Social media can be a wonderful thing and it was via the Twitterverse I came to hear that Brew Dog were running Beer School. Most of you are aware of my love affair with Brew Dog and with places still available it was something I couldn’t pass up.
£20 — 6 beers, cheese and meat platter and an evening of learning about Brew Dog and the beer they produce. Fantastic!
The session was led by Lucy and Joe who went into a bit more detail about Brew Dog before moving onto the beer.
Rather than rehashing what we discussed, go email Lucy and book yourself on the next one. Do it, now! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Armed with samples of hops and malt, Joe elaborated on the different aromas and characteristics of hops grown around the world, and the influence it had on the beer being brewed.
A bit like whisky many beers are a blend of hops but, as in the case of IPA is Dead (ie. Galaxy, Challenger, etc) single hop beer is also available.
To start we enjoyed Punk IPA, their flagship beer. Readily available in any good supermarket and the only one also available in cans.
I should have probably paid more attention to what hops were used, and possibly even taken notes but I was somewhat distracted…
And what was in my glass was demanding my attention.
All there is to say is this is a great beer and something I would probably start the evening on or take along to a Sunday afternoon BBQ/Braai.
5am Saint followed. A red ale and slightly richer and maltier than the Punk. Definitely more to my liking. The story goes shifts finished/started at 5am and those just starting their shifts would make and leave sandwiches for those finishing their working day. Hence 5am Saints.
Up next Dogma Scotch Ale. My least favourite but still quite drinkable.
Very malty and infused with Scottish heather honey.
The next 2 were brought out together, looking identical. The aim was to see whether or not we could pick out which was which based on what we’d learnt about the different characteristics of hops. The contenders: IPA is Dead – Galaxy (Australia) and Challenger (UK).
This one was rather easy as on the nose, Galaxy oozed citrus and tropical fruits. As you would expect from the hops used.
Challenger more herbaceous. Both delicious but the juiciness of Galaxy nudges it ahead.
What can I say? Hardcore IPA. Love!
One of my all time favourite beers. I could happily drink this all night (and have) but at 9.2% it usually ends with me doing something ridiculous and regrettable. But that’s what Twitter and Facebook are for, right?
Rich and just the right balance of hop and malt.
And finally a bit of a treat seeing as we were such a small group, Tokyo* (Intergalactic Fantastic Oak Aged Stout) coming in at 18.2%.
Not being a big stout fan I’d never actually tried this but wow, this is one I’ll be having again.
Luxurious, opulent, decadent. Something to sip after dinner curled up by the fireplace.
Conversation flowed and many things beery were discussed. Some bordering on geeky, others touched on the controversy surrounding Brew Dog. Including run-ins with CAMRA and most recently Diageo.
If anything these stories act as free (positive) advertising for Brew Dog and their quest to convert the masses to the wonderful world of craft beer.
One of the newest additions to the fold is the bar in Manchester. Opening weekend they proclaimed a “crap beer amnesty” and cans of mainstream lager could be swapped for one of their fine brews. An excellent idea.
It looks as though Beer School will become a regular feature and I for one will try and pop along when I can. There’s nothing better than engaging with people who are passionate and knowledgeable and this certainly came across during the session.
It was also a great opportunity to get to know a few of the Camden crew who regularly serve me outstanding beer.
PS. I know what goes on in the Sex Dungeon!