Say what you want about BrewDog but one thing you can't accuse them of is not knowing how to put on a great night. From beer and food evenings with Masterchef champions through to brilliant beer launches and terrific tap takeovers, you can pretty much guarantee an enjoyable evening that keeps their beer punters very hoppy and very happy at any of their events.
So, on a gloriously hot summer's night, I find myself in the dark and industrial setting of BrewDog's Edinburgh bar with fellow Scottish beer bloggers, Mr Beer Cast and Mr Garvie and twitter beer comrade @AdamSh. We are here, like many others, to get a taste of some of the extremely hoppy and very tasty IPA's that BrewDog Edinburgh have sourced from far and wide for this IPA evening.
The beer choice was spread over three menus that are available at different times through the evening. Over 20 IPA's were available from Breweies such as Southern Tier, Stone, Port Brewing, Mikkeller, 8 Wired, Flying Dog, Evil Twin and, of course, BrewDog.
All the beers served were keg, but so what? They were all in tip top condition and tasted on top form. Of the beers that I tried, some were outstanding and deserve special mention.
The Mikkeller Koppi IPA was my stand out beer of the evening. It had a lovely earthy hop taste that gave way to reveal a creamy mouthfeel that coated your tongue in a deliciously roast coffee flavour. I've had it from the bottle before and it was good but from the keg, it was superb.
The Mikkeller 10 IPA was exactly how I remembered it. Fresh, lively and bursting full of juicy citrus hop delights. Port Brewing Co's Hop 15 reminded me of Mikkeller's 10 but had a slightly more tart grapefruit and tangerine notes and a much more pronounced lingering hop bitterness.
Hop 15's lingering bitterness was nothing compared to one of my final beers of the evening - Mikkeller's 1000 IBU IPA Light. I had waited to the last to try this as the chances of being able to taste anything else after this was going to be pretty slim. I was surprised by the first mouthful of this beer. It has an initial gentle toffee and caramel malt flavour to it but this soon withdrew to allow the extreme bitterness to come in and do it's stuff. And boy, does it do it's stuff. It is really bitter. So bitter, in fact, that it felt like my cheeks were being drawn together. The extreme bitterness was what I had expected but nothing on this scale.
All in all, it was a great night and I hope BrewDog repeat the event when they open their new Glasgow Bar at the end of this month.