It’s BrewDog’s AGM this weekend, and along with some big news (a new bar in Glasgow with micro-brewery, launching Lone Wolf gin and vodka, revealing who’s buying 22% of the company…) there are a load of beers to try. In amongst the the cans of Born to Die and bottles of Dog F are a trio of beers from the past: Hop Rocker, The Physics and Punk IPA. This isn’t the Punk of today, instead it’s a recreation of the original recipe. And while I’m not at the AGM, I am in BrewDog Shepherd’s Bush, leeching their wifi and drinking Original Punk IPA.
My recent post about fresh beer has made me change my attitude to beer almost as much as my first taste of new world hops. The past few weeks have seen me squinting at bottling codes in badly lit shops and regretting almost every beer I’ve bought in a restaurant. It’s also made me think a lot about the one indication that we usually have to give us an idea of how fresh it is – best before dates.
While almost every news item that has popped up over the past few months has seemed like an elaborate ruse put together by bored copywriters, 1 April is the day where there is some vague excuse to actually make up a story or two. Here’s 2017’s crop:
BrewDog are not a company to do things in an easy or conventional way. Want investors? Sell thousands of shares, one at a time, to your fans. Want to get more of your beer to the USA? Crowdfund a huge distillery there. Find there aren’t enough hotels near your HQ? Try to build your own. Want to get new investment that is currently against the company’s articles of association? Send out an email to all of your relevant shareholders at 11pm on the latest day you can notify them.
The last is a new one, but the notification letter had a few things in it, wrapped up in glorious financial legalese. Here’s my attempt at unravelling it…
When it comes to big and hoppy beer, the USA has led the way. Back in 2000, my tiny mind was blown by a bottle of Sierra Nevada and my approach to beer changed. While I love traditional British beers, the evolution of the hop bomb has been one of my favourite things about the growing craft beer market. However, the explosion of locally brewed hoppy beers has brought one aspect of drinking them to the front of my mind – freshness
When it comes to Belgian beers, those made in the country’s abbeys are almost certainly the best known. Ask the average passer-by what they know about Belgian beer, and they’ll probably talk about strong beers made by monks. While many of the abbey beers have been around for years, one has popped up in the recent past – Zundert.
So, this here blog has turned seven. Well done blog, fallow as you are for much of the year due to me being busy and lazy. On Wednesday this week, the actual birthday, I was running a Whisky Lounge Blind Islay Fury whisky tasting, which seems appropriate, but I celebrated with a silly beer on Friday, and now I’m in the pub after running another whisky tasting, it’s time to write about it – a special bottle of Loch Ness Brewery’s Prince of Darkness.
New year, new booze. And how better to start blogging in 2016 than a bottle from the shelves of my local Morrison’s.
In amongst the Chorley cakes – my new favourite thing – and packets of interesting bits of pigs, they have a very good range of drinks. However, there are some weirder things hidden next to the tasty beers, including today’s beverage of choice – Bootlegger Apple Brew.
Beer is an important part of life in Belgium. While its popularity may have fallen in recent years, they still brew 18 million hectolitres per year, about 1% of production in the world. While that may not sound like a huge amount, Belgium isn’t a huge country, with only 11 million inhabitants, and this is about ten times its ‘demographic weight’ – a lot more beer per person than you might expect when comparing them to other countries. They may export 11 million hectolitres, more than 60% of their production, but that still leaves 64 litres of beer each per year, an impressive amount – 2 pints of beer a week for every person in the country, even more than we drink in the UK.
Continue reading “The History, Present and Future of Brewing in Belgium – #EBBC15”
Belgium is a country thick with beer tradition and history. While that leads to an impression of rows of noble old breweries and ivy-covered abbeys, the situation on the ground is quite different. After the main weekend of the European Beer Bloggers Conference, I went on a tour around West Flanders with the folks from Visit Flanders. We toured five breweries, each very different and showing a different side of modern Belgian brewing. First up De Plukker – The Picker.