Brews, berries and…baby ponies!

Last night, I was sure to stay up later than usual – closer to midnight – since Sundays are the one morning each week that I *try* to sleep in. It was pretty hard to keep my eyes open that long (Saturday’s 18-miler definitely was kicking in) but after watching the first two sketches on SNL – it was all over. Sleeptown, population: me.

Sunday…I woke up…at 6 AM. #fail

My tummy was growling, so I got out of bed, had myself a bowl of cereal, a glass of orange juice – then drifted back off to sleep….woke up around 9 ish! Success! And the runger was back, too, so after hubs was up and about, we got all readied up, then headed off to ihop for pancakes – yum – ran a few errands – Lowes, Walmart … and after a quick pitstop at home, we headed back out for a fun local adventure: to neighboring town, Crozet! First stop: Starr Hill Brewery!

Starr Hill Brewery - Crozet, VA; tasting area.

We had driven by many times, but had never stopped in for some reason or another! Since it was right before 1 PM, we were right on time for the first (free) tour!

I.D.'d and ready to go!

After getting our wristbands, we follower our friendly tour guide through the facility. He was super friendly and kept the information flowing – definitely a great representative of the company.

Lots of barley!

When we were in this room, our guide passed around a Ball jar full of barley – he told us to try it! It tasted like Grape Nuts.


In the next room, our guide explained the process of the brewing – he also had another fun ‘pass around’ item – hop pellets! He had two different ones for us to sniff…then, he asked who was feeling BOLD. For some reason, I did, so I rose my hand…he had me come up, choose a pellet…and pop it in my mouth. HAH! Wow, strongest citrusy weird taste ever. Everyone got a laugh 😉

After that, he showed us the bottling machine and we also learned some other fun Star Hill facts – there are 20 full time employees – and even then, Starr Hill is one of the 10 fastest growing breweries in the US! And, if you’ve seen Starr Hill in your grocer’s fridge, it’s thanks to…In Bev! Seriously – they distribute their beer – since the big bottlers sales are going down…interesting! After the tour concluded, we chatted with our guide for a few minutes, then headed over to the tastings!

One of the brews we sampled.

We tried these:

Northern Lights – India Pale Ale (their best-seller and my fave) / Jomo Lager (definitely a good one) / Amber Ale – Irish Red Ale (hubs favorite) / Dark Starr Stout – Dry Irish Stout (like a thinner Guinness – kinda chocolately) & Monticello Reserve Ale (this one was super unique – inspired by how beer was made in Jefferson’s time)

Unassuming building - awesome brews and great people!

Before leaving, we picked up a treat…not a six-pack (we can get that in any grocery store here, thankfully) but a unique, locally-produced item:

Dark Starr Stout...bark!


Next stop…more treats…in the form of…

Ready to pick! 😀

STRAWBERRIES! At the Chiles Peach Orchard – we were excited to stop in, since we had so much fun last summer picking peaches. I have never picked strawberries (ever) so this was a treat.

Gorgeous afternoon!

We followed the instructions – going across the street, walking down several rows…SO MUCH FUN!

One rule: pick RED ones!

We walked down two rows that weren’t as muddy as the others, and found quite a few good contenders! I got the knack of it pretty quickly.

Just pickin...

I even thinking I found the PERFECT stawberry!

Reddest red, perfect strawberry!

After getting a decent haul, we stopped back in to the main orchard area (and shared a strawberry milkshake) before heading back the Charlottesville.  On the drive home, we cruised through Old Trail Village and saw kids riding around horse drawn carriages…one with a regular size horse…and the other with the cutest pony! We went by too fast to get a picture, but I googled it when I got home and wondered if I had seen a miniature horse, instead?

Cute horseys.


No matter, it was an excellent day! When we got home, I took a bite of one of our strawberries. WOW. I don’t know if I can ever eat store-bought again. SOO yummy. We definitely will plant strawberries when we have a garden of our own one day! And if the day couldn’t get ANY better, I capped it off with an easy 4-miler 🙂

Funday Sundays definitely lessen the burn of an impending Monday….will take advantage of these last few precious hours!

What was the best part of YOUR weekend?


  1. This was a pretty laid-back hang out with friends kind of weekend. Not much exciting at all.

    I love Starr Hill. We stopped there on our way back from the Blue Ridge marathon and then went to Crozet Pizza for lunch. (I had not been to Crozet Pizza since I was a student at UVA 20+ years ago LOL).

    • Laid back is always nice 🙂

      Crozet Pizza is STILL on my Central VA bucket list! I know, I know…it’s not far, but it never seems like we are hungry when we’re in Crozet…heh…I heard it is really good though!!

  2. looks like you had a fun weekend sister….i was sitting on my butt studying for finals…! i can’t wait for this wednesday to roll around…last finals week in my life! 🙂 p.s. those strawberries look amazing. super jealous

  3. Looks like an awesome weekend! I’m dying to pick strawberries soon. Favorite part of my weekend was being lazy with my husband and watching my kids play with their friends.

    • Kath, you need to go! The strawberry picking was SOOO fun. But I recommend wearing icky shoes…I had to dodge a few muddy patches 🙂

  4. I just about died from seeing that picture of the pony. Too much cute for me to handle. That sounds like a fun day! I want to try that Dry Irish Stout!

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