Novel Strand Brewing brings its unusual twist on beer styles to Denver today when it opens at 3 p.m. in a little corner spot in the Baker neighborhood. The brewery, at 305 West First Avenue, will only have hours Thursdays through Sundays to start with and will share space with Queen City Collective Coffee, which opened last month.
The brewery's three owners — Chantel Columna, Tamir Danon and Ayana Coker — met as undergrads at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, where they drank their way through plenty of beer together. “What brought us together is beer. We have all loved beer and enjoyed it together,” Danon said in a previous interview with Westword .
They hope that Novel Strand will be a place where people of all backgrounds can come together and feel welcome. That's in part because the owners themselves have backgrounds that don't necessarily fit with the typical image of professional brewers. Columna, who was raised in the Dominican Republic, and Coker are both black; Columna is also Latina. They are among the first, if not the very first, African-Americans to have an ownership stake in a brewery in Denver, or even Colorado. Danon was raised in Israel.
The opening-day focus will be on the beers, however, and Danon has brewed five interesting selections.
Green Showers is Novel Strand's house hoppy beer. Brewed with Amarillo, Idaho 7, Huell Melon and Mosaic hops, it has notes of "tropical strawberry and spicy cannabis," while barley, wheat and oats give it a "mouthfeel that is soft, yet crisp and dry," the brewery says. Green Showers weighs in at 6.2 percent ABV.
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Budding Thoughts "is a small hoppy beer" flavored with Columbus, Enigma, Equanot, Motueka and Simcoe hops. "It tastes like peaches and apricots," the brewers note, and is 4.9 percent ABV.
Weapon of Choice: Mosaic is an IPA "designed to showcase our favorite hop variety, Mosaic. It tastes like guavas, berries and cannabis."
Then there's Udderworldly, a 4.3 percent oatmeal milk stout that Novel Strand describes as "light, velvety and surprisingly refreshing. If you are lactose-intolerant, this is not for you."
And finally, Novel Strand will be pouring Nitwit, a 4.2 percent beer brewed with barley, wheat and oats, and fermented using one of Danon's favorite Belgian strains of yeast. "This ale is inspired by witbier and biere blanche, which originate in Belgium and northern France," he describes. "Delicately tart, with a kick of yeast esters and coriander, this beer is one of our core pours, and will take good care of you in this hot summer."