I’m going to give a big, amazing shoutout to Strange Beast for a couple of reasons.
First of all, be ready for where it’s located. It’s not that it’s a bad section of town, that particular area of Kendall it a little colorful in a fun way.
It’s more the fact that Strange Beast Brewing is located in what used to be an old convenience store, and it’s very clearly an old convenience store due to the layout, location, and the fact that the rest of the tiny strip mall that it’s located in is devoted to car repair of some fashion or another.
It was created by John Falco, the man behind Lincoln’s Beard Brewing. And if you know anything about the eclecticism of Lincoln’s Beard, you have a good idea what to expect when you go to Strange Beast.
Mind you, when I entered it was later in the evening with two guys dressed in Hilo Hattie’s finest with captain hats on, lasting a mix of ’80s pop and yacht rock. So, naturally, the inside was absolutely jam-packed.
What you have with Strange Beast is an amalgamation of all the crazy, strange, pop culture ephemera that you could possibly gather in one location. I’m sure there’s at least one Godzilla lurking around.
Not only do they have all of this and a killer tap list, but they also have a fantastic pizza oven, right behind the walk-in cooler, and there’s something to be said about equality handcrafted craft pizza to go with a quality, handcrafted craft beer that makes everything just perfect.
And this was just perfect. I will say, and I understand that this happens on Saturday evenings and I’m not upset, the beer I was looking forward to had literally just kicked the moment I walked in.
On the advice of the bartender, and my own personal preference, I settled in for a cheese pizza and a pint of Bratwurst (Helles Lager, 5.1% ABV).
First, no bratwurst were maimed in the making of this beer.
Second, it’s just what a good pizza needed. The Helles is a style that is beautifully, lightly crisp. When you’re dealing with soft, gentle flavors coming from a good quality cheese pizza, you want something that’s not going to overpower, making the Helles Lager perfect.
This one had a light and crisp malt bill, with some nice touches of lightly sweet biscuity two-row, maybe a little Pilsner thrown in as well. Hops were noble, I would not be shocked if Hallertauer showed up on that list. While it did not have as much of the lemony citrus flavors that a Helles usually has, it still stayed true to most of what the Helles needs to be, and not going so deep into the territory of a golden ale. It was still very light, very crisp, and very refreshing, and was absolutely perfect for what I was looking for.
Strange Beast is worth the drive. It’s definitely a brewery I would go back to, and I feel that I have not yet begun to scratch the surface of everything they are about. I will make sure to keep a closer look at the tap list when I go, and definitely be saving room for a pizza to consume while I am there.
Drink Florida Craft,
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