Overheard on the restaurant scene: This week’s food and drink news

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Charlottesville’s own Starr Hill Brewery is teaming up with Athens, Georgia-based Terrapin Beer Company to create a new Belgian-style espresso stout, GAVA Joe. Pronounced “java,” the collaboration beer is inspired by a longtime friendship between the two companies’ brewmasters, and will be a medium-bodied stout with an alcohol level of about 6.9 percent, fermented with a Belgian yeast strain. The release date is Tuesday, April 1, so keep an eye out for it, and grab a pint while you can—only 150 barrels of GAVA Joe will be brewed, and will be available in draft only, out of one-half and one-sixth barrel kegs.

As if St. Patrick’s Day isn’t already an excuse to party, James River Brewing Company is rolling out a new beer for the occasion. On Friday, March 14, the weekend-long celebration will begin at 6:30pm with bagpipe music from Irish-American folk group Sean Fir, and the debut of brewer Kelby Barnhill’s new Irish stout, which will be added to James River’s lineup of 12 draft beers on tap at the tasting room at 561 Valley St., Scottsville. Saturday festivities will include door prizes, face painting for kids, and “most Irish garb” giveaways, and food will be provided by The Pie Guy and the South Fork Food Truck.

Wild Wolf Brewing Company, located southwest of Charlottesville in Nellysford, recently hit a milestone and went down in Virginia canning history. Last Wednesday, Old Dominion Mobile Canning filled the brewery’s millionth beer since the canning company’s inception less than a year ago. Wild Wolf was Old Dominion’s first client in April 2013, and has since grown to service eight breweries in Virginia and North Carolina. To put it into perspective, one million beers is 41,667 cases, or 167,667 six-packs. Or, just a lot of beer. 

Mudhouse Coffee has received yet another accolade to put on its resume. In a USAToday article published last Friday, the local spot with locations on the Downtown Mall and in Crozet, was named one of the top 10 best coffeehouses across the U.S. Coffee expert and “barista champion” Chris Deferio, who organizes the America’s Best Coffeehouse Competition at Coffeefest each year, described Mudhouse as having “the local art and the quintessential coffeehouse feel—and they have amazing coffee.”

He hasn’t been on the streets that long, but The Pie Guy is already making a name for himself. The Australian-inspired food cart, which serves up individual-sized pies with fillings ranging from chicken curry to bacon, egg, and cheese, has been named by scoutology.com as one of the top nine food trucks in Charlottesville, Richmond, and Washington, D.C. Other locals on the list include Mouth Wide Open and Carpe Donut.

We’re always keeping our eyes and ears out for the latest news on Charlottesville’s food and drink scene, so pick up a paper and check c-ville.com/living each week for the latest Small Bites. Have a scoop for Small Bites? E-mail us at bites@c-ville.com.

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