Starr Hill Brewery has the distinction of being the second oldest craft brewery in Virginia. Born in a Charlottesville Music Hall just before the turn of the millennium, Starr Hill has had its fair share of chapters. Brewer Timmy Green, celebrating his 10th anniversary this year, has helped in writing many of those chapters.
Timmy Green’s tremendous tenure began at 22 years of age, and just a few months after Starr Hill Brewery moved out of the Music Hall on Cville’s Main Street and into the mountains of Crozet, Virginia. The Crozet production facility has since then seen more than 150 different beer brands. This month, the Starr Hill production team brewed the Crozet facility’s 10,000th batch: Timmy’s decaversary brew.
We sat down with the seasoned brewer to talk music, memories, maturation, and — of course — beer.
Take us back to your early days on the brewhouse.
Back in 2012, I was thrown on overnight shifts. I was new — I’d been brewing for only a month and a half, and these were the first batches I did by myself. I went from not brewing to 12 hour overnights. I remember we were brewing Dark Starr Stout, which is one of my favorite beers to brew. I managed not to ruin anything!
Would that be your favorite beer we don’t produce any longer?
That would be Pale Ale. Pale Ale predates Grateful and has a completely different base of Cascade and Columbus. Very standard, but drinkable. I’ve always been a proponent of simplicity, through complexity.
What about a beer you’re glad we don’t produce anymore?
I was never a huge fan of Boxcarr Pumpkin Porter. It’s a real pain to brew, because it’s an inconsistent process.
How has the brewing process changed over the years?
Apart from improved ingredients and raw materials, we’ve grown into a team that shows undaunted respect for the craft, and that passion reflects on not only the beer, but each other. Also, Robbie’s leadership as Brewmaster has definitely improved the process!
What’s the biggest change in Starr Hill in your time here?
It’s been interesting watching the maturation of a company. There are ups and downs in how any business is operated, and we’ve gone from feeling like a microbrewery to a regional operation.
Favorite band or artist to listen to while brewing?
I can usually listen to music on overnights. I’d have to say “The Last Waltz” or Robert Randolph.
Starr Hill and music go together like peanut butter and jam. What’s the best show you’ve seen during your tenure?
I got tickets for BB King at the Pavilion on my birthday in 2010. My brother and I went, and it was awesome. Also, I’m allergic to peanut butter. So let’s pair biscuits and jam.
Do you have a favorite festival memory?
Hahah, OK! Any festival memory you can share?
Sure. I enjoyed pouring beer backstage at All Good the few years I went.
Most prized Starr Hill swag or memento you’ve hung onto?
There used to be a picture of Ghostface Killa in the men’s bathroom that hangs in my hallway. And I still have the ticket stub from that show.
Former Starr Hill employee you miss the most?
Trey Cherry, absolutely. Trey came during the “thin times,” when it was just me operating the filter. He’s a hard-working guy; we hit it off from the jump. He’s a lifelong friend.
Favorite beer of all time?
That’s not an easy answer. I do like Fair State Lichtenhainer. It’s a smoked wheat sour beer, aged in oak barrels. It’s a style you don’t see too often, but when executed well… it’s very refreshing.
How about some Starr Hill superlatives?
Best Dressed: Phil. He’s always got the Dickies shirts, and he’s very clean-cut looking. He’s also disheveled at worst, which is part of the look.
Best in “Class”: Crystal
Most Athletic: Not Skip, probably Trey. We call Trey over to use his man hands all the time.
Most Artistic: Marta
“Class” Clown: That’s me
Brewery Spirit: Allie
Most Likely to Succeed: Jason. The guy’s focused and determined.
Most Likely to Be Famous: Skip
Finally, in your ten years at Starr Hill Brewery… what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned? What’s stuck with you?
Patience. Learning to weather the storm, if you will.
Timmy’s 10th Anniversary beer and Crozet’s 10,000th batch, Citron Celebration Lager, will tap in Crozet on the final day of Virginia Craft Beer Month. Taste it Friday and raise a pint to Timmy Green!