Friday, 4 March 2011

The Brewdog

The Brewdog brewery in Fraserburgh, which has been brewing beer since 2007 has been picking up a bit of attention of late. Perhaps it's notoriety, but that's not a reason not to check them out. So when I heard that they had opened up a pub in Aberdeen I reckoned that was the perfect opportunity to pop round and see what's going on whenever I got a chance - which was last Sunday.

I decided I would go down the half pint line since you get to try a few more before you fall over that way (falling over was not the plan by the way). With 7 draft beers on one blackboard and about as many on another, I certainly wasn't going to go through the card but decided on a half of Punk Wit - it's a sturdy little number, fruity and something a bit peppery about it - I'm afraid I'm not much of a connoisseur, but either way it was really good. Brewdogs half pint glasses have a fill to the line mark, religiously ignored by the barmen - keep it up lads. Then I moved on to a halfish pint of 5am Saint which was not quite so much to my liking - quite palatable though and I'm sure I could pick out a slight essence of bicycle inner tube.

Brewdog last year hit the news, or at least with type of people inclined to report that sort of thing, when it produced the world's strongest and most expensive beer. It was a limited edition of 12 bottles of 55% alcohol beer presented inside stuffed animals - that is, stuffed mainly with a bottle of beer. 7 were in stoats at £500 pounds and 4 were in Squirrels at £700 and one was in a hare which was not for sale. They did have one of the squirrel bottles on a shelf behind the bar which they brought down for me to photograph - not the last photo of the night. The poor creature seems to spend a large lump of it's afterlife leaping back and forward between bar and customer for photographs.


They have a huge selection of bottled foreign beer behind the bar. Much, though not all, is, quite frankly expensive and I did feel the need for a drink after I'd read the beer menu - handy that I was in a pub. But if you fancy treating yourselves from time to time or are Norwegian and quite used to these kind of prices then you'll be hard pushed to find a better selection anywhere (perhaps, just perhaps, even in the Masonic in Kirkcudbright)


I plumped for a bottle of Black Chocolate Stout - if you like dark chocolate and beer, then this could be the beer for you. I say it's yummy but if you want a more in depth review, I recently read about it here

The barmen have been very well educated about their product, can tell you all about it and are quite happy to give you a wee taste before you buy. I tried a taste of their Punk IPA which was very fine but what I was more interested in was the range of single hop ales - this sounds like the stuff of purists to me. They make four and they had two here on draught so I had a taste of both - the Nelson Sauvin (a New Zealand hop) was a fruity little number and the Sorachi Ace tasted of coconut - coconut? hard to believe without any brewery tricks - I'll have a half pint (and a bit) of that please. The barman tells me it's a Japanese hop developed by the Saporo brewing company (they of the indestructible tin)

The bar was mainly filled with young people and not a one drinking Tennents lager. They appeared to be doing quite well considering this was a Sunday night. Another Bar is due to open in Edinburgh sometime this month and one is planned for Glasgow. Could this be a change in the Scottish drinking habit - I don't know but it definitely marks an improvement in one corner of it.

Finally, it seemed a bit irresponsible to leave without trying their Sink The Bismark, which rings in at a spectacular 41% alcohol. Not surprisingly, they don't sell it by the pint or half pint but by 25ml shorts. It's much easier drinking than you might imagine (no need to grit your teeth first) and to my surprise, still identifiable as a beer.


Brewdog website is here

13 comments:

Shundo said...

Thanks for the in-depth reporting - how you must suffer to bring us such blog entries! When you wrote "stuffed animals" I was thinking cuddly toys, so I was a little alarmed to see an actual dead squirrel being used as a bottle cooler. Perhaps they charge so much to be able to pay off the RSPCA...
Nice to know that some super-strong brews do actually taste okay. I have found in my sampling of the tough Belgian stuff that anything upwards of 10% seems to be a bit treacly.

Sandy's witterings said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sandy's witterings said...

It's tough life - I drink the beer so you lot out there don't have too.
I think for a grey squirrel the RSPCA would turn a blind eye for a crate of beer. Now if it had been a red squirrel, that would have been pricey.

The Glebe Blog said...

Specialist tea,specialist chocolate and specialist beer,very epicurean Sandy.
Talking of specialist tea,did you happen to catch the first of a five part docu called "The boat that Guy built" on BBC1 tonight (Friday).It should be on the BBC I player.
In it there was a short section on tea,and one particular brew looked very much like your mystery brew of a recent post.

Janie2 said...

OH how I wish I were there, I could use a beer! Chocolate with my wine, but I would take that with beer as well. You have a great blog, I love seeing what you are up to.

Sandy's witterings said...

I'm afraid I was out last night - Ivan Drever round at the School - so I missed the program but I might catch up with it later in the week in the i-player.

Janie - I'm sure we could have found you a gap at the bar.

It's off on a wander for a few days folks - back next week. Tara

Crafty Green Poet said...

The animals used were all road kill which makes it less upsetting, but still...

I like Zeitgeist which is (I think!) brewed by Brewdog. I don't think I've tried any of their others, they tend to be pretty strong all round so I avoid them...

I was at one point trying to drink all the Scottish Real ales i could to write haiku about them for the blog Beer haiku daily, but I ran out of inspiration after Schiehallion....

Sandy's witterings said...

I didn't know the animals were all road kill Juliet but I was pretty confident that they weren't hunted for the sake of being beer bottles.

It would take quite some time to work your way through all the the Scottish real ales from the Sulwath right through to the Valhalla breweries. If it was me writing them, I'm sure I would see a distinct deterioration in Haiku as I progressed.

Light-In-A-Box said...

I used to be able to drink any type of beer, but now I only seem to prefer (every couple weeks) the imports such as heineken, corona, etc. Easy on the pallate, hard on the wallet! Hmmmm, chocholate & beer, I don't think I could do it!
Glad to hear you made it through the testing!
Michael

Tim said...

Thanks for the cite, Sandy!

Sandy's witterings said...

Alas Michael, on the beer front I suffer from a lot of "I used to be able to"s - old age I'm afraid. Due to my liking for waking up feeling well in the morning, I have become a very modest drinker (I was never particularly immodest anyway) but I'm afraid if I have to start sticking only to light beers, I shall just become tea total.

Tim, you're welcome.

The Glebe Blog said...

I'm all for stuffing the Grey Squirrels Sandy.According to the local press some have been spotted in the vicinity of Newton Stewart whic as you know is supposedly a Red Squirrel haven.

Sandy's witterings said...

I'm afraid the march of the grey squirrel seems relentless Jim. Lets hope we're not the last generation to see the red ones.