After four months of tinkering and trying again, Strange Brewing Company has perfected its recipe for a "house beer" that is now being served exclusively at Hops & Pie and is also being used in the crust of the northwest Denver restaurant's pizzas.
Hops & Pie PA went on tap earlier this week on two taps: One is a regular tap, while the other pushed the beer through a modified randall, a device that is used to add flavors or ingredients to a beer as it is being served. In this case, Hops & Pie has added -- you guessed it -- more hops to the randall, which it has dubbed Hoptymus Prime.
"That's how I get it when I'm there," says Tim Myers, co-owner and head brewer at Strange Brewing, which opened last May at 13th Avenue and Zuni Street. "The randall gives even more hop character, but no in an overwhelming way. It adds a freshness and a brightness."
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Hops & Pie had been using Ska Brewing's Modus Hoperandi in its pizza since opening last September, but co-owner and pizza chef Drew Watson wanted a beer he could call his own. The problem was coming up with a recipe that stood up in the pizza dough.
"It's not only our house beer; it had to shine through in our cooking," Watson says.
So far, Strange has made seven barrels of Hops & Pie PA for Watson (or about fourteen kegs), but it's been selling faster than Myers can make it. "It's been screaming out the door, which means I have to re-evaluate my whole brewing schedule so I can have enough for him," he says. "We've been pleasantly surprised. It's a good problem to have."