Brewdog Abstrakt AB:11

My year’s subscription to the Abstrakt Addikts club is now up, but before it went away I got my three bottles of the final release of the year – AB:11.

Of all the Abstrakts that have appeared recently this is the one that I had heard the least about before release – precisely nothing. I wasn’t expecting it to arrive and had no clue what it was when it did. So, I did what I don’t normally do when drinking beer and tasted it entirely blind – knowing that it is an Abstrakt release does let you know that it’s not going to be a 3% supermarket lager, but other than the fact that it would be on the extreme end of beer making I didn’t know what was in my glass.

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BrewDog vs Flying Dog – The International Arms Race

Much as I whinge about BrewDog’s gimmicky marketing and beer releases I do still pay attention to them all and generally end up trying them. For I am at heart a weak fanboy, no matter how much I might rail against beer consistency issues, dodgy publicity whoring and occasional bits of fast-and-loose-ness with the truth. BrewDog announced a while back that they were going to buck the ‘collaboration’ trend and go for a face off instead – choose some restraints to the beer making process, let each brewer make a beer, and then let the public choose which they liked best. Their opponents – Maryland brewers Flying Dog, known for interesting beers and a set of labels illustrated by one of my favourite artists, Ralph Steadman.

Scotland vs the USA? The International Arms Race was born.

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A Pair of Abstrakts – BrewDog’s AB:09 and AB:10

Ever since I bought into BrewDog’s Equity for Punks scheme for a second time I’ve been waiting for my membership of the ‘Abstrakt’s Addicts’ club to kick-in – a scheme by which I’ll get a year of Abstrakt beers sent to me, three of each release that happens in 2012. After some postal confusion I assumed that my box of AB:09 had arrived, only to discover that it was actually a delivery for Sjoerd of Malt Fascination, using me as a beer staging point. However before I realised this I’d cracked into the first bottle.

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BrewDog IPA is Dead 2012

The earth has gone around the sun one more time which means that it’s time for a new set of shiny hoppy releases from BrewDog. Well, I’m assuming it’s going to be a yearly thing, based on the fact that it’s a year since the first lot appeared, but in any case I’ve finally got round to drinking my way through this year’s range of IPA is Dead beers.

I wrote about last year’s lot, well, last year and the plan is the same again this time – brew the same beer, only differing in one respect: which hop was used. Four beers, four hops and four different flavour profiles, all the better to see what influence each different variety has. And so – on to the beers:

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The BrewDog AGM 2012 – #PunkAGM

BrewDog are a weird bunch. I mentioned on Twitter the other day that their advertising both makes me annoyed as a long-standing fan of tasty beer in the UK and very happy as a shareholder interested in the company making decent profits, and this division in my mind hurts my tiny brain. However, the big thing that I have been impressed with is the Equity for Punks scheme, their fan sourced money raising/share selling scheme.

They’ve pulled together an impressive amount of cash in a small amount of time on two separate occasions and if they try it again I can see them doing just as well. However, one thing that has been discussed is what you get for your investment. There is the 5% discount in their bars and up to 20% in the online shop, but with Kickstarter, Crowdcube and the like helping people to start up projects all over the world people are starting to get wise to getting something back on their investment. Enter the second BrewDog AGM, stage right.

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Brewdog Abstrakt AB:08

As I mentioned in my last Brewdoggy post there’s a new beer of theirs that I intended to write about – Abstrakt:08, aka AB:08 (that should be enough for Google to do some indexing on all the regular search terms). It’s the next in the Abstrakt series, one off beers that occasionally have ideas folded back into their expanding regular range. This one is a bit more experimental than most of the range, which is saying something when you see the craziness in some of the beers, hence the expanded post rather than just a mention in the last one. I also wanted to have a go at taking a photo of it as I got a new and appropriate glass…

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BrewDog Camden and Some Prototypes

As I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions, I like BrewDog. I’ve bought shares in both tranches that were released, I like almost all of their beers that I’ve tried and I even like the labels on their bottles. I also think that their marketing is as full of crap as one of the buckets at one of Mike Patton’s special parties (dodgy simile thought up while under the influence of BrewDog’s beer) but I’m happy to ignore that as long as they keep on doing the other stuff that they are doing. And one of those things, especially since they got the Equity For Punks cash injection(s), is building bars.

We’ve been waiting for a while, along with rumours of incorrect licenses and general bureaucratic annoyance, but only a couple of months after it was expected BrewDog Camden has opened its doors. I went along a couple of times during the first week, including shareholder and bloggers tastings (accompanied by excellent chums Thom and Myk of the Thomyk podcast), and thought I’d better mention it up here. Spoiler alert: I really like BrewDog’s bars. If you want to ignore some gushing praise then skip forward a few paragraphs, as I also have tasting notes on some new beers that should feature slightly less gushing praise.

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Brewdog’s Sunk Punk

As a Brewdog shareholder I get notifications of when their new beers appear, which combined with my acquisitive need to collect ALL THINGS is a dangerous situation. After a recent beer parcel arrived I reorganised my beer cupboard, having realised that I’d foolishly stored a bunch of bottles on their sides, with sediment collecting elsewhere than at the bottom and the potential of catastrophic cap failure significantly higher than it should be, and did a head count: 20 different Brewdog beers, including a brace of Sunk Punk.

One thing you can definitely accuse Brewdog of is playing with beer. From the high strength Sink the Bismarck and the crazy packaged End of History and Ghost Deer to the recipe tweaking of the Abstrakts and IPA is Dead series, they like to do things which are both silly and interesting and Sunk Punk is no different. In short – it was brewed underwater.

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