CROZET, VA—Starr Hill Brewery, Virginia’s largest and most award-winning craft brewery, won first place in the American cask real ale category at the 36th Annual Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Great British Beer Festival.
Taking place from August 13th – 17th, 2013, in London, England, the Great British Beer Festival is Britain’s biggest beer festival, and the amount of cask ale entries from American brewers increases each year. Bourbon Barrel Cryptical beat out 196 other cask ales from the United States to claim the Michael Jackson Award, named for the influential beer writer who passed away in 2007.
“This was a real shot in the arm for our creative brewing team. Starr Hill has been honored with many medals in the USA, but to send one of our creations over to a major festival in the UK and to win a gold… it’s just incredible. The passion to create great beers is strong at Starr Hill. I’m very proud of our Starr Hill team,” said Master Brewer and Founder Mark Thompson.
Bourbon Barrel Cryptical is an American Imperial Stout that has been aged in bourbon barrels, allowing it to pick up notes of bourbon and vanilla. The beer weighs in at 10% alcohol by volume and has dark malty and fruity flavors, like raspberry, plum and star anise. Cryptical is dry-hopped with American hops to balance its full body with a floral aroma.
“A great deal of thought and care went into its creation. We drove to West Virginia to visit Smooth Ambler Spirits, met their team, and sampled some of their awesome products. We ended up with 20 oak barrels in the back of a trailer in the middle of a snowstorm,” says Robbie O’Cain, Starr Hill’s Quality Manager. “The Smooth Ambler team ended up bringing us another truckload of barrels for our bottle release party in April. It’s always fun to share in these creative collaborations with other passionate small businesses.”
Bourbon Barrel Cryptical Imperial Stout will be available on tap and in 750 ml bottles in the Starr Hill Tasting Room for a limited time. There will also be a limited amount of casks and kegs available this fall.
Starr Hill Brewery was founded in 1999 in Charlottesville, Virginia, by Mark Thompson and Kristin Dolan. The company brews more than 20 brands of beer representing a variety of beer styles and has won 17 GABF medals and two World Beer Cup medals since its founding. Starr Hill brands are distributed in Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, South Carolina, New Jersey and Delaware.