New Brewery Map

After a bit of a play around with new colours, I’ve landed don this beaut-

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/497619474/alternative-map-of-all-the-breweries-in?ref=shop_home_active_1

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And a bit closer:

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Closer still:

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You can find it here:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/497619474/alternative-map-of-all-the-breweries-in?ref=shop_home_active_1

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Candidate #10- Strange Brewing Company, Denver, CO.

Watermelon, goodness.

Watermelon, goodness.

Thanks for not reading the Rocky Mountain News. Thank you Rocky Mountain residents, for chilling out and not generating much news. When the paper closed, two former employees took a punt on a 20-gallon home-brew kit and a beery dream. Strange was born.

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There are eleven beers detailed on their website, but no mention of the watermelon bomb I tried in July 2013. They also say they close at 9 though, so I don’t know what to believe. The Strange Pale Ale was also good, and I’d already had a Pliny the Elder that night to which it was inevitably compared.

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The Strange Brewing Company is really well hidden in an unremarkable industrial area of Denver. All chipboard and business inside, the decor is a stark contrast to the effort made by bars this side of the pond to create an homely, affable vibe. But, despite their decorators best efforts, or in spite of them, they have created a brilliant atmosphere. I loved it. I was also on my nth ±6 beer when arriving, so make of that what you may.

That really is where it is.

That really is where it is.

There was some kind of bluegrass yokel band swinging on a trailer in the garden which, given the location, was disturbing no one.

Venue: 7/10

The bar really is the brewery- the garden is reached by walking through a room full of brewing vats.

Beer: 8/10

The (temporary?) watermelon beer is perhaps the best fruit beer ever.

Worthy? Maybe

Huge novelty value, instantly welcoming community feel and an all-round positive of the new micro-brewing explosion.

Candidate #5- Zero Degrees, Bristol, England

Zero Degrees is a brewpub chain of four: Bristol was the second venue and a local institution in the town I called home for my college years.

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The Bristol venue is the most unique as the location, nestled in amongst the historic Christmas Steps, provided an architectural challenge that was successfully met with stylish innovation. The steeply dipping hills allowed for three terraces and arresting views over the city. Some of the interior is of course reserved for the brewery, where glass walls enable the patrons to keep a discerning eye on the beer-monkeys as they go about their business. The brewery spills out over the bar with great arching pipes, emphasising the industrial chic design.

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Gratuitous shot of Bristol looking lovely. This is no where near the bar.

Although several of the beers have won some very prestigious awards, such as a CAMERA award for the pilsner, the mango beer is the reason people come back, frequently. I’m told it was an experimental guest beer, indeed it is unnamed on the menu, but they struck gold, so that the “Speciality” option is now synonymous with mango, regardless that the blurb explains this beer to be a changing, experimental compliment to the fixed pilsner, wheat and black lager. In five years, this guest has never changed apart from a cranberry Christmas brew. On a summer’s day, this mango beer is probably the best thing you could imbibe.

Venue: 7/10

Architecturally sumptuous, but perhaps a little cold on the inside.

Beer: 6/10

Mango beer. Much, much better than it sounds.

Worthy? Maybe

143. Heineken Brewery, Amsterdam, Holland

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First brewed by Gerard Adriaan Heineken in 1873, Heineken quickly rose to prominence and was awarded the Grand Prix at the 1889 Exposition Universelle, no doubt overshadowing the completion of the most famous of Parisian landmarks. The same yeast, Heineken A-yest, has been used for over a century.

Heineken’s relentless expansion left the old brewery site in de Pijp, Amsterdam, vacant as they moved to larger, more practical premises. This is now an interactive brewery (but not and actual brewery) tour, with tastings and  a bar at the end.

And it is all so very crap. As I’m sure you know, the beer is bland and best served very, very cold, lest you taste it. On a blazing hot day, sat lazily in the sun, the sight of an ice-speckled Heineken would make me very thirsty. As would any beer.

The inclusion of the Heineken Experience is beguiling on two main fronts; 1- the awful beer, of which you have one choice (so no choice) and 2- it’s not a bar, it’s a museum that costs €18 to enter.

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Venue: 1/10

Not really a bar, and will cost you €18 for the pleasure.

Beer: 0/10

It’s Heineken, and Heineken only, for fuck sake people!

Worthy? Hell no.

I can only assume this makes the list due to Heineken’s dominance in the global beer market. But it peddles almost exclusively crap beers, think: Fosters, Amstel, Sol, John Smith’s…and it is this corporate might that forces down the market share of smaller, better beer brands that you can sample at any one of the other 149 venues on this list.