Feb 12, 2018

Starr Hill Front Row

Front Row Golden Ale (4.9% ABV, 20 IBU) is the latest addition to Starr Hill’s year-round line-up. The brew is one of those beers that would be great to enjoy just about any time — post-yard work refresher, during picnic conversation or even as a tasty reminder of warmer months to come as we wait out Winter. A healthy amount of pilsner malt and oats provided an interesting and solid backbone for a gentle wash of Cascade hop citrus and bitterness. Front Row has excellent balance and a refreshing nature.

This golden ale certainly looks the part, sitting in the glass a clear and bright golden amber. A gentle waft of lemony citrus meets biscuity malt for an enticing aroma that is equally matched once Front Row hits the lips. I’m a particularly big fan of the pilsner malt as it adds a nice dryness and bready balance to the hop profile that displays a gentle tingle of bitterness and clean, lemony citrus notes. The active beer finishes lightly drying, just begging you to crack open another bottle.

Starr Hill have themselves a great addition to their core line-up. Front Row is refreshing and lively, perfect for just about any time of year. The golden ale isn’t overly potent and, should the brewery start to package it in cans, is downright chuggable. Not everyone loves pilsners, but the use of pilsner malt in this brew — especially when tempered by the smooth hop character — helps set it apart from the crowd. I can foresee many bottles of this one in the Barley Blog fridge this Spring and Summer.

Update: The brewery reached out to say, “It WILL in fact be out in 16oz. cans starting in March, both in 4-packs and in the new BoomBox 8-pack with Northern Lights.”

This is a review of a promotional sample.