Shenandoah Joe rolls out beer-inspired iced coffee and more local restaurant news

IPA meets coffee in Shenandoah Joe’s new Hoppn Joe, a caffeinated, non-alcoholic cuppa that’s cold-brewed with hops. Photo: Rammelkamp Foto IPA meets coffee in Shenandoah Joe’s new Hoppn Joe, a caffeinated, non-alcoholic cuppa that’s cold-brewed with hops. Photo: Rammelkamp Foto

Shenandoah Joe rolls out beer-inspired iced coffee

Good news for all the caffeine junkies who also happen to be beer snobs. As of a couple weeks ago, there’s a beverage on the market that allows you to (kind of) have a beer first thing in the morning without alarming anyone: Introducing Hoppn Joe, Shenandoah Joe’s iced coffee brewed with Three Notch’d hops.

“We’ve done a number of collaborations with local breweries and they’ve used our coffee in their beer,” says Shenandoah Joe owner Dave Fafara, referring to the brewery’s Jack’s Java. “So I thought it would be really cool to use one of their ingredients in our iced coffee.”

The beer-inspired coffee starts out as the Brain Freeze, a popular, chocolatey cold-brew blend of medium and dark roasts. Added dry hops marinate in the coffee for several hours, then, after a thorough straining, you have a jolt of caffeine with the back-of-the-throat citrusy bitterness that makes IPA-lovers swoon.

“If you’re a hophead you’ll absolutely love it,” Fafara says. “If you like stouts, porters or you’re not a fan of hops, this is not something you’ll drool over.”

As for how to consume and enjoy the Hoppn Joe to its full potential, Fafara says there’s no question—don’t mess with it. Cream is acceptable (somewhat encouraged, even), but don’t you dare go anywhere near that hoppy coffee with sugar or simple syrup.

“Obviously as a purist you drink it black,” he says. “It does hold up really well with cream, but there should be no other adulterations to it other than that. You lose all the flavor with added sugar.”

The beer-inspired brew is available at the Preston Avenue location and at Shenandoah Joe’s booth at the City Market every Saturday, and keep an eye out for it at an upcoming beer festival.

“We’re going to bring it out for Top of the Hops, and it’s going to be for designated drivers who can’t have beer,” Fafara says. “We want them to have the opportunity to have the beer taste without the alcohol content.”

Brew fest

Speaking of Top of the Hops, it’s about that time again. On September 26, dozens of breweries (local and otherwise) will set up shop at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion, ready to serve you two-ounce sampling after two-ounce sampling of beer.

Sponsored by Starr Hill Brewery and Beer Run, the sixth annual festival will feature more than 150 craft beers plus live music, games, seminars and local grub. General admission is $45 up until September 25 and $50 at the gate on the day of the festival.

If you’re not a beer drinker—or if you drew the short straw and you get to be the one to schlep all your friends home after an afternoon of drinking—there’s always the designated driver ticket. For $15, non-boozers get complimentary soda and water, and for $30, VIP designated drivers are granted early entrance into the festival, plus free food by Sedona Taphouse from 3-6pm.

Check for updates and a full list of breweries.

Cooking for a cause

’Tis the season for local food events. On September 17, chefs from restaurants in Charlottesville, Crozet and Staunton will go head-to-head at The Lodge at Old Trail for the fourth annual Culinary Competition.

This year’s competitors: Mark Cosgrove of Fardowners Restaurant, Mary Beth Harris of AVA Restaurant and Wine Bar, the Finazzo family of Sal’s and Harrison Keevil of Brookville.

Tickets are available for $20 in advance and $25 the door, and proceeds benefit the all-volunteer Western Albemarle Rescue Squad. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and desserts will be available, plus a cash bar featuring beverages from Starr Hill Brewery and several nearby wineries. You’ll even have a chance to win a seat at the judges’ table if you pay for a raffle ticket.

Purchase tickets at The Lodge at Old Trail, the Senior Center or any of the competing chefs’ restaurants.

Local lovin’

On September 24, Timbercreek Market executive chef Allie Redshaw and former Palladio chef Melissa Close-Hart are teaming up to prepare and serve a multi-course hyperlocal dinner. Each of the four seasonal courses will be paired with wine, and cheeses from Flora Artisanal Cheese will be served between each course.

All-inclusive tickets are $100 a head. E-mail to make your reservation, and keep an eye on Timbercreek Market’s Facebook page for more details about the event.

Shining brightly

Congratulations to The Alley Light. Last week, the Washington Post’s food critic Tom Sietsema published a review of French-born chef Jose De Brito’s food at the popular downtown restaurant and bar. Sietsema is known for maintaining anonymity at all costs and being ruthlessly, brutally honest in reviews. He was frank about his disappointment with things such as the size of the tables and bread quality, but he heaped on plenty of praise, too. “Another throwback to De Brito’s past is the boudin noir casserole, blood sausage blended with potatoes, cream, Gruyère and a touch of nutmeg,” Sietsema wrote. “Only David Copperfield could have made the dish disappear faster than this fan.”

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