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.
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…
Best before dates are a strange thing in the beer world. The law in the UK ensures that brewers put a date on their bottles, but for the most part it’s an entirely made up number that can be happily ignored. However, it seems that BrewDog have jumped on the fresh beer bandwagon and embraced the BBE with a new IPA: Born to Die.
BrewDog are at it again. After three scarily successful rounds of crowdfunding, two of which I’ve pitched in to, they’ve decided to go again, with Equity for Punks IV now live. To announce it, they put on an event at their Shepherds Bush bar, with an evening of founders James Watt and Martin Dickie, beer, new product announcements and BrewDog fans cheering ‘Breeeewdooog, Breeeewdoooog’ every time there was a lull. They also had a special beer on tap, made at the pilot plant at their Ellon brewery: BrewDog Pilot Brew 008 – Whiskey Sour.
It’s not a revelation to anyone who’s visited my house that I have a thing about some of BrewDog’s beers. If you are a long-term reader of this blog (hi mum!), you will probably realise this too, even if in more recent times I’ve not said much about them. Unfortunately this is a sign of their success, as they’ve become more ubiquitous and part of the establishment – the kind of thing that new-thing-loving bloggers like myself drink more than write about. However, they recently sent me a bottle of beer, so it’d be rude not to say a word or two about it, especially as I’ve already picked up a couple of bottles of it for my stash. The beer in question: Paradox Compass Box.
One of the annoying things about the prolific nature of BrewDog’s releases is that they happen with just about the exact required regularity to fit in with my beer drinking schedule. Almost every time they send out a new email announcing their latest minor variant on a previous beer, collaboration or rerelease of something they made a few years back and which is now remembered with fondness, I’ve just finished my last stack of beers from them and there’s a hole in my cupboard ready to be filled with a shareholder-priced pile of Punk IPA. However, my latest order was quite large (thanks to a sale) and the latest email fell upon a full cupboard and was, at first, sadly sent to the trash folder.
Fortunately, I now have a BrewDog bar down the road. One that does beers for take-away with a discount. A discount that means it’s just about cheaper to buy two bottles from the bar rather than online, if you include postage. Although only just. So, Step forward the latest beer from the Hello My Name is… range – Hello My Name is Vladimir.
My obsession with BrewDog continues. It has, happily, morphed over recent time to not only be about their beers but also their bars, which I seem to find myself in on a large number of occasions. I am an occasional solitary drinker and like places I can hide with a pint while perusing the internet and tapping away on my portable keyboard, and when it comes to craft beer bars in London the BrewDog triplets are amongst the best for that. Especially now that there are three of them – the third opened recently in Shepherd’s Bush, immediately taking its place as my ‘local’1.
I popped in for a swift half on Christmas Eve and may have accidentally stayed for a few, emerging several hours later with a shiny takeaway tin filled with two pints of my selected Christmas day beer – Tongue Tied IPA.
#EBBC13 – The 3rd European Beer Bloggers conference, and the first one that I’ve attended. From the first in London (which I missed despite living down the road) and the second in Leeds (which I found out about a week before it happened) they’ve now moved up to Edinburgh, where I am now currently sitting in an overly warm basement hotel room with a tram track being built outside. They started at 5:30am.
The EBBC does exactly what it says on the tin – it’s a conference for Beer Bloggers and is held in Europe. To start things off we had a pub crawl around some of the more beer focused bars of the Old Town, put together by Chris from the Edinburgh Craft Brew Co and Rich from The Beercast – both locals who know a decent pint. Or smaller measure where appropriate.
Recurring events in the booze world are often slightly scary as they remind me how long I’ve been obsessed enough with drinks to remember them. In some cases it’s slightly scarier as it reminds me how long I’ve been writing this blog for. So, to break the recent stretch of blogging drought and remind me of the passage of time, an annual release from BrewDog – IPA is Dead 2013.
A range of 3 single hopped IPAs, each with the same recipe other than the hop. This year’s selection includes El Dorado, Dana, Goldings and Waimea…
One of the great things about living in London is that there is more art around for easy viewing and consumption than almost anywhere else in the UK. Some of the world’s most famous art galleries as well as a thriving scene of smaller establishments and popups, along with artists themselves practically hanging around in the street showing off their work. Unfortunately I am a lazy heathen who, despite bursts of attempting to appreciate art, generally ends up missing the interesting exhibitions and doesn’t generally find the old school ‘paintings’ end of the art world all that thrilling. These days one of the main ways I interact with the artistic world is through the labels on bottles of beer…