Starr Hill a star on 'Top Chef'
Does 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.