CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA — Starr Hill Brewery is all wired up to brew a collaboration beer with Athens-based brewery Terrapin Beer Company on Monday, March 3rd. The collaboration will be a Belgian-style espresso stout called “GAVA Joe.”
Pronounced “java,” this collaboration beer is inspired by the longtime friendship between the two brewmasters, Mark Thompson and Spike Buckowski. Long ago, both realized they had a lot in common, including a love for great beer and great music.
“Terrapin and Starr Hill started up around the same time, and Spike and I have been friends for years. When it came time to do a collaboration beer, it was a no-brainer to do one with Terrapin,” said Mark Thompson, Starr Hill’s Founder and Master Brewer. “I have always been very interested in doing something with rye, and I know that Spike has worked with that grain a bunch. We have included rye in the malt bill for this beer, which will give it a unique flavor.”
“Collaborating with other brewers is very rewarding for me,” says Brewmaster Spike Buckowski, who often travels to breweries across the country and abroad to work with other respected craft brewers. “Partnering with Starr Hill for this collaboration not only involves two great breweries, but two great coffee roasters as well.”
GAVA Joe will be a medium-bodied stout weighing in around 6.9% alcohol by volume. It will be fermented with a Belgian yeast strain, which lends underlying fruit notes to the mix and balances the slight roasted bitterness of the beer with a touch of richness. It will also feature espresso from two coffee roasters local to each brewery: Shenandoah Joe Coffee Roasters of Charlottesville, VA, and Jittery Joe’s Coffee of Athens, GA. “We’re planning to collaborate on a signature blend of espresso for this special beer,” says Dave Fafara, owner of Shenandoah Joe. “It’s an honor to collaborate with the folks from Jittery Joe’s—it’ll be a blast.” Christian Hampton, a roaster at Jittery Joe’s Coffee, says he’s “looking forward to trying the finished product.”
Just 150 barrels of GAVA Joe will be brewed, and it will be available in draft only (1/6 and 1/2 barrel kegs) with a release date of April 1st. Once the beer hits the market, there will be release events in both Charlottesville and Athens. In the meantime, Mark and Spike will host several “Meet The Brewers” events in Charlottesville leading up to the collaboration brew day. On Saturday, March 1st at 5:00 PM, Starr Hill and Terrapin will take over the taps at Beer Run, with each brewery showcasing six beers. Sunday, March 2nd at 1:00 PM, the two brewers will host Beer School at Sedona Taphouse. Finally, the evening of Monday, March 3rd, Starr Hill and Terrapin will takeover the taps at Mellow Mushroom.
“GAVA Joe brings together two breweries from like-minded college towns known for great music, great coffee, and most importantly, great beer,” says Robbie O’Cain, Starr Hill’s Quality Assurance Manager.
Starr Hill Brewery was founded in 1999 by Mark Thompson and Kristin Dolan in Charlottesville, Virginia. Starr Hill is one of the most award-winning craft breweries on the East Coast, having won 19 Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup medals since its founding. The beer is distributed in ten states, including Virginia, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington D.C.
Terrapin Beer Company was founded in 2002 by John Cochran and Brian “Spike” Buckowski in Athens, Georgia. Since Terrapin’s launch in 2002, Spike has racked up numerous medals and awards for his outstanding brews. This includes gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival for his Rye Pale Ale and Tree Hugger, and a silver medal at the World Beer Cup for his Golden Ale. Terrapin is sold in ten states in the Southeast and East Coast areas of the US: Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia.