The River Market finally has a craft beer brewery.
Here are five things you should know about Kansas City's "strange" new taproom.
Strange Days is located in a former warehouse that was once part of the George Muehlebach Brewing Company campus, so it has built-in history. The space is divided into a 9-barrel brewhouse and a taproom that seats 160. It has an industrial feel, with brick walls, exposed beams and glass garage doors that open up on nice days. Handmade tables, vintage furniture and board games lend a comfy-eclectic vibe.
The brewery is one block east of the last KC Streetcar's River Market North stop. So if you live downtown, you won't need a designated driver.
The beers are inspired by global styles and ingredients.
"We didn't want to be too safe with how we make beer," says co-owner and brewer Nathan Howard. "We want to be experimental and kind of strange."
Last week, the menu featured an Australian Gold bittered with hops from Down Under, a Belgian-style dark strong ale called Estranged, a Japanese Black IPA brewed with rice and ginger, and Georgia On My Mind, a tart German-style wheat ale made with peaches, sea salt and coriander.
Most pints cost $5 to $6; flights of five beers cost $10. Customers can also buy beer to go in 16-ounce cans that cost $5 to $7 each.
Strange Days Brewing Co. was started by three friends with a passion for homebrewing. Howard does most of the beer-making, and left his job as a social worker to head up the brewery. He collaborates with partners Alec Vemmer, an engineer, and Chris Beier, who works at Garmin, on all the recipes.
Howard says the brewery's name was inspired by the "strange" times we're living in.
"For us, beer is our escape, an oasis," he says.
You can bring your own food. Strange Days does sell snacks, but if you plan to stay awhile, you might consider getting takeout from a nearby restaurant. At The City Market, you'll find plenty of global cuisine that pairs well with Strange Days beer: Imagine Ethiopian food from Blue Nile Cafe with an IPA, an Italian sandwich from Carollo's Grocery & Deli with a pale ale, or grilled sausages from Taste of Brazil with a pint of Belgian-style witbier.
If you're into European soccer, this is your new hangout. Strange Days opens at 9 a.m. on weekends and broadcasts games from England, Germany and Spain. There are five TVs, so getting a clear view is no problem, but the vibe is more pub than sports bar.
Strange Day's hours are noon to 10 p.m. Thursday, 3 to 10 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.