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SAVOR 2014 Brewery Profile: Strangeways Brewing (@StrangewaysRVA)

Name: Strangeways Brewing

Location: Richmond, VA

Website: www.strangewaysbrewing.com

Type: Production brewery

Available in DC Market: No

What you need to know: Strangeways doesn’t tend to color inside the lines, so expect some experimentation here.  After all, they call their brewery The Laboratory.  “In search of craft beer out of the ordinary? So are we. That’s why we spend our days toiling away, creating exquisitely peculiar concoctions to satisfy the most curious of cravings, persnickety of palates and inquisitive of individuals. That said, we strongly encourage you to do two things: Think Strange. Drink Strange. You’ve already taken the first step.”

Beer #1: Martian Spring (Belgian style ale / 7.4% ABV)

In Their Own Words: “The prominent hop character of Columbus, Simcoe, Citra, Galena, and Centennial hops crash lands with the light, fruity esters of a Bière de Garde yeast. Oak wine barrels served dual purpose as vessels for the month long fermentation and maturation, as well as dry-hopping capsules.”

Food Pairing: Hamachi crudo (Thin slices of Hamachi with finely diced cucumber, radish and bok choy. Finished with a black pepper vinaigrette.)

Our Thoughts: From the very get-go, Strangeway’s description of Martian Spring suggests a marked departure from classic Biere de Mars territory.  Typically, they’re malty, earthy, and mildly sweet with little to hop character to speak of; clearly, you’re in for something different here.  This sounds like an interesting amalgam of traditions and flavors, definitely worth checking out.

Beer #2: WHAP! Sorachi Sour (Wild/sour ale / 4.8% ABV)

In Their Own Words: “Turn the pages as Hopheads and Sour Lovers alike embark on this epic tastebud assault. Then watch them simultaneously rejoice as Sorachi Ace and whole leaf Citra hops form a dynamic duo that combines forces with this lactobacillus soured saison. This highly experimental concoction melds the citrusy hops with the citrusy notes formed by the souring process, and will assuredly WHAP! you in the face, lips, and tongue.”

Food Pairing: Brie tartlet (Pastry shells filled with brie, saffron and a touch of brown sugar.)

Our Thoughts: Conventional knowledge says that sour and bitter do not play nice, but Strangeways set out to challenge that.  While the bright citrus aroma of the hops used definitely play better with sour flavors than, say, dank and resinous varieties, the 45 IBUs go beyond the mere suggestion of bitterness.  Real thinkpiece they’ve got here.  If it’s truly sour, it might act like a compote alongside the brie; if it’s super hoppy….

This profile is a part of the DCBeer.com SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2014 SAVOR participants.

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