I must make a little confession when it comes to Strange Land. Although I have sampled a decent range of their output, I have a rather negligent track record with their core range as I am always overly tempted by their exciting, potent and wintry seasonals. That said, their flagship IPA is a good ‘un, and available in cans. Their Headless Gentleman Imperial Bourbon Pumpkin Porter is to date my favourite ATX pumpkin beer, channelling Saint Arnold’s Pumpkinator with an additional bourbon kick, and the Old North Road is a nicely fancied-up English Strong Ale, made boozy with the addition of rum. The Fleur D’Oranger Belgian Tripel is festively floral and herbaceous, but I was a little disappointed with the Ghost Pepper Maple Syrup Pilz, which sounds like it should be heavenly but unfortunately someone forgot to add the ghost pepper. A quick scan through Strange Land’s Untappd profile reveals a strong willingness to push the creative boat out, showing beers with the likes of rosehip, wild grapes, sour cherry, strawberry and juniper and herbs de Provence. This is all well and good if you can pull it off, and so far they seem to be making a decent job of it.
Strange Land are located on the Bee Cave road, to the west of Central Austin, and their taproom, on a commercial estate, has limited hours on Fridays and Saturdays. With a cosy, pubby nook at the front and additional temporary tables laid out in their strip-lit tank room for overspill customers, the Strange Land taproom has a bit of a mixed-up feel to it. That said, their fondness for 80s indie-pop went down very well with me. This is definitely a local spot, as you’d expect in Austin’s suburbs, with regulars hanging out at the bar in their Friday night spots. Strange Land is the only brewery in this part of town, although it is en route to Lake Travis, so can be combined with trips to Oasis or Infamous, but a special journey is required. A flight of four came to $12, a little steep by ATX standards, and served in tumblers rather than the usual flight-size glasses, which can make you feel a bit like you’re quaffing a whiskey (not necessarily too far off if you’re drinking the Last Gentleman!). If you can’t make it up to the taproom, cans of Strange Land’s core range and bottles of their high-end seasonals can be found in many ATX craft beer stores and some of the larger supermarkets, although I don’t often see them out and about in bars.