“Exquisitely Peculiar.” Words the guys and gals over at Strangeways Brewing use to describe their beer and their brewery. This place definitely has a vibe and a style all its own but I felt right at home when the first song I heard was “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd and the first beer I had was a delicious 10.24% Eisbock. Strangeways is a little off the beaten path from where you would expect to find an up and coming brewery here in Richmond, but somewhere between noticing the boar head on the wall rocking a fez cap and drinking a Caramel Woodbooger I decided this place was worth the trip.
Strangeways Brewing keeps four beers on tap year round but their tap lineup always consists of twenty five beers that cover a wide range of styles and tastes. From the Wampus Cat Triple IPA to the O.T.I.S. Cucumber Melon Sour that will surprise many first-timers with its crisp, tart taste it is quite clear these guys are not afraid to take a chance in the pursuit of unique craft beer.
With more than 8,400 square feet, Strangeways has ample space that includes a bar & tasting room, beer garden, and a patio out front where patrons can enjoy their beer while playing some cornhole. Inside there is ample seating with tables by the bar and picnic tables in the beer garden from which you are provided a great view of their brewing operation. If you need entertainment while working through their numerous tap selections the beer garden also has a jukebox (sadly another group decided to play Miley Cyrus right after we sat down), Golden Tee, Pac-Man, and a zombie video game I have never seen before. In short, this is a place where you would have to go out of your way to be bored while drinking a beer.
Strangeways Brewing (Richmond, Virginia)
2277A Dabney Road
Richmond, VA 23230
Total Beers Tapped: 25
Tours: Yes (Free)
Growler/On-Site Sale: Yes, Strangeways sells Growlers, Grunts and Blue Balls (to-go containers of various sizes) and lets you keep your glass if you fill a to-go container on Thursday nights.
Food: Brewery has light snacks available for purchase and has weekly events where food trucks are on site.
Beer Selection: As mentioned previously, there is something at Strangeways Brewing to accommodate almost any craft beer drinker. The Albino Monkey White Ale and Phantasmic East Coast IPA are both very solid and available year round. Those who are more adventurous will enjoy trying beers like the Melon Disintegration Barrel-Aged IPA or the Forbidden Forest B-Side Honey Bock.
Amenities: Brewery holds weekly events like Cards Against Humanity Throw Downs, Trivia Night, and Steal The Vessel. Plenty of parking when we went on a Saturday afternoon but you might have to park on the street if they are busy.
Atmosphere: I went to Strangeways with a group of friends on a Saturday afternoon in a deliberate effort to avoid the crowds that were in downtown Richmond for a large festival. Throughout the afternoon small groups came and went but checking this place out on a quieter day was great because we got to spend so much time interacting with the staff. Not having to fight through crowds seemed to fit with this brewery’s laid back feel, but I have been told that our experience was unique given how popular Strangeways has become with the weeknight/weekend crowd.
Overall: Strangeways Brewing is a unique experience that many craft beer drinkers will enjoy, but people should know in advance you will not get the full experience by having one or two of their year-round standards. This place is best enjoyed with a group of friends who appreciate different styles of beer and aren’t scared off by words like “Cucumber” and “Forbidden Forest” not typically found on a tap list. Next time you find yourself looking for an afternoon or evening adventure that involves beer and a few unexpected twists, head over to Strangeways and try something you literally will not find anywhere else.