Brewery Snapshot: Wit’s End Brewing Company

UPDATE: As of the end of late 2017 Wit’s End has combined forces with Strange Craft Beer Company. The flagship beers and brewer are the same but now produced and served at Strange’s location near 13th and Zuni.

A lot has changed at Wit’s End Brewing Company since my last visit a couple of years ago. On the positive side they have broadened and deepened their beer menu by adding a number of darker beers, high gravity beers, and barrel-aged beers. They truly offer a curated menu where most beer drinkers will find a sweet spot. On the other, bittersweet, side they will shortly be closing their brewery/taproom and moving in with Strange Craft Beer Co. so while they will continue to brew and pour, they won’t be doing it in their own unique space. In recognition of that I’ve truncated the review below to focus mainly on the beer.

BEER LINEUP: Very broad and comprehensive with good variety of light, medium, dark, IPA, and barrel-aged. All the beers I tried were very smooth and easy drinking, sometimes dangerously-so on the high-gravity beers. Everything seemed very solidly-produced and true to style.

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ATMOSPHERE, SERVICE, and LOCATION:  Wit’s End is currently buried deep among growhouses in an industrial park off of 2nd and Federal, which may contribute some to its sleepy vibe. The small taproom sits in the same space as the brewery, giving the whole place a stripped-down industrial look. The service was great and the bartender happily guided our party through the variety of selections to help us make our selections. If you want to visit this location, you better hurry and get there before Thanksgiving!

STANDOUT BEER: Scotchy Scotch Scotch – 2015 and 16. You really need to have both of these Scotch Ales to appreciate them, although I would heartily recommend either on their own. Obviously from the dates they have been barrel aged, though surprisingly the 2016 has a much smokier and Scotch-like flavor.  Both beers have a thick consistency and very smooth, sweet, and syrupy base. They feature big, intense hits of roasted malt and almost woody flavors. In the 2015 the sweetness wins out to the point that I got some marshmallow undertones occasionally. In contrast, the woody and smoky flavors dominate the 2016. Scotch-lovers would be all over 2016.

Beer Of The Week: Two22 Reformation Scottish Ale

20161129_171529_hdrDepending on where you live, Two22 Brew is a bit of a ride, located deep in SE Aurora, but usually good for an adventurous/experimental beer or two. However on my most recent visit I steered away from experimental and tried the Reformation Scottish Ale which I wouldn’t call particularly adventurous, or even that typical of a Scottish. The beer showed the typical reddish-carmel color and had a Scottish-level ABV but lacked the sweeter malty and carmel flavors that I’m accustomed to in Scottish ales. What did come through loud & clear were the dark-roast malt flavors and an unusual bitterness, almost like an English-style mild or bitter. Overall I’d call the beer pleasant but lacking in the “Scottish” part of the ale