New Brewery Spotlight: Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew
Session beer. What’s your definition of a session beer? For me, it’s something with a low ABV (4 – 6% range), well-balanced, yet still flavorful and able to keep me interested over the course of several pints. I want a nice session beer that will allow me to hang out with friends for a few hours of good conversation, a game of Risk or to discuss our preparations for the upcoming zombie apocalypse. A good session beer will allow me to do this without the threat of getting sloppy or intoxicated.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you probably realize that I like the big-bad barrel aged monsters, like the Yeti, The Beast and the all-powerful Dark Lord as much as the next guy. But, the reality is that when I go to Great Divide or Avery or wherever to drink these 8%, 9%, 10%+ ABV beers, I’m limited to one or two at most. It’s almost as if some of the bigger breweries treat “session” like it’s a 4-letter word. Not a bad thing, but there’s a time and place for all beer. (Except for maybe Keystone Light… I gotta draw the line somewhere.) Sometimes, I just want to sit and enjoy some quality, low ABV beers. Fortunately for you and me, there’s a new brewery getting set to open in Denver, that’s looking to fill this oh-so-sad hole in our lives.
Enter Brandon Proff, Andrew Strasburg and Bryan Leavelle of Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew (OMF).
The team of three behind OMF are setting out to make delicious craft beers that are low in alcohol content, highly sessionable and pleasing to the beer geeks palate. They’re creating a place that will draw in the after-work crowd with great beers, engaging conversation and a comfortable hangout that feels like your buddy’s garage (only with better beer). Simple, yet modern and inviting, with a small beer garden on the side.
A small record player in the corner and I’m taken back to my high school days. I feel like they should have a drum set and a couple of guitars in the corner for when those creative juices really get going.
Last week, we met with OMF Director of Operations, Brandon Proff, to discuss OMF’s concept, upcoming beers and future plans.
The idea behind OMF had been getting tossed around for over a year. Brandon had been eyeing the location at 2810 Larimer Street for months and when it finally went up for sale, the OMF team jumped on it. They put their business plan into action, moved into the location on May 1st and now are just a few short weeks away from their opening day.
Brandon and OMF are going to offer local beers, made with local ingredients. Local hops and local specialty ingredients will be used whenever possible. They’re taking a very hands-on approach in their brewery by malting their own grains, something no other brewery (as far as I know) in the area has tried to do. This gives them total control over their product, allowing them to fine tune and experiment even more with their recipes. They’ll be a true nano-brewery, using a 1-BBL system, hand-crafting each batch, one keg at time.
The beers themselves are simple and true to style, but will surely be appreciated by both craft beer geeks and those still stuck in the dark ages of macro swill. OMF will be pouring 5-beers for their official opening: Saison, IPA, Pale Ale, Porter and the only beer with an actual name, the Cream Ale called Proletariat. There’s an extra tap line reserved for seasonals and experiments and another line reserved for Root Beer for those responsible DD’s or little ones in the crowd.
Have no fear barrel-aged freaks, there’s already talk about procuring wine barrels from their wine-making neighbors down the street at The Infinite Monkey Theorem. Or if coffee’s your thing, they’re right next door to local artisan coffee roasters, Huckleberry Roasters. In other words, there’s plenty of opportunity for brewmaster Bryan to play.
Brandon is planning on serving pies from The Humble Pie Store, which makes the best damn pie I’ve ever had in my life! Such a nice change from the typical pretzels and popcorn offered by many other breweries in town.
OMF has also created a Beer Appreciation Society for a small number of devotees. The $85 price tag will reward members with a LIFETIME of benefits including:
– 1 custom printed 32 oz growler
– 1 Beer Appreciation Society t-shirt
– 1 OMF notebook for tasting notes, journaling, ransom letters, etc.
– 1 laminated membership card
– 6 (FREE) growler fills (regular price $7, a $42 value)
– 12 (FREE) pints (regular price $4, a $48 value)
– 10% off your bar tab FOREVER
– Invites to all special tasting parties we do
– Secret Beer Society meetings where awesomeness will happen (guest brewer hangouts, collaboration beers, etc)
OMF isn’t even open yet and more than half of the memberships have already been claimed. If you think you’d like to sign up, I’d recommend doing so sooner than later. For more information, shoot an e-mail to OMF using this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
While it might seem like Denver is getting overrun with new breweries these days, each one is quickly finding their own niche in town. Prost is doing the German thing, River North is leaning towards Belgian-styles, Crooked Stave continues to lay down the funk and Black Shirt (when they open later this year) will be taking the classic Red Ale and twisting it in a variety of interesting ways. Our Mutual Friend will be a welcome addition to the quickly growing Five Points neighborhood in Northeast Denver with their classy, sessionable brews.
They’re targeting an opening date on September 15th and will be open Thu – Sun from 1 – 10 PM. Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew is located at: 2810 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205. 720-722-2810.