First stop on the bicycle brewery tour in East Vancouver with my pal Wojtek and his friend Rob was Strange Fellows Brewery, on Clark street. I counted 7 beards in total when I walked in, though that number exponentially increased as we drank our beers. Razors are not welcome here my friend, and I’ll admit – I’m not mad.
The trendy brewery is relatively new, in fact I had only just seen the sign driving by a few days prior. The sign out front is hard to miss, it was some kind of couch-warehouse, or something along those lines before, and the sign out front is diagonal and used to be horrible. Instead of tearing down this ridiculously tilted sign and starting anew, they capitalized on it’s interesting design and incorporated it into their branding. Now it’s just one of those little quirks that gives Strangefellows it’s charm.
In the tasting room there are several long wooden tables with black metal stools, concrete floors, and on the walls there are masks depicting some of the beers in the brewery’s foundation series. For example, a horse for the Barnyard Farmhouse Saison, viking for the Guizer Northern Stout, etc. Across from the tables there are large windows letting visitors see the stainless steel brewery equipment and wooden barrels. The atmosphere was wonderful, it had a friendly neighbourhood vibe with lots of smiling faces and excellent service at the front. No one was pretentious, everyone was pleasant, and there were enough people at the front where I only had to wait a few moments despite being in a fairly hefty line.
From the front, and hard to read menu (half of the letters are backwards, which can be fairly disorientating after a pint) I order myself a Box O’ Strange ($7), which is a tasting flight of four beers. I try the Talisman West Coast Pale Ale (3.8%), Guizer Northern Stout (4.5%), Nocturnum Dark IPA (6.5%), and Golden Strong (8.5%).
I’m not usually an IPA fan, but I love dark beers so I felt I had to try Nocturnum. According to SF’s website, it pairs well with red meat and cheese. Overall I found it a bit strong, but enjoyed it. 65 IBU. 1.066 OG.
The Golden Strong is a Belgian strong beer, pretty hoppy with sweet flavours of granny smith apple. According to their website it pairs well with cheese, shellfish, and Thai food. This seemed to be Rob’s favourite beer – he was ‘convivial‘.
Overall, the Guizer Northern Stout was my favourite, but that’s not surprising since I prefer dark beers. Their website says that it’s coming soon, so no pairings to list, but it was pouring in the tasting room.
Being a graphic designer, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate a well-branded brewery, with a beautiful website, and beautiful interior design. Their individual beers are even sub-branded, with little icons to match, and reflected in the interior of the tasting room.
If Strangefellows was on Tinder, I’d swipe right if you know what I mean.
To Try Next Time:
Boris – Russian Imperial Stout (10%)