Being weird is a pretty common occurrence in this crowded life of ours but embracing one’s own unique kind of strange is a breath of purified, toxin-free air. Spangalang Brewery brought their own style to the world of craft beer almost two years ago and here is what I found out…
I think of that kid who waved his farts at people in Junior High and years later he is a millionaire. Now, I look around and so many of us work in corporate America, half-satisfied, half-stoned and we don’t even want to shake off the dust and wake up to what makes us special. It’s wonderful to see people get out and stay out of the mold and do what makes them happy. Over at Spangalang Brewery, you will find some of these fine young men who are playing the music that life has called them to play and sinking into their special place in the Denver Brewery scene.
As you travel north on Welton Ave toward Spangalang Brewery, you might feel like you are slipping out of the modern downtown Denver into a time capsule of sorts. Old brick mansions split into apartments line the streets all around and the hands on the clock turn back as a different way of life approaches.
Five Points was once called “The Harlem of the West” and jazz music had a western stronghold with the rogue souls of Miles Davis and Billie Holiday gracing the stage at the Rossonian Hotel on Welton. African-American culture and music thrived there. And the boys who founded Spangalang, being musicians themselves, thought it was only right to pay tribute to the rhythm of the neighborhood and music they grew up playing.
The travelers who founded Spangalang Brewery: Austin, Darren, and Taylor run a 10-barreled, tight-ship that keeps the beer on continuous rotation. Their beer is only found at the Five Points taproom to preserve freshness. Part of the draw to their brewery is the neighborhood. So, take the trip and then you will realize why they keep the goods close to their vest and keep the beer in-house.
My friend Dustin and I sat at the bar chatting with Spenser, the bartender, about the various beers we tried and collaborations they have going on. The Blackberry Junction is a tasty sour that made me contemplate what I am doing with my life. My friend doesn’t enjoy sours and differed to the Dry Hopped Liger of which he would not shut up about – telling me that I am wrong for liking sours. Fuck him. I do what I want.
Next, I went for one of their crown jewels – I sipped slowly on The Birth of Cool – a cucumber gose with a sour feel that floats down to the soul. It is aptly named after a Miles Davis record. I only listen to jazz every now and again but you can tell Miles is the truth when you listen to him and you can taste the truth when you have this beer.
When I asked Darren about the roots of Spangalang Brewery’s name he said this, “The use of spangalang in jazz allows a drummer to keep time with the wildest of tangents while also providing its own driving force. That’s a little how we see our position in the world of craft beer. We’ll get weird with you, but we’re also going to try to keep you a little grounded.”
Goddamn, I am glad I could let you read that little bit of brewer wisdom. That is the Denver Hopper in a nutshell. And a damn well thought out response. *Drops the Mic* as the kids might say.
I savored my time at Spangalang Brewery and I will be back for sure. And like a stranger asking multiple people for directions in a new city, I leave every brewery a slightly changed person, but I am far more in tune with the world than before. I think all the experiences you find yourself in should do the same, at least a little. You have to own the randomness of life, embrace the jazz and be the unconventional-self you were probably meant to be. Drink Beer. Get Weird. Enjoy.
The Denver Hopper Notes:
Spangalangs Brewery’s 2nd year Anniversary is April 15th and they have lots of stuff going on. Check out the website for more detail!
Spangalang Brewery is collaborating with the folks who supply the cucumbers for “The Birth of Cool” called The Real Dill. What’s happening between them is called The Colorado Pickle and Beer Society. I don’t know how to explain what they are doing but it sounds interesting, so, after reading this post and sharing it on Facebook I recommend clicking the link above. They also have Jazz on Tuesdays from 7-9 and they have Geeks Who Drink Trivia starting 4/13.
Address: 2736 Welton Street Denver, CO 80205