Strange Brew Coffeehouse comes to Tuscaloosa

Brendan Yee, Contributing Writer

Strange Brew Coffeehouse opened its Tuscaloosa location on The Strip late last week. An already popular spot in Starkville, Mississippi, home of SEC rival Mississippi State, the new location is Strange Brew’s fourth. 

Owner Katelyn Reed said she could not be more excited about the new venture. 

“The original Strange Brew is currently in Starkville and is 17 years old. We have a second location in Starkville, as well as one in Tupelo,” said Reed. “I’m a two-time grad from The University of Alabama, and I always wanted to open a business here. This is our fourth location, and the opportunity arose to have a spot on The Strip and we wanted to do it. We thought it’d be a really fun adventure.” 

Reed said she was particularly excited for the new location’s unique drink offerings.  

“They’re all a little bit strange and different, hence the name,” Reed said. “We have all kinds of flavors of cold brew; just things that are a little bit different, a little bit unique. They are all recipes that we’ve curated over the years, and that people seem to really enjoy so I’m excited to bring them to town.” 

Employee Cole Pittman, a sophomore majoring in political science, also said he likes the drink selection.  

“I like how creative our drinks are. We offer a lot of flavors that I haven’t heard of before, and just a lot of flavor combinations,” Pittman said. “It has a reputation in Mississippi State, and Mississippi as a whole, and they brought over a lot of their traditions from the other Strange Brews and they’re kind of mixing it with Alabama.” 

Preston Merritt, a first-time customer and sophomore majoring in public relations, said he liked the large amount of menu options. 

I asked for a recommendation, and the cashier pointed me to the blueberry cold brew. It was really good. I didn’t get any food, but it all looked great,” Merrit said. “The menu was big, and the prices were pretty cheap; my cold brew was only $5. … The location on The Strip is also ideal. It’s easily walkable, and I can see myself going back there a lot.” 

Tuscaloosa resident Kirk Hays, also on his first visit, said the store’s layout was promising.  

“The inside was nice. I wish the seating would be a little more spread out, but the outdoor seating will be nice once the weather warms up,” Hays said. “I got a vanilla cold brew and a chocolate croissant; they were both good. The prices were pretty reasonable too. I thought the croissant was a bit expensive for the size, but it was definitely worth it.” 

Alongside eclectic beverage options, Strange Brew is also offering an array of baked goods that range from vegan options to gluten-friendly. 

“We bake fresh every single morning in house. We have a ton of sweet and savory pastries. We try to have something for everyone. … Almost all of our drinks can be customized to be either low sugar, no sugar or keto friendly, to meet all sorts of combinations and different nutritional needs that people may have,” Reed said.  

Ellie First, an employee and sophomore majoring in public relations, said her favorite part about the new location outside of the food has been the customers. 

“The people have been great for sure. I’ve met a lot of really cool people so far, so that’s been awesome. It’s kind of like one big family, and I really like that aspect of it. It’s also really cool getting to be a part of something that’s just starting,” First said. 

Reed said she has enjoyed meeting everyone who has supported the new location. 

“We’ve had so many students, which is of course perfect, but also lots of families,” Reed said. “Lots of church groups, study groups, businesspeople from downtown. Strange Brew’s really sort of like a melting pot. Everybody can come and get something that they enjoy.” 

Strange Brew Coffeehouse is located on University Boulevard, next to Gallettes, and is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. The location does not currently take Bama Cash or Dining Dollars but has plans of implementing them soon.