In getting to where they now are, BrewDog have done things their own way and made some bold moves, but changing the recipe for Punk IPA is the bravest thing they’ve done so far.
Punk IPA is their best known brand; it’s the beer which built the brewery and it’s in supermarkets up and down
and on beer shelves and fridges around the world. With a successful beer, why would they change it? Taste the new version and you’ll see why: it’s better. Britain
Original Punk is uncompromising in its flavour, bitter and very dry on the palate, bold with tropical fruit and big hops. Some love it, others don’t. It’s probably the beer I’ve drunk more of than any other in the last three years, always having a bottle in the fridge for when only the familiar brashness of Punk will do – it’s to satisfy a hop craving, the bottle I can open and enjoy without thinking about it.
Why is new Punk better? I've had in from keg and bottle and for me it’s more drinkable; it’s something I would drink all night long whereas with old Punk I’d rarely reach for bottle two. The dryness is replaced by a little residual sweetness, there’s more body which is really satisfying, the lower abv of 5.6%/5.4% (the website says one thing, the pump clip says another...) is enough to encourage slightly more reckless consumption and the IBUs have dropped but the aroma hops at the end give the sort of gift a happy nose wants to receive on a regular basis with an overflowing bowl of tropical fruit. I think the new version is a perfect beer, still reminiscent of the original as it uses the same hops, just tweaked in the best of ways.
It’s undoubtedly a brave move because it’s changing the brand they are best known for but I think they’ve created a better beer and one which more people will want to drink. It’s a mature decision to make, beyond bravado, Bismarck and brash stunts, and I hope it’s even more successful than the original.
Punk IPA is dead. Long Live Punk IPA.
Who’s had it? What do you think?