Saturday, 13 August 2011

Guest Blog - BrewDog, Glasgow. Never's Bollocks



In a wee change from my own musings on the blog, I've given over some space to a couple of guests who, over the course of two articles, will share with us their opinions of Scottish 'craft' brewers, BrewDog. 

Coming soon, BrewDog shareholder, Ian Prise will be telling us 'Why BrewDog Matters' but first, Renfrewshire Camra member, Martin Doherty gives us his reflections on his visit to BrewDog's new Glasgow Bar.

"Whilst in the West End of Glasgow on Saturday, sitting in the Three Judges enjoying a delicious pint of Fyne Ales Hurricane Jack, talk turned to the newly opened BrewDog Bar further along Dumbarton Road. My friend Ross wished to give it a try and I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. Another friend, who lives in the Granite City, has been waxing lyrical about how great the BrewDog Aberdeen bar is and what wonderful beers they have both on tap and in bottles. I am not averse to the odd bottle of Punk IPA or 5am Saint, and I have in the past enjoyed their Trashy Blonde in Cask form.

So off we popped for the five minute stroll to their newly opened premises directly opposite the Kelvin Hall Museum and Art Gallery. The premises themselves are in a good location and the interior has a trendy feel about it, with what BrewDog claim to be salvaged or second hand furnishings. It was 4pm on a Saturday and the place was mobbed. We didn't have to wait to get served which is always good and there was an extensive selection of BrewDog beers and a couple of guest beers on tap which were written up on the chalkboard for your perusal. All the beers on tap were from keg as this seems to be BrewDog's favoured vessel of choice for their beers.

We both plumped for a pint of Punk IPA at £3.50, the first thing that struck me was how cold and fizzy the beer was. It tasted........ fine, that was it though just fine, not out of this world or lipsmackingly good, just fine. Sure, it tasted very hoppy but for me it lacked some depth. BrewDog believe in serving their beers at 6 degrees celsius and let the drinker experience the beer as it's temperature changes. As far as I'm concerned the warmer the beer became, the gassier it seemed and the taste became less pleasant.

Whilst drinking my mediocre pint I surveyed the beer list which had tasting notes and prices. I was astounded to see that they are selling 25ml measures of their Tactical Nuclear Penguin 32% abv and their Sink The Bismarck 41% for a fiver a pop! Yes a fiver! Perhaps I'd be happy to pay that for a nice 25 year old whisky buy not a beer, I don't particularly agree with beers being "sipped like a whisky", beers should be enjoyed in measures far greater than 25ml!. Given that a 330ml bottle of Tactical Nuclear Penguin retails at £35, a return of £65 from selling measures of it behind the bar from said bottle seems a bit greedy to me.

The Dog's  Bollocks?

Behind the bar there are a number of fridges rammed with interesting looking bottles with unfamiliar labels. That beer labels were unfamiliar to me and was a pleasant surprise as I have certainly sank a fair number and i'm always on the lookout for beers to try whether it be from specialist shops to online mail order. I asked if they had a beer list for the non BrewDog bottled beers with percentages and pricing only to be told they didn't have one, not a lot to ask really is it? So unfortunately I'm still no wiser as to what bottled beers they actually stock.

I quite fancied a dark beer and therefore asked the 'knowledgeable' bar staff if they had any Russian Imperial Stout, after consultation with another member of staff the barmaid stated that they did have an Imperial Stout "but it's not from Russia it's brewed in the States". I asked to see the bottle to give the label a once over, I also enquired how much it was, and to my horror, it was the princely sum of £10 for a 500ml bottle (so if you were on the minimum wage you'd need to work for 1 hour 45 minutes for the pleasure). At this I left the bar. Ten quid for a bottle of beer? Hardly in keeping with BrewDog's slogan of "Equity for Punks". I can't see many students spending their grant money in this particular establishment, which given it's location in Glasgow's sprawling student land must surely have been where a majority of the projected clientele were to be coming from.

Only time will tell.

They even have the cheek of selling BrewDog glasses at £5 for a pint glass and £7 for a half pint glass. Though I'm sure any punk worth his salt would probably just 'half inch' the glass after finishing their drink. Will I be back? I doubt it. Would I recommend it? Yes.... but only for the spectacle of watching other drinkers trying to smuggle the glasses out!

BrewDog have had an almost unbelievable rise to the forefront of British brewing since their inception in 2007 to become the biggest independent brewer in Scotland. At first I was curious and bought a couple of their bottles that was available from the supermarkets at the time.I found them tasty and welcomed them as an alternative to other bottled beers that I regularly bought. More recently though I have started to tire of the BrewDog shock tactic marketing machine. The End of History beers which were housed inside dead stoats and squirrels seemed to me to be in very bad taste and a cheap way of getting mass media coverage, not to mention hiring a dwarf to stand with a placard outside the Houses of Parliament for a week to campaign for selling beer in smaller measures.

In fact, more often than not, recent media coverage has been borne out of comments made by BrewDog managing director James Watt. Comments such as the one published in Spectrum magazine. In it James Watt states "Camra are single handedly responsible for holding back innovation in British beer in the last 40 years. With an overbearing emphasis on such a narrow and boring spectrum of beers, Camra think beer has got to be served by cask, somewhere between a 3.2% mild and a 4.5 % bitter. Camra is staid, it's tacky, it's conservative, it's old fashioned, it would put your grandparents to sleep. I'd gladly line up the whole lot of them and fire cans of punk off their heads"

Quite a scathing attack and being a member of Camra I was quite shocked to read such comments. Firstly, it shouldn't really have been a shock that Mr Watt made such comments as he seems to have history in regards to offending people and I'm willing to bet this petulant outburst is directly related to Camra cancelling BrewDog's stall at this years Great British Beer Festival for failure to pay on time. Secondly any Camra beer festival I've been to has plenty beers outwith the alcohol percentage that he is quoting, this year at Paisley Beer Festival there were 17 Scottish beers from cask that had a higher abv than 4.5% and a total of 33 English beers in cask above 4.5%. In the UK alone there are more than 2500 real ales available from more than 500 breweries with styles such as Porters, Stouts, Golden Ales, Old Ale as well as the aforementioned Milds and Bitters. Hardly a narrow spectrum is it?

The biggest point is that Camra have not held back brewing innovation but have single handedly saved British brewing with their continued support of both iconic British brewers and small independent breweries alike, their continued campaigning to save local pubs, keep beer duty down and to keep real ale in any discernible drinkers thoughts.

BrewDog say they are against "bland, soulless, industrially produced beers". This coming from the brewery who produce 660,000 gallons of beer a year and are currently raising capital by way of a share offer to move to a new larger brewery on the outskirts of Aberdeen which will enable them to produce up to five times more (a staggering 3.3 million gallons). One wonders at what point does beer become "industrially produced". I believe that BrewDog is quickly morphing into everything that they claim to be rebelling against. They use the term "craft beer", which to me conjures up beer brewed in small batches with a good level of consistency, but with production set to quintuple I'm sure they will find it hard to keep  consistency in the taste, something which they have had problems with in the past and blamed on "hop shortages" and difference in each years "hop characteristics".

All things considered, BrewDog is not really my cup of tea.... or in fact my pint of too fizzy,too cold, mass produced craft beer. A man who knows a thing or two about taste is Flavor Flav and he once said "Don't Believe The Hype". I couldn't have put it much better myself. BrewDog in my eyes are currently becoming my Public Enemy No1!"



  1. Given that the bar was "mobbed" at 4 pm on a Saturday outside term time I suspect the target market is not students but young urban professionals.

  2. Ive wondered weather or not the increase in production will reduce the quality in their brews, but without any proof of this matter i don't think we can criticize their thirst for growth just yet until we see proof of this dip. As a fan i hope this doesn't happen but if it does, your article has a definite point.

  3. Selling TNP and STB for a total of £65 a bottle is greedy? Whats the standard margin in a bar for bottled beer? or even spirits? I know, do you? It's not greed, it's standard margins. Also, you can buy malt whisky anywhere, of course they will price their USP at high but saleable rate.

    Equally, they are produced in small batches so if they were any cheaper they'd sell much faster and run out. As BrewDog find it hard to keep up with production as it is, that wouldn't make any sense.

    The Cask Pub and Kitchen sells it for £70 for the whole bottle in London. It's no greed, its basic economics. Supply and demand. You have to be INCREDIBLY naive to think that any company will undersell their own products. BrewDog have their mantra about Punk ethos but they are a business.

    As for asking the 'Knowledgeable bar staff' for a bottle of 'Imperial Russian Stout' why didn't you just ask for an 'Imperial Stout' instead of being smart about it?

    May be they have to sell their glassware to tourists for £5 a glass to recoup the cost of the glasses idiots like you suggest people steal from their bars?

    CAMRA saved real ale, but you're not relevent now. Sure, you deserve respect for what you have achieved, but deserve no respect for refusing to support the the UK brewing industry in it's entirety.

    1. Oh what a shame for brewdog! If they keep to their [50,000 Gallon haha!] small batches AND charge a reasonable price they will run out of beeeeeer.

      Tough Titty.

      Also glassware costs fuck all to produce its a joke to sell them for more than £3, I mean its only a shitty standard pint glass with a brewdog graphic on it, ie not worth £5 or £7.

      Regarding TNP/STB, Mmmmmmmm, a nice 5 hour-old flat "half-jigger" of beer that costs a fiver, what a fucking joke.

      Then again you think the word maybe is actually two separate words so I don't think your words are worth much.

  4. american beers dont come in 500ml bottles. The big one are usually american 'pint bottles' which are, if i remember rightly, about 650ml. If it was a 10% abv plus imported beer, i dont think a tenner is out of the question.

  5. Well written and provocative without resorting to insult (unlike some of the comments). I can't see what is wrong with expressing a few negative opinions when it is clear they are made from a personal standpoint and it is balanced by the recommendation to try it for yourself...

  6. That was not well written or balanced and the recommendation was to try it 'if only to watch people trying to steal glasses'.

    The points being made were churlish, with the exception of them not having a list of foreign beers, which is inexcusable.

    I have been a huge critic of BrewDog at times, but the negative opinions were so obviously from someone 'trying' to find fault. Why ask for a 'Russian Imperial Stout' and not an 'Imperial Stout' and trying to catch someone out. They are the same thing, it's needless.

    As Neil points out, ten quid for rare beers (most of which are in bomber 660ml bottles) that have been specifically imported direct from previously unavailable breweries is a bad thing because?

    For all their faults BrewDog are making amazing beers available to a whole new audience. To be called greedy I'm afriad are the words of someone who has absolutely no idea of this market or how much these things cost.

    Feel free to have an opinion, but at least make it an educated one and find out something about your subject then go in to a situation with an open mind, not set your stall out by starting off with 'I was having a delicious pint of cask ale'.

    Resorting to insults? Advising people to steal other peoples property is idiotic.

  7. hey Chris, in my educated opinion (thanks, I do feel free to have it and I do know a bit about the subject) that was a well written review - we could argue about the balance if you like but not the quality of the writing. It was also provocative, obviously. Churlish? Pots and kettles? The review does not advise "people to steal other peoples property" - such an interpretation may be considered idiotic in itself but would not, of course, be the only explanation.

  8. Genuinely? I thought this was thebeermonkey turning to a masterful piece of satire. It is, isn't it?

    Ah, you're all in on it too!

  9. Re. the prices. Its just a demand and supply thing. The place was full so the prices must have been correct.

    I was at a small beerex yesterday. Punk IPA was the first to sell out. I wouldn't touch the stuff (my fridge has half a dozen bottles of it). Much more interesting offerings to choose from the likes of Caringorm, Fyne Ales, Houston and Williams Bros...

    My own view is that in a couple of years time the ubiquotous tropical/citrous fruited IPAs, not that they're bad, will be replaced by something else. And you'll find that Brewdog will be making and selling it for similarly high prices.

  10. I just wish that one day I'll be able to read a balanced view of Brewdog which doesn't mention the whole CAMRA debate - it's getting tiresome (and I'm not finger pointing at either 'side' here).

    Regarding the Glasgow bar, I'll be going there myself soon so will form an opinion then.

    One thing I did want to pick up on is the notion that increased volume in itself introduces inconsistency or reduces quality - or indeed makes them any less 'craft'. I don't think that's necessarily the case and is down to maintaining the same exacting standards and focus on quality, as in any growing business. Thornbridge have seen massive growth and recently mentioned 77,000 pint week on their blog. I've never had an inconsistent pint from them. The Stones and Sierra Nevadas of this world produce to massive volumes but are viewed as cornerstones of craft brewing.

  11. Seems I've ruffled a few feathers with the article. It is merely my opinion and as far as I'm concerned everyone is entitled to one.

    I am of the opinion that £10 for a bottle of beer is on the high side. At GBBF last year equally hard to get bottles of beer from the continent and the States were on sale and I can assure you there were none that came near to that price. My point here is that BrewDog have their ethos of "Equity foe punks" and in my opinion it's the haves rather than the have nots of this world that can afford to spend £10 on a bottle of beer in a bar. Chris you state that Camra doesn't support the UK brewing industry in it's entirety I think you'll find that they do and would've had a BrewDog stand at GBBF if they had paid their deposit on time. BrewDog also joined the Camra Cyclops scheme to get their beers out to a wider audience, then come back with comments such as the ones that were made in the Scotland on Sunday. Can you blame me as a Camra member for taking offence to Mr. Watt's comments? Nor am I naive to pricing and mark ups in bars, I just think that £5 for a shot of beer is ridiculous. Quite frankly I wouldn't even class something that is 41% a beer anyway, it's more a malt liquor or a barley wine. To say I was being smart asking for a Russian Imperial Stout is nonsense, that is the style of beer and the point I was trying to make here was that BrewDog claim their bar staff train for a week to understand and become familiar with the beers they stock. I also didn't advise anyone to steal any glassware that is merely your interpretation.
    Finally I like to think my opinion is an educated one having being an avid beer drinker for the past 16 years, I'd also like to point out that I did go to the BrewDog bar with an open mind as the aforementioned comments did not appear in the Spectrum magazine until the next day. I do like a great deal of beers that come in keg such as the beers produced by West Brewery in Glasgow,Samuel Smiths in Tadcaster and indeed some Thornbridge beers not to mention many many beers whilst travelling extensively throughout North America. BrewDog just seem to rub me up the wrong way for instance the labelling on the 5AM Saint starts with "You probably don't know much about beer" I do actually and I choose not to buy them anymore! Whether you do is up to you, at the end of the day it's up to personal preference, so if you do then Cheers! Enjoy your beer ;)

  12. .... and Neil an American pint is 16 fluid ounces which is only 470ml.

  13. .... and the beer in question was less than 10% abv.

  14. I have to agree with the author of the article here, I too find BrewDog's marketing tiresome. I find it a tad irresponsible too. The whole point of their Sink The Bismarck was to have the title of brewing the world's strongest beer and beat German brew Schorschbock 40 to the title. I therefore agree with Alcohol Focus Scotland Chief Executive in thinking it's disappointing that BrewDog has to resort to marketing tactics based on the alcoholic strength of a product at a time when Scotland is facing severe alcohol-related problems. Furthermore calling the beer "Sink the Bismarck" in direct relation to beating the German brew to being the strongest, is another cheap marketing ploy. WWII ended in 1945 and yet these guys still bring it up albiet in a tongue in cheek fashion when we are a united Europe and have been for some time. Yawn yawn. BrewDog for me is currently fashionable. Trends change, and when it does, BrewDog's bubble will burst.

  15. It seems to me rather obvious that Brewdog have ambitions way beyond opening a few pubs and supplying beer to real ale pubs in Scotland.

    Forget the official line about taste and "experiencing the temperature changes" - the reason they are pushing their product down the keg route is simple: the majority of beer drinkers in the UK (and beyond) prefer cold, carbonated beer. Real ale (as defined by CAMRA) accounts for what – 5%, possibly 10% at most of beer sales. If you have ambition in the brewing industry, which area would you be aiming at? Neither Brewdog, CAMRA or anyone else are capable of persuading millions of people to suddenly stop drinking chilled, fizzy beer, so the logical alternative is to produce a cold, fizzy product.

    Whether you think it is a good or a bad thing that a company has big ambition is up to the individual. I don’t particularly like some of their marketing tactics, but on the other hand, surely it can only be a good thing if they really do decide to challenge the giant, established brewers we have in the UK with a range of products that surely even their harshest critic would have to admit are better than the completely tasteless lagers that dominate the UK beer industry.

  16. It is somewhat naive of some in CAMRA to deny that there is a genuine demand for beers that are served colder than the standard cask beer 12-13 C. When all beer was real, there was no refrigeration in pubs so that option simply wasn't available. It can't be dismissed as just marketing hype, and arguably all BrewDog are doing is offering better beer to that market. All too often in the past, if you wanted a cold beer, it meant you had to settle for a dull beer.

  17. "...there is a genuine demand for beers that are served colder..."
    "All too often in the past, if you wanted a cold beer"
    That's lager isn't it? I agree that the current plethora of Chinook, Citra etc hopped beers certainly work better served on the cool-side and I'd be dissappointed if CAMRA didn't also take this view.

  18. I don't deny there is a market for colder beers, in fact if I buy a bottle of beer from the supermarket I chill it to a temperature colder than I would get it in a pub in cask form. I was just stating a fact that BrewDog serve their beers at that temperature, usually something that was done in the past to disguise the taste. I find that if a beer is served to cold you can't get the full flavour from it. Beermunster I totally agree with your comment that BrewDog have far reaching ambitions and that is entirely up to them ( I congratulate them for boosting their bank balances) but they can't bang on about being against "industrially produced beers" and "selling out" when they are planning the scale of production at their new larger brewery and they have already sold their soul to Tesco by letting them label Hardcore IPA as Tesco Finest American Double Hopped IPA. What may have started as bringing tasty craft beer to the market has become something way bigger and the monetary gain now seems to be the driving force and not the wish to bring genuine quality craft beer to the market. Each to their own, so I'll just let them get on with it, however I do wish they marketed their beers without the slightly immature shock tactics and stopped pretending to be Punk!


  20. Chris

    I am sure the author welcomes all comments, no matter how incoherent or poorly written.

    You seem to have read an alternative article to the one everyone else has. An article where the author recommends stealing glasses.

    You also seem to be under the impression the author was there (presumably in full sandals and beard glory) representing camra. As I read it, he just happens to have been out for a pint and popped in.

    Thankfully though, you have spared the time to highlight the previously unknown, KGB like tactics of camra. The feud between camra and brewdog has obviously escalated to levels where only the hiring of a Bruce Willis lookalike, complete with sweaty vest and m16 can assure either side of victory. I feared this day would come and so have prepared by shaving my head, putting on weight, buying a vest and shagging Demi Moore. Oh, and shouting 'Hans!' at anyone in the street that looks like Alan Rickman.

    I already owned an M16. I already shagged Demi Moore, but hey, one more time won't hurt.

    I like most brewdog products. I do worry however that the Glasgow bar is symptomatic of the company disappearing up it's own arse so completely, that it can see the backs of it's own teeth.


  21. 'Any Punk worth his salt would just half inch it'

    I apologise, you didn't recommend stealing the glass, you challenged people to. Semantics.

    If the article was not written from a CAMRA perspective, why was the influence of CAMRA on the industry mentioned at all? This is a review of a brewery and it's bar.

    Drinking beer for 16 years doesn't make you educated about beer, but the points I made about your opinion of the bar were not based on your knowledge of beer. They were based on your lack of knowledge of ontrade margins and product cost. I would guess that BrewDog make around 50-55% margin on the STB and TNP and a much lower margin on the bottled imported beers. They will make their money on their own beers and mitigate the cost of the imported beers using that increased margin.

    If they didn't do that the imported beers would be prohibitively expensive, and how can you expose people to interesting beer if you make them too expensive to buy?

    Your mention of "Hop shortages" in inverted comma's allures to this being a diversion tactic for something more cynical and underhand. Give Gavin a call at Tempest and ask him how much Simcoe there is on the market at the moment.

    That was not a well-written balanced review of a bar or the brewery. It was not written from an educated standpoint on many of the issues that were highlighted. It was written from an ignorant standpoint based on opinion, not fact.

    Poorly written and incoherent enough for you, Kenny?

    1. I think you might be biased mate - - twat.

  22. Poorly written and incoherent enough for you, Kenny?

    Indeed Craig it was, thanks for that.

    I can only imagine you are able to write such a lengthy and insightful essay while recovering from your Sense-Of-Humour-ectomy. Or having a bottle of Punk IPA removed from your bum.

    Only this can explain your taking the firmly tongue in cheek sentence "Any Punk worth his salt would just half inch it" and think it was an incitement to steal.

    Anyway, we have both said some things we didn't mean, but I am sure our relationship is stronger than that.

  23. Chris, I have to disagree with your statements about the pricing of their imported bottled beers. We went to the Aberdeen bar and were charged £13.25 for 2 355ml bottles (one Stone and one Flying Dog). Being in the trade I know the trade prices of both bottles we purchased and the margins they are making on them are huge. And that's just based on the prices I can get them at as a new business buying in small quantities - they will be able to get much better discounts than I can. How can that be described as anything but a rip-off? How will charging such prices encourage more people to drink those types of beer?

  24. I would be interested to hear Reggie's point expanded on from someone with more knowledge as I have also found that to be the case.

  25. I enjoyed the article (perhaps because I'm name-checked in it; I never said I was immune to vanity), but the debate it's provoked is quite amazing. I didn't fully realise the depth of feeling that exists surrounding both BrewDog and CAMRA.
    My opinions on the matter, and they are only my opinions, before any of the fanboys get all steamed up, are these:

    To be honest, I can't believe some people are trying to justify the selling of £10 beers. It smacks of elitism and profiteering.
    I've no issue with a company making as much profit as they can, provided it's done in a responsible and ethical manner. But it's not 'punk', so I do wish BrewDog would spare us all the phoney punk rhetoric. It's neither big nor clever, and is becoming, frankly, boring.

    It also seems to me to indicate contempt for the general public - they (BrewDog) are attempting to mask the fact that they have ambitions to far transcend the microbrewing sphere and grow to be a brewing giant. The latter point is, again, fine by me. But please, please don't insult our intelligence by suggesting we're being rebellious or anti-establishment (or punk, if you will) by buying into this 'club'.

    My impression is that they are now doing many of the things they claim to be railing against; 'Equity for Punks' is surely a joke at their customers' and shareholders' expense? Isn't it?
    It's a little bit like when football clubs cynically appeal to their loyal supporters to buy shares in them with very little chance of financial gain, knowing full well that people make these decisions to part with their hard-earned cash with their hearts rather than with their heads.
    So it is with BrewDog.
    It's almost a case of playing on people's desire to belong; to be part of the cool gang. And anyone who doesn't buy into the hype is presumably staid, tacky, conservative, old fashioned, and would put their grandparents to sleep, not to mention the fact that it is quite doubtful that they have the taste or sophistication to appreciate the depth, character and quality of their premium craft brewed beer, to lightly paraphrase some of the company's statements.
    (My interpretation: This is too good for you. We challenge you to prove you're cool and rebellious enough, buy some shares in our company and maybe you can join our gang.)
    Which might appeal to the slavish hipster crowd the place seemed to be populated by when I visited, but not me. What are we, 12 years old?

    As for £5 shots of 'beer'. They're not beers. They're essentially beer concentrates, since all they do to artificially boost the ABV is to (almost) freeze the stuff at the local ice cream factory, and periodically remove water ice crystals from the mix. If you re-diluted the stuff with water you'd have beer again. As it is, it's really nothing more that a beer version of Soda Stream concentrate. And I'll be fooked if I'm paying a fiver for 25ml of that.

    I too have rather enjoyed some of their products, they are in the main far, far, better than mass-produced lagers etc., and I was previously actually fairly pro-BrewDog, having purchased and sampled quite a few of their offerings from the supermarket and in a couple of bars where their products were stocked. (As an aside, whatever happened to The Physics? I quite enjoyed it, the mathematically nonsensical labelling notwithstanding).
    But their marketing tactics and corporate identity I find to be really tiresome, as is their supposed 'punk' ethos.

    They're about as punk as Iggy Pop selling car insurance (shudder).

  26. A CAMRA member telling us that his organisation has not held back brewing innovation while also insisting that a given measure is too small for serving beer? Beyond satire. Nice one, Martin.

  27. Satire - The use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

    So by me saying beer should be enjoyed in greater measures than 25ml, I as a Camra member am holding back brewing innovation?

    Perhaps you should spend more time reading the books in your library than blogging online.

  28. Bit personal? And slightly odd, as insults go. Anyway you don't have to read my blog.

    Flexibility in serving measures is something that assists brewing innovation. The drinker who thinks that beer should be a low-alcohol by-the-pint quaffing drink is not helping innovation. The drinker who thinks that beer "should be" anything isn't merely expressing a preference, but actively fighting the existence of beer in styles and shapes that others might like.

    The 25ml brigade are best left to their 25ml measures. The lagerboys are best left to their lagers and the wine drinkers to their wine. The moment you insist they "should be" drinking something else you've stopped being an asset to the campaign for better and more varied beer.

    In my humble opinion as a citizen blogger and beer campaigner, that is.

  29. Has anyone here actually tried TNP or STB? I find the penguin a bit harsh, but the Bismark is actually really good stuff. Yes it is concentrated beer. The hop flavours in there are huge. That having been said, it's not something I drink every visit. I've probably only had it 3 or 4 times. I would recomend that everyone try them both at least once.

  30. Tried TNP at a tasting gig they did in Copenhagen last year. Wasn't at all keen, definitely too harsh, but I reckon it could be one that'll round out over time. Next time they're handing it out free I'll find out.

  31. Mm That Libertine is tasty cold.