Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday in Charlottesville: Beer Run

I’ve got a bucket list of things to do in Virginia before I move to Lincoln, NE in January.  One of the things on my list was to take a tour of Starr Hill Brewery, whose factory is in Crozet, VA.  So, my friend Ellie and I decided to make a day of it and visit Beer Run, the new Whole Foods, Starr Hill, and Crozet Pizza
Beer Run
 Beer Run was opened in 2007.  Although it was originally conceived as a grab it and go kind of place, it was expanded into more.  Now, it is a place where you can get beer to go or sit down and enjoy coffee concoctions, tasty treats, beer cocktails, and more.  Beer Run was highly recommended to me by a friend, Jen, who also met Ellie and I for Sunday brunch. Beer Run also comes highly awarded, receiving the Best in Cville for 2009 and 2010, and is featured in Imbibe as a “Best Place to Drink Beer in America.” 

When we got there, the place was packed with people watching sports at the bar, sitting inside drinking coffee, and enjoying the pleasant fall weather at the outside seating.  To start the meal, Jen enjoyed a chai latte and Ellie and I tried out the "Beer Run Blends."  Ellie had the Red Velvet (Bourbon Barrel Stout and Lindemans Framboise Lambic), and I had the Somoa (Bourbon Barrel and IPA).  The Red Velvet is a great dessert beer because is it kind of sweet and tangy and a good palate refresher.  It reminded me a lot of a hearty raspberry stout.  The Somoa went great with the meal because IPA helps lighten the heavier stout.  At first, I thought the IPA was a little over-powering because it is the first thing you taste.  But, it finishes with the vanilla hints of the bourbon barrel, cutting the bitterness that usually comes with IPA’s aftertaste.  Plus, the more you drink the better the two balance.
For food, Ellie and I split an order of "Organic Texas Frites" and "Allagash Fish Tacos."  The Frites were great with a tasty combination of spices.  They weren’t overcooked and had nice tender, but not mushy, insides.  Ellie pointed out and I agreed that the skin could have been a little crispier to help give it a more interesting texture.  The tacos, although had great texture of red cabbage, crunchy breading, and squishy tortillas, weren’t quite as impressive taste wise.  The corn tortillas had a good taste and texture, but between the strong corn flavor of the tortilla and the flavorful cream chipotle sauce, the fish got lost. 

So, although not a knockout this time, it is a place I wouldn’t mind giving another shot.  The dishes looked great and everyone around seemed happy to be there.  Plus, I’d also like to sample more of the beer concoctions and try desserts.  

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