Thursday, 21 May 2009

Zephyr Let Loose

It’s out. Brace yourselves. BrewDog have finally set free the 750ml bottles of Zephyr. But be quick. There are only 100 bottles on sale in the UK and only 40 of them from the BrewDog website. Check out their blog here.

I can honestly say this is one of the most remarkable beers I’ve ever had. It has this amazing see-sawing quality between elegance and brute force and it has a depth unlike anything else: truly unique, a beer masterpiece. It also inspired one of my favourite blog posts.

It’s a beer which has got a big story (imperial IPA, whisky barrel, strawberries, time) and now that it’s been released we see that it’s got a big heart too: all the proceeds go to the RNLI. Nice one BrewDog. I think they could’ve easily cashed in on the rarity and brilliance of this beer but they are supporting a very worthy cause with it.

You can buy the beer here and it’s something that everyone who loves beer really must try.

13 comments:

  1. But is it real ale? ;)

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  2. I have just ordered a bottle to drink at my graduation in June.

    Get in!

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  3. This probably should have been the world’s most expensive beer. It has far more credentials to be so than some mass produced rubbish by Carlsberg. This is limited, outlandish, has a handmade label and a true story. Why does Carlsberg justify selling beer for £215 a bottle when the rest of their beer is as cheap as possible? BrewDog is all about craftsmanship, quality, introducing new audiences to great beer and not gimmicks. Zpehyr probably should have been the most expensive beer in the world but we don’t believe in any of that bullshit.

    James, BrewDog

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  4. Barm, it's definitely ale and it's definitely real (as opposed to just some mythical beer?!) ;)

    Pete, good work! Good luck in your exam as well. I had a bottle of Deus des Flandres to celebrate my undergrad graduation and a Westvleteren 12 to celebrate postgrad. I kind of want to get another degree so I can graduate again and open another great beer!!

    And James, you guys should be really proud at creating this beer. I hope there's a Zephyr follow-up planned?!

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  5. I was only kidding. I remember reading it was bottle-conditioned.

    I'm really looking forward to trying this, if I can find a special enough occasion (I have a bad pleasure-deferral habit). The more I read about it the more interesting it sounds. Can anyone imagine InBev even considering making something like this?

    Very nice touch with the RNLI too.

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  6. I have a similar pleasure-deferal habit, I wrote a post about guilty hoarding a while ago as I buy beer for 'special occasions' but then just keep on waiting thinking that another few months and it'll be even better, and on and on!

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  7. Mark, stop your guilty hoarding! Beer is there to be drunk, enjoy it! Have you seen the film sideways? Perhaps you should just do what he does with that special bottle at the end!

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  8. I was a judge in the category of barrel aged beers at GABF last year and my personal conclusion was that barrel ageing works much better with imperial stout style beers rather than IPAs or indeed any other style. Do you think the ageing here brings enough to the flavour to (1) justify the time in the barrel and (2) give the value to the price ? Cheers Steve

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  9. James, BrewDog23 May 2009 11:47

    Steve,
    I completely agree with you. Traditionally barrel ageing works best with strong stouts. However we want to experiment and find other things that also work. Zephyr was about 2 things; the use of allot of fruit in the barrel and secondly the long period of time spent in the barrel. Both of these introduce allot of new dimensions and experiences in this type of beer. The long period of time also means that the whisky flavours from the barrel are far less pronounced and the tartness of the fruit and sourness of age and oxidisation are far more apparent. I guess the only way to decide if it justifies the price is to by some. We have 6 left!

    James, BrewDog

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  10. Steve, in my own personal opinion I think the barrel aging adds an amazing amount of complexity to the flavour, especially when coupled with the strawberries. The hops have subsided which makes it more like a barley wine or just a strong ale, I guess. Zephyr wouldn't be what it is if the base beer was a 12% stout, so much of the flavour is balanced by the pale ale as opposed to a rich and roasty stout. Get one if you can!

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  11. I'm looking forward to trying it. You have also reminded me that another thing that barrel ageing brings to the table is scarcity. Once it's gone it's gone. Steve

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  12. Gee, thanks for promoting this beer. Now I'm going to blow my beer budget out of the water! I'm calling my local higher end beer store today to see if they have this, along with the "How To Disappear..." hopefully I can get this.

    As far as "hoarding" beer for later, I tend to do that as well. Though most of the time the "special" event never seems to be there. The Wine writers at the Wall Street Journal have been promoting an "Open That Bottle" night every February to get people to drink that "save for later" bottle of wine. Maybe we need to start promoting something like that for beer?

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  13. Mark, I saw the 'Open That Bottle' night in February but couldn't open a bottle for that reason alone :D It is a good idea though. It could be arranged around twitter/youtube/blogs and everyone opens a special bottle to share with the world? Could be fun!

    I sorted my beer out earlier and there's a lot of good stuff in there that I know I won't open for ages. I just need to make sure that it doesn't go beyond its best, which is the accompanying worry to the hoarding!

    If you email James about the HTDC then find out which importer is getting the Zephyr in the US, that might help you track a bottle down.

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