Brewdog has arrived

April 16, 2015

I was lucky to get a preview of the new Brewdog bar on Friar Lane, Leicester last night – their  27th bar, opening just after the Barcelona branch. What’s good enough for Lionel Messi is clearly good enough for Esteban Cambiasso.

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I was really impressed. The bar is nice enough, but the main thing is great beer and great staff who were totally convincing in their interest in the product and their passion to sell it. They have 20 beers on draft, some from their own brewery near Aberdeen and others from a range of small and microbreweries, including those where Brewdog has made investments themselves.

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We tried a fair few, starting with Brewdog’s very hoppy pale ale Vagabond which being gluten free is going to please a lot of people. The Boon Oude Kriek was a sensational sour cherry beer, much less sweet and more complex than most bottled versions I’ve had.  The 5 A.M. Red Ale was very drinkable and only the Zeitgeist black lager  – combining treacly stout flavours with the freshness of a lager – wasn’t really to my taste.

You will see from the graphic above that the beers are strong and expensive. I know there are people out there who will bemoan the craft beer scene as a fad to fleece the foolish and that you can get good beer much more cheaply at a ‘Spoons. I won’t rehearse all the arguments but I would say you’re getting reliably good product here and all those who want to drink different beer in a different setting are welcome to. I’d certainly be content to drink two pints of Punk IPA than three pints of much of what is sold in Leicester.

The whole “we’re so anarchic” schtick of Brewdog can sometimes get a bit wearisome but there is no denying they make compelling beer.  What’s more, having criticised Bill’s for the practice of using tips to make up their staff’s hourly rate, I say well done to Brewdog for paying the  Living Wage.

Finally  Co-founder James Watt – or his press person at least  – knows how to get on the right side of us; “Leicester is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city and we’re thrilled to be finally setting up a BrewDog home there,” goes the press release.

“We want this bar to serve as an inspiration to microbrewers, home brewers and craft beer drinkers in the region. The passion for great craft beer has taken firm roots in the symbolic heart of England and continues to thrive.”

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3 Responses to “Brewdog has arrived”

  1. Rob Martin said

    I’m glad it’s here – I went last night. Nice bar. for me, they only make one great beer and the rest is marketing. The others are either over-strong, over-hopped or faddy. Punk IPA – what a top pint!

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    • riponia said

      I take your point definitely Rob. I’ve no real desire to try 15 per cent beers – well I might try it but not with much hope – but I like Dead Pony too, and the Vagabond I had was very good. The Kriek, for example, is not a pint for session drinking but I wouldn’t call it a fad – it’s a well established style where one is enough. Not one for a night out but a glass after work.

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  2. Chris said

    As usual, a great blog, Tim. I’m looking forward to paying a visit. Personally, I could do with a few more closer to the 4% mark rather than 5% (or more !).

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