Sunday, 16 November 2008


BrewDog. Where the most exciting beers coming out of the UK right now are being made right now.

They’ve got a superb lager, two pale ales (one of them an imperial monster), an amber beer and a stout (a big boy’s stout at 8%) - check out their choice here. They also have their Paradox selection, which is imperial stout aged in whisky casks. Barrel aging is the ‘in-thing’ in brewing right now, the BrewDog difference is that they’ve used a variety of casks through the different ‘editions’ of their Paradox brew, with each barrel imparting its own unique characteristics through the aging. This is a great selection on its own, especially for somewhere which only started making beers in April 2007. But they don’t stop there… They move upwards and outwards, way beyond anything any other brewer is doing in the UK right now. And here is where they get awesome.

Tokyo is a 12% imperial stout brewed with jasmine and cranberries and aged in oak. Just reading about that one makes me dizzy with excitement.

Speedball is a cheeky new one, a very different kind of strong ale brewed with guarana, Californian poppy, kola nut and Scottish heather honey. I don’t even know how this one works, it’s mind boggling!

And another, which is coming soon: Zephyr. When I first read about this one I literally screamed because my brain couldn’t cope with that much excitement. It’s an imperial IPA, aged in an old (1965 old) whisky casks with fresh strawberries added. I just want one now!

They are also selling three prototype beers (three of each for a bargain £12.99 delivered – I ordered mine yesterday, get yours here) which in their own words are ‘to see if any of them are good enough to make their way into the BrewDog 2009 line up’. The selection is between a black lager, a wheat beer brewed with juniper berries and lemon peel, and a heavily-hopped IPA.

The newest venture involves us, their beer drinking fans. They are going to make a beer democratically chosen by online voters. Each Saturday, starting yesterday, for the next five weeks, they give the ongoing choices in the development of a beer. So we choose exactly what happens along the way.

This week there was the choice between what style it should be (including a black IPA which is a new one to me!), next comes the malt and target alcohol level, then hops, followed by the ‘specialty process’ (the stage where the beer potentially becomes something insanely interesting) and finally the name and packaging.

What a unique and brilliant idea?! I’ll be voting each week and I’ll certainly be buying whatever the finished result is, even if it’s just to see what the beer drinkers’ choice can do. And check out the video blogs, they are funny guys - it’s clear to see where all the personality of their beer comes from.

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