Since opening its doors in fall 2017, the Starr Hill Pilot Brewery & Side Stage in Roanoke has been an integral part of the craft beer scene in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
With the company’s original location and presence in Charlottesville, as well as its product being distributed in local markets, Starr Hill Brewery already had a strong reputation among craft beer fans in the region, but the addition of an onsite location and tasting room helped take the experience to the next level.
Now, visitors to Virginia’s Blue Ridge get to check out #StarrCity.
The Starr Hill Pilot Brewery & Side Stage is located in The Bridges development in Roanoke, and it’s a perfect spot to incorporate into a variety of adventures.
It’s conveniently located near Downtown Roanoke, the Roanoke River Greenway & Blueway, Mill Mountain Park, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
As you plan the next way to be a #trailsetter in Virginia’s Blue Ridge, here are 6 fun ways you can make Starr Hill part of the experience!
1. Floating & Beer
There isn’t a brewery in Virginia’s Blue Ridge with better water access than Starr Hill Pilot Brewery & Side Stage! It’s located right next to The Launch at Reserve (#11 on the Blueway Map) canoe & kayak ramp on the Roanoke River Blueway, making it the ideal location for a post-float beer after your time on the river.
If you’re paddling, a popular starting point is at the Salem Rotary Park for a longer trip, or at Wasena Park for a shorter float. For tubing, a good option for floating for a couple hours is to put in behind Roanoke Mountain Adventures at The River House in Wasena. Roanoke Mountain Adventures also offers kayak & tube rentals for a day on the river!
Post Float Beer: River's Edge Wit
Did you know you can enjoy a river-inspired beer at Starr Hill? River's Edge Park and Sports Complex, which is located near the Roanoke River and the Starr Hill Tasting Room, is highlighted in local beer form with the River's Edge Wit, an easy-drinking Witbier.
2. Biking & Beer
Whether you’re interested in mountain biking or road cycling, either type of ride can end with a beer at Starr Hill.
For mountain biking, check out the nearby trails at Mill Mountain Park, an incredible urban park and how Roanoke takes full advantage of being one of the only places in the country with a mountain within the city limits. Check out the Mill Mountain Full-Pull to ride all the trails in the park.
If you prefer road cycling, you could take on the challenge of riding all the way up Mill Mountain and then following the road around to ride a portion of the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. For a more leisurely ride, rent a Zagster Bike from the bike share station across the street from Starr Hill and either take a ride through Downtown Roanoke or hop on the Roanoke River Greenway for a fun ride along the water.
Post Ride Beer: Mountain Air East Coast IPA
Mountain Air is an East Coast style IPA with a piney, citrusy, earthy aroma, reminiscent of what you'll experience during your bike ride. It's a beer that manages to incorporate that crisp, fresh mountain air that's such an integral part of being in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
3. Hiking/Running & Beer
With its intimate outdoor patio space and plenty of seating in the tasting room, Starr Hill is a popular destination for local running groups. Join the party of the Thursday Fun Run(About) Series hosted by Runabout Sports Roanoke that takes place every Thursday night! Routes and paces vary (typically 2-5 miles), but all ages and fitness levels are welcome, as well as strollers and dogs. Note - dogs on leash are allowed on Starr Hill’s patio.
We already mentioned Mill Mountain Park and its awesome trails for mountain biking, but those same trails also make for some fantastic hiking! Make the climb all the way up Mill Mountain by taking the Star Trail (hiker only trail) from Riverland Road at the base of the mountain all the way up to the iconic Roanoke Star.
Post Hike/Run Beer: Last Leaf Maple Brown Ale
Fall is one of the best times of year for a hike or run in Virginia's Blue Ridge, and Last Leaf is one of the best local fall brews! It's a Maple Brown Ale made with real Virginia maple syrup, offering a maple aroma and subtle vanilla notes.
4. Trivia & Beer
Every Tuesday night, Starr Hill hosts one of the most popular trivia nights in town with its Geeks Who Drink series! It’s a pub quiz that typically takes about two hours (7-9pm) and features 8 rounds of 8 questions each, with the questions covering a range of topics.
It’s free to participate, but ordering beer is highly encouraged, and the bartenders at Starr Hill join the fun by playing along in the game and by also offering free beers for bonus questions, as well as pint specials. And the winning teams usually receive Starr Hill gift cards!
Trivia Beer: Festie Oktoberfest Lager
It’s trivia. It’s great beer. It’s a party! Celebrate by enjoying a couple Festies, Starr Hill’s tribute to the German lager and annual tradition of Oktoberfest, while also paying homage to the end of the summer music season.
5. Live Music & Beer
Supporting live music has always been a key part of Starr Hill’s mission, dating back to when the brewery started in Charlottesville in 1999. That mission is also a big part of the Roanoke experience, with Starr Hill regularly hosting live music multiple nights per week on its Side Stage.
The music lineup is a mix of performers and bands who have gained a following and become local favorites in the area, while also offering opportunities for up-and-coming artists to have a platform and stage. Unless there’s some other type of special event taking place (which also usually includes music), you can count on great live music at Starr Hill every Friday & Saturday night!
Music Beer: Party Monster Berliner Weisse
You’re all about supporting the arts, so check out the Party Monster - the first in Starr Hill’s line of employee-designed artist cans. Not only does the art look amazing, the beer is loaded with pineapple, mango, and blood orange for a “party of exotic flavors for your mouth!”
6. Beer Flights
At its core, Starr Hill is about offering great craft beer. And one of the most unique aspects of Starr Hill’s spot in Virginia’s Blue Ridge is that it’s a Pilot Brewery, meaning there are experimental beers and pilot brews you’ll find only in Roanoke. Some might be offered for a limited time, while others might eventually be incorporated into Starr Hill’s overall seasonal lineup.
Whether you’ve been drinking Starr Hill’s beer for years, or you’re trying it for the first time, you’re likely to find a variety of exciting new options and styles.
There are 23 rotating beers on tap, so order a flight and try a few!
BONUS - Support the Community with Cheers for Charity
When you drink at Starr Hill, you also have the opportunity to support local charities doing great work in the region! With its Cheers for Charity Series, Starr Hill donates $1 for every pint sold of The Love, its flagship German Hefeweizen, to a local charity, which changes every month! Drink The Love and help spread the love!
Location & Contact Info
Starr Hill Pilot Brewery & Side Stage
6 Old Whitmore Avenue
Roanoke, VA 24016
The Starr Hill Pilot Brewery & Side Stage is a member of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Cheers Trail. If you download our Cheers Trail Passport by texting ‘Cheers’ to (540) 253-4311, you can get 10% off merchandise when you check in at Starr Hill! And if you check in at five different locations with the passport, we’ll send you a free Cheers Trail t-shirt!