Random Row, Charlottesville, Virginia

The walk that became a quest took us from the center of CVille past a strip mall and a renovated Art Deco-era building to the low-slung dark façade housing Random Row Brewing Co.

Stephen remembered his aching legs to me fondly as we drove into the parking lot for our second visit (it’s really not that far). It was definitely worth the trek two years ago, and it remains one of our favorite spots in the area, both for its brews and its in-house wood-fired pizza purveyor, Billy Pie Pizza.

We started with orders of those pies, one apiece with leftovers: the prosciutto & arugula for me, pepperoni for Joni, and sausage & mozz for S.

With a wealth of styles from which to choose on the digital board (next to the required footy playing on the big-screen TV), I jumped right into a double IPA, Windswell, while S went for the Eagle Swoop Bitter ESB, and Joni tried the Amber Lager, Vienna style.

The Amber shone with a shining coppery hue with a medium body and some florals on the palate—a fine example of the style.

The Windswell DIPA is a hazy, New England style, with a characteristic cloudy golden tone and medium body. The pure guava aroma preceded a mellow guava paste on the palate, with a smooth descent off the back end.

After the DIPA, I turned to the Hibiscus Saison, a pretty and clear cherry color, with a fresh hibiscus petal and leaf aroma. The broad citrus flavors sung over a base note of tea on the palate, with a hint of tart cherry and rosehip on the back end.

The pies came out quickly, and we settled in for the Sunday afternoon trivia contest—and soundly lost, though my raffle ticket proved a winner and allowed me to take home a can of the Method IPA. Yum!

To round things out, we shared a Keegan impy stout for dessert, and enjoyed the cacao nibs on the palate, with a rum-y finish.