Starr Hill a star on 'Top Chef'

top-chef-washington-dcDoes Starr Hill Brewery have a product placement deal with Bravo’s Top Chef? As some viewers have noticed, during each episode of the reality show (taped this year in Washington, D.C.), when the chefs are hanging out in some back-room-looking area, they're frequently knocking back a Jomo Lager or an Amber Ale while surrounded by boxes of the Crozet-brewed beer.

Indeed, on Starr Hill’s Facebook page it says “catch up on your Top Chef before the new episode tonight on Bravo”Š and look out for Starr Hill in the background while the chef-testants are sweatin' it in the stew room!"

You can check out the frequent sightings in this clip from the show.

However, according Red Light Managment's Margaret Murray (Coran Capshaw is the brewery's primary owner), Starr Hill's appearance on the show is the result of good luck and a fortunate former professional relationship between Red Light and the producers of the show.

“They found out we had a connection with a brewery and asked us to send them some beer,” says Murray, “and they liked it.”

Murray says that while Starr Hill Brewery is included in the credits of the show, and the beer can been seen on camera “behind the scenes,” there’s no formal product placement deal. She characterizes it as more of a trade deal.

"We've had some attention about it on our social networking sites," says Murray, "but I can't say its actually affected sales."

Of course, Starr Hill isn’t alone on the show. Other products spotted on the show include Whole Foods' 365, Farmland Dairies, Seattle's Best Coffee, Dial soap, and the Inn at Little Washington among many others.

Still, Dish can't say he's noticed too many other beer companies featured on the show.

Read more on: top chef


Actually, Lucy is our beer with lime oil in it (the original test batches had lime in them). The Love is our wheat beer, which only contains four ingredients: water, malt, hops and yeast.

It is a matter of fact that stuff is gross and they use lime flavoring instead of real lime gimme a break. Imitation lime? It all starts with the ingredients they should use real limes.

How fun! Their beer is fantastic and what great PR!

That's odd! What are we loyal Hook readers to make of the author calling his own reporting into question?

Oh please. No way is there no formal product placement deal in place. Have you seen the degree to which it's plastered in every episode?

No surprise about the Inn. Patrick O'Connell was a guest judge on the show.

The Love is the best beer on the planet.

The "Love" is not one of the best beers anywhere. Too much lime flavoring they did'nt even use real lime!

Please copy edit your web pieces more carefully--it's this kind of slipshod editing that calls the veracity of your pieces into question. For instance, it's not "the Red Light Management's..." "The" is extraneous. Also, it's not "can't say its actually effected sales;" the correct word is affected and it should be it's, given that it is a correct for "it has."

Since school is now back in session, reading articles like this would be an excellent lesson for grammar school children to find the mistakes.

Since it is not a matter of personal preference you are wrong. It actually won a silver medal at the 2008 Great American Beer Festival according to their website. It also won THE gold/platinum/diamond/moon rock award at the Grant American Beer Festival held weekly in my den.