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24th November 2022

Strange Times calls for strange measures: The mystic brewery’s visions of the future

Strange Times brewery unveils its newest beer named by the public at the launch of its crowdfunder
Strange Times calls for strange measures: The mystic brewery’s visions of the future
Photo: Simon Stone @ OggaDoon

Strange Times is a brewery run in Salford that brews several varieties of beer supplied around the northwest, each with a sufficiently spooky background.

The aptly named brewery was founded just over two years ago, born out of the Covid-19 lockdown of 2020. It remarkably comprises only three team members who had a “desire to experiment” with new ingredients, which led them to source ingredients globally. Different regions around the world don’t only provide the ingredients but also a set of mythologies and folklore that inspired the naming of their brews.

For example, the refreshing Lorelei Lager is brewed using hops from Germany, named after the tale of Lore, a woman who threw herself into the Rhine from a rock (a “lei” in old german) and was transformed into a siren, luring sailors to a watery doom.

If you fancy something darker, why not go for the Mad King Sweeney Irish Red? A malty ale brewed with oats and rye imported from Ireland, and inspired by Buile Suibhne – a ferocious king cursed into madness during battle. In his insanity, he killed a psalmist who cursed him to forever wander the land alone like a bird until he was killed by a spear. The poor guy couldn’t catch a break.

All the company’s artwork is done by the incredible Mina Mond, an artist based in France with a characteristic macabre style. Her designs draw inspiration from tarot cards, tying in with the drinks’ mythological themes.

As a promotion, the brewery held a competition to name their new beer debuting later this year. Members of the public submitted possible names; the top four were then selected and put forth again to the public for a vote.

Manchester-based puns appeared popular, with one contender being ‘Andy Beernham’. Ultimately, the winning name was ‘This Charming Can’, a homage to the Salford-based band, The Smiths, while also in reference to Strange Times’ current aspiration to purchase a canning machine to make their beers more accessible.

Strange Times held a tasting event for the opening of their crowdfunder and announcement of the new beer’s name. The brewery is crowdfunding to raise £40,000 to buy a new canning machine which will allow them to expand their offerings nationwide.

The autumnal timing couldn’t have been more perfect for the witchiness of the brewery (unless, of course, the event coincided with Halloween). The event, being held at the cute Bee Orchid Bar just ten minutes walk from the brewery itself, naturally featured all the beers Strange Times has to offer.

For those less inclined to beer, special cocktails were also available that creatively utilised the beers in twists of classic drinks. The bright, refreshing Lorelei Lager was combined neatly with tequila and lime for a lighter spin on a margarita, and the citrusy Coyote APA added a distinct, malty sweetness to the classic sidecar.

Find Strange Times beers online and at bars and pubs in and around Manchester, and find out more about their crowdfunder here.

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