It's been a busy six weeks at Denver's Strange Brewing Company. Between a major brewery expansion project, the threat of trademark infringement lawsuit and the Great American Beer Festival, where Strange won a medal for the second year in a row, owners Tim Myers and John Fletcher have had their hands full.
But not too full to take on yet another project: The brewery plans to bottle and sell its Dr. Strangelove Barleywine -- the beer that Strange won its most recent medal for.
See also: - Strange Brewing faces a trademark threat from a Massachusetts homebrew shop - Meet the winners of Great American Beer Festival 2012 - Strange Brewing opens biergarten, talks about expansion
"This is two years in a row that we've won a medal for a beer that is a pain in the butt to make," Myers says with a laugh; Strange won a gold in 2011 for its gluten-free Lemon Pale and a bronze at the most recent GABF for Dr. Strangelove.
"Strangelove is 11 percent ABV, so no one is going to come in a have a couple of pints of it," Myers says. "It could take me twelve months to sell seven barrels of it at five ounces at shot. So we figured the only way to make any money is by selling bottles."
Myers made a seven-barrel batch of it shortly after GABF and plans to make a second batch next week. The goal is to bottle it in hand-filled, hand-labeled bombers and get it into liquor stores in time for the holiday booze season.
"The only caveat would be that people would need to leave it in the bottle and let it condition for a few months," Myers says. The GABF-winning version aged for more than ten months before it was first served in the taproom.
Bottling is contingent on a few obstacles, however, including label approval from the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
And then there's that pesky issue of Strange Brewing's name. In late October, Strange was threatened with a lawsuit by a homebrew shop in Massachusetts called Strange Brew Beer & Wine Making Supplies. Since then, the two small companies have traded letters, and a social media campaign was created by fans of Denver's Strange denouncing the homebrew shop.
"All I want to do is brew beer, sell beer, drink beer, talk beer," Myers says.
In the meantime, he's got his work cut out for him.
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