Episode 1: Strange Craft Beer Company

strangeoutside
Photo by porchdrinking.com

I remember the first time I ever went to Strange Craft Beer Co, I was in the car with one of my friends. He was obsessed with the Cherry Kriek wheat beer and was jonesing for a growler. We were driving through the industrial neighborhood around Mile High Stadium. I couldn’t help but make the assumption, “What brewery would be around this area?” Strange that’s what. I was surprised by the rustic atmosphere and made a mental note that I would some day return.

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Fast forward about two years and I finally made it back through those doors and not much had changed as far as the atmosphere and certainly a few of the staple beers were still there as well. Strange is quite the prolific brewery in the Colorado beer scene and has even had a collaboration series out with Epic brewing which was quiet tasty as well. I was thoroughly excited walking through the doors to see the Cherry Kriek Wheat I had tried a few years ago was still on the menu, and had since won a few awards from the Great American Beer Festival.

20170714_173910 With a wide selection of beers on tap, you can see why this place has been a standard in the Denver Brewing scene. There is plenty of things to chose from for a wide variety of tastes. You have the hoppy-er IPA’s, the subtle Saisons, the robust Porters, and of course the sweet taste of the Cherry Kriek.

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On this adventure to Strange Craft Brewing Co, I got to taste everything that they had on tap (which was a wonderful decision). Below I will list out the beers, a little bit on my initial experience with the beers and my personal ranking of the beer:

IPAs

Breakfast Grapefruit IPA 7%ABV 60IBU: This beer starts with a fruity nose with a light herbal taste but not too bitter compared to the other IPA’s here. It still has that IPA taste but it is not over powering  3.5/5

IPAphany 7%ABV 65IBU: While I initially giggled at the though of an IPA-phany this beer is incredibly easy drinking compared to most IPAs. This one has more of the hoppy smell you’ve come to expect from your IPAs and even though it’s lower on the IBU scale it has a strong bitter taste right off the first taste. 3/5

1000 Barrels Imperial IPA 8.25%ABV 99IBU: This IPA has a great balanced taste between hoppy and malty. It starts with a soft nose and an easy taste, but let the subtly fool you, it’ll bite you at the end with it’s potency. The taste is much softer than the other IPA’s and much easier to drink, however, this beer is much stronger than the others to be sure. After a few drinks the taste will build upon itself and by the end you realize how much stronger this beer is than the other IPAs. If you are looking for an easier to drink IPA with the benefit of having a stronger as well this one is for you.  3/5

 

The only Heffeweizen on tap is the Watermelon Heffe at 5.5% ABV. It starts with a soft fruity head with quite a potent taste of watermelon and combination of hops. Incredibly easy to drink this is a great starter beer for anyone who might not be that interested in beer.  Let this beer be a starter for your evening, you can follow it with one of the stronger beers. 3.5/5

 

The Powerhouse Porter also at a 5.5% ABV is a great beer for those colder evenings, still not too bad to drink on any night. This Porter is quite creamy with a hint of smoky-ness. The floral nose is quite pleasant and enticing to the pallet, paired with the creaminess this darker beer is a bit light and an excellent drink choice for an easy night of drinking. After the initial taste comes a bit of a bitter fruity finish which mixes a bit awkwardly but still provides a tasty drink. 4/5

 

Strange Pale Ale 4.8%ABV 35 IBU: This Pale Ale is bit more mild while at the same time it contains a bitter bite that is a bit stronger than most of the other Pale Ales. Despite the fact that this drink has a lower IBU than most of the other Pale Ales, the bitterness of this beer is a lot more striking than the others. If interested in trying to jump into the deep end of the taste profiles of what Pale Ales have to offer this is the way to go. Not a personal favorite but still a great choice for expanding your beer pallet. 2.5/5

 

Boards in Session 4.5% ABV  is a collaboration beer presented at Collaboration Festival 2017 with the Colorado Brewers Guild Board. It has a potent smell on the nose with a strong herbal taste with a bit of a soft hoppy finish. The beer itself has a bit of spice to the taste and is not too strong. I would only be able to drink one of these a night as the taste builds on itself quite thoroughly. 2.5/5 

 

Saison de Mois 4.6% ABV: An easy floral smell to start this drink leads itself easily to drinking more and more. A bitter note hits you fast after the pleasant aroma you’ve just experienced. Much easier to drink than any of the IPAs and has quite the floral after taste. Any bitterness initially tasted in the beginning becomes quite acceptable after a couple seconds. A mellow drink easy for anyone of any taste preference.

 

Farmhouse Belgian Saison 8.3% ABV 42 IBU: The third most potent drink on the menu, despite the barley wine and the IPA. This Saison provides a potent yet fruity taste of alcohol combined that comes with a complex and warming taste that’s ends with a hint of caramel. In drinking this you can tell you are tasting something stronger but the taste keeps you coming back and wanting more.

 

Finally the best taste of the evening, and recommended as the last drink of the flight.

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Cherry Kriek Belgian Wheat 5% ABV 15 IBU: This beer has a homey smell to it right on the nose, you are hit with a cinnamon and cherry flavor right at your first taste? Incredibly easy to drink and quite dangerous, because of how delicious it is, you will not want to stop drinking it. Per the staff if you plan on drinking anything else make sure this is the last drink you have because of it’s potent taste profile it sticks to your taste buds and masks everything you’ve had before. You can warm your belly with the deliciousness of this beer. For those not too into drinking beer, this is an easy starter beer. It won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival for the fruit beer category and I can see why. If you were to visit Strange Craft Beer company, or even just seeing it on the shelf, this is a must have. 5/5

 

This was an excellent trip and I would thoroughly recommend it. It provides a wide variety of choices for anyone interested in the beer scene.

 

Note: I will be out of town for the next week in LA, be expecting some LA breweries to come within the next few posts.

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Episode 1: Strange Craft Beer Company

Starting This Adventure

Good Day!

I am Chris, currently with the moniker “The Secret Hoprative”.

 

I am starting this blog/journal in an attempt to highlight all of my adventures through the great brewing scene that this country has to offer. I am currently based out of the great state of Colorado, one of the best scenes in the country for the craft brewing industry.

 

Per The Brewers Association, Colorado Ranks #3 on most breweries per capita and #2 in most craft beer produced per every 100,000 adults in the United States. Vermont ranks #1 out of both of those categories, guess I know where I should be visiting next.

My personal goal currently is to visit 100 different breweries in Colorado. Simultaneously, it is my goal to provide an insight into the beer this great state offers. For a universal experience, each brewery I visit I intend to taste a wheat beer, a darker beer, an IPA, and something sweeter or something higher ABV…or just drink everything on the menu as you will see with my next entry.

 

Thank you for joining me on this wonderful adventure. Hopefully, you gain a greater appreciation and some great drinking ideas throughout this whole experience. Also follow me on Instagram @secret_hoprative to see many pictures of the beers I’ve had up to this point, there are certainly a lot.

 

-The Secret Hoprative

 

Starting This Adventure