The latest entrant in the local craft beer sweepstakes has finally opened! Strange Fellows Brewing (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) is located on an industrial-feeling stretch of Clark Dr. between Grant and Charles (4 blocks south of Fujiya at Venables). Transit is a bit crap around that area, so I wonder if the beer’s good enough for me to make the effort? Iain Hill makes some great beer (Oud Bruin) but I felt like Yaletown Brewing was holding him back. Hopefully this new place will let him spread his wings more?
We visited Strange Fellows on an extremely rainy Saturday night, so no pics of the outside, just a pic of their sign from the inside! This space used to be a rug warehouse and actually the previous sign was also set at an angle, but it REALLY fits with the attitude of the new place!
View of the bar and growler filling station.
I really dig their “strangeness” but I just can’t get down with this unreadable list… 😛
Looks like instead of writing down what beer you want, you stamp which beer you want onto the tag. Fun! Iain Hill’s wife is the design brains behind the business and everything I saw was whimsical, literary and fun!
Wall of swag.
Even the shape of the handles evoke that “old timey” feeling.
Full view of the brewery while you drink.
Nice space. High quality chairs too.
Disembodied horned goat head commands you to drink! DRINK! DRIIIIIINK!
Plenty more wacky, playful masks.
Now for the beer! Their flights come in four but they were pouring six beers that day, so naturally I had to try them all:
Opening selection runs the gamut from lagers to imperial stouts. In detail:
Jaune Fizzé Helles Lager (5%) – Basically a non-shitty lager. Super clean, crisp, with none of that offensive adjunct macro-lager aroma and flavour. Would be great to knock back during summer when you share a growler with beer newbies.
Jongleur Belgian Style Wit (4.5%) – Not a bad start, but I’d like to see a little more refinement and punching up the flavours in this one in future batches. Wicca actually liked the sip that she tried. A non-beer-drinking food blogger friend who was with us tried this one and said, “sausage casing”. I sputtered, “w-w-whaaat?!” I suggested that maybe it was the association between the spices in the beer and spices used in sausages…but she did say “casing”, so I was at a loss 😀
Talisman West Coast Pale Ale (4.5%) – Already a great pale ale with lots of fruity hop character. Non-beer-drinking food blogger friend even got a glass of this for herself!
The Familiar Brown Ale (4.5%) – It’s a brown ale. It’s the brown shoes of the beer world…often the most boring item out there, but sometimes it just works. That said, I don’t own any brown shoes.
Nocturnum Dark India Pale Ale (6.5%) – This one surprised me. I’m usually on the fence about Black IPAs/Cascadian Dark Ales because I think the dark roastiness of the malts always steamroll over the hops, but in this case the hoppiness really shone though and achieved a sort-of balance with the roastiness. This just might be the beer that makes me appreciate dark IPAs.
Boris Russian Imperial Stout (10%) – A sipper for sure. I got black licorice, then things started getting hazy as I muscled through the rest of the flight. Next time I won’t eat such a huge meal before coming here.
I can’t wait to try their Bière de Guarde and Saison when they’re ready! And I hope Iain whips out his Oud Bruin recipe too (unless Yaletown somehow owns that now?).
Those barrels look really fresh. The friendly staff didn’t know if anything was in them yet or not.
The perfect beer geek gift!
Love the graphics.
It’s like a woodcut fairytale.
I recommend you check Strange Fellows out! Bring a designated driver 😉