In an attempt to stand out among the ever-growing number of Denver breweries, Strange Craft Beer Co. and Wit’s End Brewing Co. have announced plans to share Strange Craft’s brewhouse and tasting room at 1330 Zuni St. The co-tasting room, which will brew and serve beers from each brand’s portfolio, is a first for the city.
We caught up with Scott Witsoe, founder of Wit’s End, and Tim Myers, founder of Strange Craft, for the scoop on this this unique endeavor.
How did this idea to combine breweries come about?
Scott Witsoe: “My good friend Tim Myers of Strange Craft and I spoke one fateful day about the idea of pooling our resources, what we could do together to strengthen our companies, and the idea of co-habitating at his facility was born! We have always had some challenges with the Wit’s End location, particularly in later years. To accomplish the goals we have with the brewery, and strengthen our operations, this seemed to make more and more sense the deeper Tim and I got into the conversation. We asked each other, ‘Why the hell would we not do this?’”
What opportunities does this co-habitation provide?
Tim Myers: “The current craft beer environment is much different than when Strange opened in 2010 and Wit’s End opened in 2011. Taproom breweries face much stiffer competition from the wide array of beer drinking options: 65-plus breweries in the Denver city limits, more beer bars and gastropubs than ever, festivals galore and legal marijuana. Local neighborhood breweries need to innovate and get creative to stand out in the increasingly crowded market. I have thought for years that a shared facility solved many of these challenges. Sharing brewing facilities, staff and rent reduces overhead significantly. Combining brew staff allows for greater recipe creativity and innovation—which hopefully leads to more satisfied patrons.”
SW: “In addition to what I believe will be a stronger position for both of our breweries with this new co-habitation, I personally hope to free myself up a little more by not running the day-to-day operations, and spend some much needed time with my family as well as pursue some other endeavors. …Much like Tango & Cash, Jay & Silent Bob and maybe Beavis & Butthead, this move will allow us to share resources, as well as be the first breweries in Denver to have a co-taproom.”
What kind of adjustments will be made to accommodate this co-tasting room?
TM: “Wit’s End head brewer Tyler Bies will move to Strange and become head brewer for both brands. This means Wit’s End customers can look forward to the same great beers they’ve come to love these last six years. Strange will carve out 24 square feet in Unit N for the new world headquarters of Wit’s End. In this space, Scott will occasionally brew tiny batches. Artifacts from Wit’s End’s current tasting room will move over too, paying homage to the original space.”
What are your hopes for this new endeavor?
SW: “Our goal is to bring the best parts of the Wit’s End service and atmosphere (maybe some tchotchkes) to the Strange Craft taproom. We are guests in their house, so everything that makes the Strange taproom great remains, and some of our customers will still experience enough similarities to feel at home while enjoying Strange’s awesome beers. We are kindred spirits Tim and I, and we feel the blend of our two worlds will be just like Starsky and Hutch … minus the muscle car.”
FYI: Head to Wit’s End Brewing Co., 2505 W. Second Ave., to shop the brewery’s cellar sale before it closes at its current location at the end of the year.