is one to learn on. I like that it came out in the late winter/ early spring as it offers a change from the stouts and the DIPAs without completely moving away from them either. You should have no reservations about picking up a 6-pack and sprinkling them in all the way til June.