By Jenna Lazenby
In case you were hiding under a rock and didn’t hear the news, Starr Hill Brewery announced yesterday that it is opening a Pilot Brewery & Side Stage in Roanoke. Slated to open in September of this year at The Bridges in Roanoke’s Riverside District, the brewery will be Starr Hill’s first satellite taproom and will include a five-barrel brewing system that will produce limited release craft beers. Multiple weekly musical performances that highlight local and regional artists will be a central element of the brewery’s draw.
A passion for craft beer and live music have always been at the heart of Starr Hill, as the brewery started in a shared space with Starr Hill Music Club in Charlottesville in 1999. Although that venue closed in 2007 and the brewery’s headquarters now reside outside of Charlottesville, in Crozet, the pairing of great beer and tunes are still central to the company’s mission. Yesterday’s announcement reinforced that connection as attendee’s quaffed free beer and enjoyed lives tunes provided by local artist Corey Hunley.
“We’ve worked with most of the music venues and festivals across the state, and have a long established relationship with FloydFest,” said Jack Goodall, marketing manager for Starr Hill, yesterday during the public announcement of the new taproom at The Bridges.
Goodall said that Roanoke’s abundant outdoor offerings and deep-rooted musical heritage made it a natural fit for Starr Hill, and that they will be working closely with local musicians, artists, record shops, and music venues to offer an eclectic and unique mix of events that will range from vinyl nights to artists galleries, and quarterly showcase concerts.
The announcement of Starr Hill is also a big deal for the historic renovation of The Bridges Development which houses residential apartments and commercial space, including a Starbucks, Moe’s Southwest Grill, the Dr. Pepper Park music venue, and a kayak boat launch.
Yet, the main takeaway from yesterday’s announcement is the continued realization that Roanoke is no longer the city of yesteryear. With the impending arrivals of Deschutes and Ballast Point Breweries and the recent announcement that Across the Way Productions, creators of FloydFest, will be expanding its footprint into the Valley through weekly music at The Phoenix, one can only begin to imagine what the future holds for our beautiful Star-lit city.
Welcome to the neighborhood, Starr Hill.
Enjoy a sample of the tunes performed at yesterday’s Starr Hill announcement performed by Corey Hunley.