Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Stone Brewing at BrewDog, Glasgow

And so it came to pass.

Mrs Monkey wanted toasted cheese and a nice cuppa tea. With provisions running low, I was dispatched to the Kwik-e-Mart to pick up some thick white and semi skimmed.

Whilst out on my mission to feed the hungry, I thought I would reward myself for such a good deed by popping in to my local for a quick pint.

My luck was in as some Fyne Ales' Hurricane Jack was on the board. Result, I thought as I settled down to enjoy my reward pint of some lovely, refreshing beer.

No sooner had I scooped the first mouthful down my eager, receptive throat that I received a text from a mate asking me why I wasn't at BrewDog's Glasgow Bar and informing me that I was missing a seriously good night of beer action involving one of my favourite U.S. craft beer brands, the Stone Brewing Company. Not only would loads of lovely Stone beers be available on tap but also in attendance would be Stone's Main Man and Craft Beer's Spiritual Leader and Hop Guru, Greg Koch. BrewDog had previously held a Stone beer evening at their Edinburgh bar a while back but, to my regret, I couldn't make it.

It looked like Mrs Monkey's toasted cheese would have to wait.....

I arrived at BrewDog to find that it was standing room only with a throng three deep at the bar with thirsty punters eager to get their hands on some superb Stone beers. My default setting when hitting a bar is for my eyes to locate and lock on to the beer selection available. The guest beer board was firmly in my sights and as I scoped it, my eyes lit up as I focused on the beers available. A mighty fine selection of Stone were on.

Yowser! Wowser!

Smoked Porter
Cali Belgique
Stone IPA
Ruination IPA
Sublimely Self Righteous Stout
Russian Imperial Stout
Old Guardian Barley Wine
Arrogant Bastard
Oak Aged Arrogant Bastard
Double Bastard

Friends met and first beer bought, I settled down to enjoy some lovely beer in a great bar. I really like the BrewDog Glasgow bar. It's a great place to try some fantastic and exciting beers from some of the best craft brewers from around the globe. It also knows how to put on some cracking nights.

From the corner of my eye, I caught glimpse of a tall figure climbing on to the bar, steadying himself and with hands held aloft and haloed by the light he motioned to the crowd to quieten them down to an observant silence.

It was Greg Koch, Mr Stone Brewing and the chief cheerleader for the 'Craft Beer Revolution'. This guy doesn't lack confidence or will ever be described as an introverted wall flower. Wearing a T-shirt with his face printed on it and each hand stamped in black ink adorned with the same image, if this guy was chocolate he would be minus an arm and a half chewed elbow.

Greg Koch

Hell Yeah!

He was on a mission. An evangelical mission, from the great beer God, to convert as many unbelievers and IPA infidels to the cause of the Craft Beer Revolution. Judging from the amount of 'Yeahs', 'Hell Yeahs' , 'Awesomes' and even the odd 'Hallelujahs' among the punters it appeared that he was rallying the faithful and addressing his disciples.


Part old school 1980's tele-evangelist, part craft beer cult leader he had the drinkers slurping out the palms of his stamped hands with his boundless enthusiasm for beer that's as contagious as winter flu in an old folk's home.

His words wafted over me in a hyperbolic haze of hops and glory. "Craft Beer Revolution", "Awesome", "Radical".  It was all a bit craft beer bingo and over the top but good fun nonetheless.

I warmed to Greg Koch. I liked him. His West Coast American positivity and puppy dog enthusiasm were infectious and charming.

But that's not important. What's important is the beer and Stone make great beer. I had their IPA, the Sublimely Self Righteous and a taste of the Oak Aged Arrogant Bastard. They were as I expected. Fantastic.

Greg Koch is not the Messiah. But his beers taste like heaven.



  1. You need to start following Brewdog on facebook or twitter. This event was well publicised in advance. Can't believe you nearly missed it.
    Stone do make very good beer, and I don't think any one can criticise Brewdog (whatever their other percieved faults)for bringing quality American craft beer at affordable prices to Scotland.

  2. @Ian

    I've been very busy of late, Ian. The luxury of following my timeline as religiously as you is one that i don't have at the moment. ;-)

  3. I own a bar in America that currently holds the title "Stones most bitter bar". I enjoyed reading your blog and love your enthusiasm for quality American craft beer. Love brewdog too and have had James watt at our bar a couple times--great guy. Keep up the good work. Cheers