Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Rules Don't Apply to BrewDog

So after several conversations, I realized that not many people are familiar with the folks from BrewDog.

Beer411 readers, meet BrewDog. BrewDog... meet Beer411.

(I have to start off by saying I've never had these brews, but they have certainly sparked my interest. So if anyone out there can share their encounters with BrewDog... feel free to share!)

These guys hail from way across the pond in Scotland. The passion that they have in their beer is evident as they became Scotland's largest independent brewery in 2007. One of their claim to fames is brewing the worlds Strongest beer. Now you read previous reviews about ABV at 8% or even 10%. And most likely, Kate and I will warn you to drink with caution, because a 10% beer is pretty high.

Not to these guys.

Several years ago, BrewDog introduced their beer TOKYO to the world. A Russian Imperial Stout which clock in at a whopping 18.2% ABV. At the time, it was considered the Strongest Beer in the World. But like with any records, they are meant to be broken... So BrewDog was dethroned to the likes of Sam Adams Utopias and other small craft brewers.

The ABV of beers got higher and higher... constantly raising the bar on the competition. Then after a German beer (that I can't even pronounce) held the title of World's Strongest Beer at 30.86%, the boys from BrewDog took back their title with a beer they called, Tactical Nuclear Penguin at a ridiculous 32% ABV!!! It falls in the category of a American Double / Imperial Stout. (See the video below on how they went about re-claiming their title.)

Time to sit back and relax, right? Not for these guys.

Needless to say, the German folks over at the beer that I can't pronounce, did not take too kindly getting bumped from the top. So they shot back with their new line, raising the ABV bar to a stupid 39.44%!! No one will EVER beat that!

Remember what I said about records? Yeah... BrewDog wasn't about to let this happen.

So not ONLY did they introduce something bigger and stronger, but the name they picked just tells me that there's something personal about this ABV rivalry. Presenting BrewDog's SINK THE BISMARK; and a ridiculously high %41 ABV. Now a quick history lesson, the Bismark was the name of a German Navy Ship that the Royal Navy attempted to sink during WWII. (tell me that this isn't getting personal). This blend is a Double IPA that is suggested to be enjoyed in several sittings. Or with lots of friends. (See the video below...).

To put this whole ABV talk into perspective... here's a list of ABV of spirits:
Bourbon (51-79 %ABV)
Brandy (40-45 %ABV)
Gin (37.5 %ABV)
Rum (37.5-57 %ABV)
Tequila (40-50 %ABV)
Vodka (35-50 %ABV)
Whisky (40-53.3 %ABV)

So these beers are on the same block as some of the cheaper Gins, Vodkas, Rums, Whiskeys and Tequilas. That's just silly.

If you have a moment... check out how BrewDog went about making their Tactical Nuclear Penguin and their newly crowned Sink the Bismark! Funny, funny guys that I hope to meet someday.

Tactical Nuclear Penguin from BrewDog on Vimeo.

Sink the Bismarck! from BrewDog on Vimeo.

For a full list of BeerAdvocates top 100 Strongest Beers in the World check out the link below:


Anonymous said...

Just a note, although they continue to say it, they are not Scotland's Largest independant. Probably about 4th or 5th. Innis & Gunn (£6m last year), Harviestoun maybe even more and a few others well over the Brewdog £1.8 last year. Doesnt really matter just get a bit bored of hearing it....

toenee said...

Thanks for the heads up... I was basing my facts on BrewDog's website. Perhaps they were the largest back in 2007 and then the other breweries caught up to them. But thank you for clearing that up.

Speaking of the beer though, have you tried any of their offerings? Would love to hear if you have any recommendations. (from BrewDog or any other breweries for that matter!).