By Kevin Collison
Strange Days’ day has finally arrived in the River Market.
Nathan Howard opened his international-theme microbrewery last weekend at 316 Oak St. after a couple of months delay awaiting city approvals.
“We started brewing in early December and anticipated an opening in mid-to late January,” he said. “We hit a little delay that allowed to focus on brewing more beer.”
And in a booming downtown microbrewery scene in which all the action seems to be concentrated in the East Crossroads, his arrival is being celebrated by locals.
“We’ve had a lot of feedback from people here that we’re so happy you’re in the River Market,” Howard said. “They can’t believe it’s taken so long.”
Work on Strange Days, it’s named after a song by The Doors, began last summer and most of the construction was finished last fall. In addition to Howard, the other partners in the brewing venture are Alec Vemmer and Chris Beier.
Appropriately enough, the new microbrewery is located in a former Muehlebach Brewing warehouse. The 2,500 square-foot space can accommodate up to 185 people.
Getting ready for business, Strange Days Brewing has hosted a couple of events for friends and family, as well as the soccer crowd.
Strange Days wants to become a center for watching European soccer and will open early on Saturdays and Sundays to accommodate fans.
“The soccer crowd likes our Australian Gold light ale,” Howard said. “Most people think our Japanese Black IPA is our most unique brew.”
Strange Days also has forged a productive relationship with a goat farmer in Holden, MO, who operates Borgman’s Dairy Farm.
The microbrewery donates its spent grain for goat feed, and in return is supplied with savory food items to accompany its brews. They include sweet and savory cheese cake, meat and cheese trays and goat’s milk carmel sauce.
Customers also are invited to bring food with them and Howard plans to have menus from River Market restaurants on hand. Food trucks also will be part of the scene.
As more microbreweries tap into the downtown market, Howard believes there’s still enough thirst for unique craft beer.
“Kansas City has room to grow quite a bit compared to cities of similar size,” he said.
Hours are Thursday and Friday from 3- to 10 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
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