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Beer Event | Strange Craft 14th Anniversary

Strange Craft Biergarden
Scott Grossman

With huge support from its many friends in the brewing community, Denver’s Strange Craft celebrates its 14th anniversary this coming weekend. Festivities kick off on Friday, May 17 with collaboration beers created with Strange Craft’s brewing friends, as well as one brewed by the brewery staff. Strange will host food trucks, live music and dancing in the biergarden on Saturday and Sunday.

In addition to a revelry-filled weekend, it’s also a great time to reflect on Strange Craft’s impact on craft brewing. Fourteen years is a long time in the craft beer world, and over that time founder Tim Myers has mentored and influenced several generations of Denver-area brewers. Many have gone on to open their own breweries in Colorado and beyond, and continue to make their imprint on the local and national craft beer scene

Time to Reconnect

For Myers, Strange Craft’s anniversary is a rare opportunity to take a break and enjoy reconnecting with fellow craft brewing professionals and longtime customers. Says Myers, “Anniversary is a time to catch up with old friends. Due to my other job raising two teenagers I am often gone by the time the brewery opens. This means I miss seeing all our friends stopping by.”

Strange Craft Beer
Owner Tim Myers with medal-winning Strange Fest. Photo courtesy of Scott Grossman

He adds, “This year the calendar times out perfect with our birthday on Sunday, so I get to spend three days and nights hanging out with our great customers, friends, fellow industry peeps and hopefully also make some new friends!”

Highs and Lows

Over its 14-year history, Strange Craft has certainly seen the highs and lows of the craft beer movement. Myers explained that at its start, the brewery was one of only nine in Denver. With its early start, Strange fully participated in craft beer’s meteoric rise in popularity from 2010-2016. During that time Strange Craft kept evolving, undergoing expansions and even getting into packaging.

However as craft beer’s growth slowed, Myers honed in on Strange Craft’s strengths — friendly staff engaging customers over pints at the bar. He explains, “At the end of 2019, right after an expansion project fell through, we regrouped, cut out any excess, and refocused on brewing great beers and sharing them in our taproom.” Then the pandemic hit.

Myers is extremely grateful to his Strange Mug Club members for their support in keeping the brewer going though those dark days. He also used the time to double down on the customer-centric focus that has kept Strange Craft relevant for so many years. Explains Meyers, “During COVID we added a rotating sour and a rotating seltzer to the beer board to increase people’s options, but mostly we’ve continued to brew great beers that keep our regulars coming back again and again.”

Recognition for Quality

Throughout its history, Strange has received repeated recognition for quality craft beer. The brewery has picked up four Great American Beer Festival medals and two World Beer Cup awards. This is particularly notable, given that Strange has thoughtfully evolved over the years vs. trend-chasing. Its tap list always contains a few beloved beers that have been around for a decade or more.

Strange Craft Beers
Photo courtesy of Scott Grossman

Pick a Favorite?

Putting Myers on the spot, we asked about his favorite brew(s) from Strange Craft’s long list. With all the great beers he’s brewed over the years, he was naturally reluctant to pick just one. “That’s like asking me which of my kids I love more,” he jokes. However he did fondly recall 151 Anniversary Ale, a 9% Belgian Tripel brewed in 2011 for the 151st anniversary of the Rocky Mountain News, his former employer. Myers compared it to a Karmeliet and hoped to bring it back this coming year.

Collaborating with Friends

Strange Craft’s esteem in the craft beer world is never more apparent than anniversary weekend. As in previous years, Myers has again teamed up with industry friends to brew collaboration beers for Strange Craft’s anniversary celebration at its central-Denver brewery. This year’s pour list also includes a staff collaboration

Unlike some breweries there’s no complicated tapping schedule to try to track. Strange Craft will have all beers tapped when it opens at noon on Friday.

Strange Craft Anniversary Pour List

Joyride Brewing | Darby’z Bananaz — 5.2% ABV 14 IBU

Darby really wanted to brew a banana-forward Hefeweizen, so how could we refuse? Banana Split Hefeweizen with bananas, cherries, and vanilla.

Cannonball Creek Brewing | Hoppy Pale — 5.0% ABV 39 IBU

Imagine that! Hutch and Tim brewed a Hoppy Pale! Hop-forward Strong Pale featuring Strata and Mosaic.

Crew Brew | D.R.E.S.T. for Summer — 4.8% ABV 40 IBU

Tyler asked Tim to snag a bunch of hop samples from the Craft Brewers Conference and this is the result, a tropical Pale Ale featuring the experimental hop Alora. Lots of peach, sweet melon, and yuzu fruit.

Black Sky Brewery & Chain Reaction Brewing | Chili Black IPA — 5.8% ABV 37 IBU

This IPA features Simcoe and Cascade hops along with a boatload of Pueblo Chilis. Hops & heat.

Guanella Pass Brewing & Gravity Brewing | Booze Farm — 9.0% ABV

This Belgian hybrid combines barley and wine grape must to create a wine-like beer hybrid. Finished with prickly pear juice to bump the alcohol and add a deep red luster.

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