Origin – Scotland
Style- Indian Pale Ale
In 2006 James Watt quit his day job, moved back in with his parents and teamed up with longtime mate Martin Dickie. The pair pooled their minimal savings, negotiated a £20,000 bank loan, bought a pile of second-hand brewing equipment and rented a dilapidated unit from Aberdeen shire council. The boys first brew was a highly-hopped IPA that they called ‘Brew Punk IPA’, in a throw-back to the way the punk turned the music scene upside down in the early ‘70’s. The story goes that the only thing their first few brews turned was their stomachs. The first batch got contaminated after a phone and a set of car keys ended up in the mash, and the second tasted like plastic after they used a cheap garden hose as a transfer line! The third worked, and in a Cinderella story, a little over a decade on, the independent Brewdog has 2 breweries, 46 brewpubs (both in the UK and internationally), and hundreds-of-thousands of fans. From 2010 onwards some of those fans have even put their money where their mouth is…or where their beer is…or is it both?…by buying shares through Brewdogs ‘Equity for Punks’ crowdfunding scheme. Each share offers discounted beers and an invite to the annual AGM – a wild beer and Punk music festival attended each year by thousands of shareholders. To date, the lads have crowd-sourced a tidy £30m or so! The story of success might be all Disney, but the brand is far from it, and this brew, which is still Brewdog’s biggest seller, is more like Deadpool than the Seven Dwarfs, packing a serious punch. The first sign of an edgy post-modern twist to the traditional IPA style is the light golden colour on the pour. She’s loaded with hops, and although 6 different varieties have been used, it’s the NZ Nelson Sauvin (as used in sav blanc) that delivers the full-on tropical passionfruit and tangerine aroma. Take a big swig and you can literally feel a flavour explosion. Sure, there’s the tropical fruit that the nose gave away, but added to that are bursts of caramel, grapefruit, pineapple and even lychee. The malt takes the edge off the middle palate ever so slightly, before it finishes with more spiky bitterness than Johnny Rotten’s haircut. Forget about searching the woods for prince charming, a swig of this should wake the sleeping beauty in no time!