Here in beautiful Austin, Texas, breweries are breeding like rabbits. It seems like a new one is born every week. One of these newbies is Strange Land, a brand new jewel in the Austin craft crown. With a focus on creating “the beer less traveled,” Strange Land delivers old world style to the rapidly growing ATX beer scene.
Long Time Coming
Just because Stange Land is new, doesn’t mean their team is inexperienced. Owners Adam Bluemenshein and Tim Klatt have been homebrewing for over 20 years. After four years of planning and an 18 month permit/build out phase, Strange Land opened their doors in December 2014.
The brewery holds tight to their homebrew roots. Much of the equipment in Strange Land was hand built, including a 15 BBL brew system and in-house fermenters. Everything is hands on and has an energy of experimentation.
Beer for Every Taste
Strange Land offers up to 14 different beers in their tap room, four of which are considered “flagship” styles:
- Alemannia – Rock solid “everyday” altbier
- Ploughshare – Dry, refreshing saison
- Sanctum – Traditional dubbel
- Entire – Richly decadent porter, one of the best I’ve had from an ATX brewery
The rest of the tap wall selections constantly rotate, featuring a wide variety of styles. The Last Gentleman adds a bourbon sweetness to the existing porter and the Athol Brose is a spot on scotch ale that brings big malt with notes of honey sweetness. Strange Land even offers a 0.75 ABV Sparkling Probiotic Tonic Beer for designated drivers.
What surprises me most is how well the booziness is hidden. Usually beers topping 13% have a hard alcohol kick. This isn’t the case with Strange Land brews. High octane offerings like the Bishopsgate barleywine and the Dewi Saint braggot, a hard to find style, showcases flavor profiles rather than ABV.
Variety and Quality
At Strange Land, natural ingredients and old school techniques separate them from the pack. All their beers are naturally carbonated via the primary yeast strain which gives the beer a uniform smoothness. The process may be slower, but the flavor profile it creates is balanced and flavorful.
The brewery also believes in mad experimentation. Crazy one offs only available in the taproom are the norm. I was lucky enough to try some of these concoctions straight from the fermenter. Even in this early state, the quality shines through. Like Cellerman Brandon Vernon said, “It’s home brewing, just 1,000 times larger.”
Pro tip: they’re currently brewing a sour brown that’s going to be fantastic.
Big Plans and Good Times
While Strange Land beers are currently only available on draft, this will change in the near future. Their bottling system is ramping up, meaning six of their eight regular beers will be available in bombers by late May.
While Strange Land has been popping up in beer bars all over town, their taproom in the Westlake Hills neighborhood is the place to go if you want to try their newest creations and one off styles. Open Fridays and Saturdays from 5–9 PM, the taproom features live music and food available from nearby Hat Creek Burger Company.
As someone who lives five minutes away, I think it’s great to finally have a quality brewery right down the road. With an uncommon selection of brews, a good vibe and a spirit of adventure, the Strange Land team is quickly making a name for themselves in the rapidly expanding Austin craft beer scene. The next time you’re at a pub and see “SB” on the tap handle, give it a try. Guaranteed to be something deliciously left of normal.
@BillTuckerTSP wants to know:
What’s your favorite Strange Land beer?
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