Located in the heart of the quickly-developing Five Points neighborhood, Spangalang Brewery brings some unique beers to the area. The transitional location also seems to provide a far different experience on each visit. Sometimes I’ve seen it packed with RINO hipsters, other times with Happy Hour downtown office workers, and other times . . . very, very dead. Point being, there’s not really a “typical” experience to expect, aside from interesting beers.
BEER LINEUP: At first glance Spangalang’s tap list looks fairly standard – a few light beers, a couple IPAs and some darks – but if you dig in you’ll realize that Spangalang takes creative license with most of those beers to add fruitiness, sourness, unusual hop applications or some combination of those. As a result, most of the beers are complex and somewhat challenging “thinker beers” such as their Salted Plum Table Beer. Like most breweries that push the envelope, sometimes it results in something magical and sometimes it falls flat. Definitely sample before ordering a full pour.
ATMOSPHERE: On a recent Friday night Spangalang was kind of dead and the atmosphere felt rather flat, although on other visits the taproom has been packed with after-work downtown professionals, RINO hipsters or a random mix and felt very energetic. Coming off a long work week we enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere in the basic taproom that offers a view into the brewing area.
SERVICE: The server was fast & friendly and seemed knowledgeable about the beer. Bar service only.
NEIGHBORHOOD: The rapidly-revitalizing Five Points neighborhood serves up numerous options for eating, shopping and entertainment that you can combine with a visit to Spangalang. Although in the past the area was rather sketchy it now feels safe walking around and provides good transportation access including street parking, an adjacent parking lot accessed off of 27th Street, a light rail stop in front of the brewery and bike lanes within a couple of blocks.
STANDOUT BEER: Prince Puckercup tart farmhouse ale. While it sounds like much could go wrong with this beer, Spangalang managed to create a light-bodied beer with a mild crisp tartness balanced by traditional farmhouse flavors. The genius of the creation is that neither flavor overwhelms, making for an easily-enjoyable brew. The heavy cloudiness was a bit disconcerting but didn’t really detract from the experience.