Say hi to Neil
2011 has been a good year for BrewDog and, in particular, our BrewDog bars. With our flagship venue in Aberdeen, another in Edinburgh’s Cowgate and a further two opening in London and Glasgow, we’re popping them out faster than a teen mother on Coronation Street.
We’re pretty picky when it comes to choosing the individuals who serve your beer because – as anyone who has frequented our bars will know – our staff are the antithesis of the traditional, empty-headed pint pullers you might meet in pub chains, instead opting to emphasis the importance of educating, conversing and bantering with our patrons instead.
With BrewDog Aberdeen’s original manager, Bruce, helping us to scout out and set up new bars up and down the country, the door was open for a new face to join the team and et voila say hello to our new manager. Take it away Neil…
“Hello! Yes, I’m Neil and I’m managing BrewDog Aberdeen. I consider myself extremely lucky because right from my first bar job I’ve been fortunate enough to work with fantastic craft beer selections which meant I was aware of BrewDog right from its inception.
BrewDog Aberdeen's Management Team. Neil with Kerry & Mark.
Naturally coming to work at BrewDog has – as ever – proved something of a baptism of fire and for Neil that means a jam-packed working day that’s about as far-flung from the average 9-5 you could ask for:
“Being a bar manager I’m used to a lot of late night so I would love to start my day with a lie in, but this is quite often interrupted by 8 am beer deliveries! Thankfully it’s always great craft beer so I can’t complain too much. My afternoons are usually spent in the office and our cellar concocting plans for our many guest beers or maybe arranging one of our group tasting sessions. I then spend as much time as I can behind the bar pulling pints and chatting to customers, sometimes discussing the merits of a guest beer with a regular or walking a new customer through their first experience of BrewDog.”
While long hours and a never-ending list of tasks might paint a picture of monotony on paper, working with a regularly changing line-up of world class craft beers and an armada of cookie colleagues means BrewDog Aberdeen makes for some unpredictable shifts:
“If you asked me what the weirdest thing was about working at BrewDog is and if this was any other bar, I would maybe say something about staff spending entire nights dressed as Penguins and Stoats but in reality that’s just you’re average night at BrewDog. As weird days go it might have to be the day one of my staff did an interview with Playboy radio. Never a dull moment with BrewDog!”
So inbetween dressing up as stoats, taking to the decks as a penguin or being interviewed for Playboy, does any work actually get done? The answer is – of course it does! Craft beer events in particular have proved resoundingly popular as Neil explains:
“We are big fans of arranging events as a way to highlight all the amazing beers we have in the bar – the Abstrakt series, Stone, Mikkeller, Evil Twin and Lost Abbey to name but a few. The next event on our calendar is dedicated to one of our favourite beer styles, The I.P.A. On the 6th July we will serve more than 20 different I.P.A.s from around the world on tap and it will also see the return of our Hopinator, just to get even more hoppy goodness into the beers. I have already started bringing together plans for BrewDog Aberdeen’s 1st anniversary birthday party in October, which is an event definitely not to be missed.”
Despite an array of twenty or more craft beers available at anytime, it’s an unfortunate reality that some visitors still turn up to the bar looking for – dare we say it – the likes of Stella. Neil, however, has come up with his own innovative way of turning consumers who were once constrained by lack of choice into craft beer aficionados:
“The only response I have for someone asking for Stella is “She doesn’t work here anymore”. Sadly this sort of things does occasionally happen and it just demonstrates the lack of choice people have grown accustomed to in other bars. In this situation we do our best to find one of the beers we have on that suits them most. We are more than happen to provide samples or tasting flights so everyone can find the beer that is perfect for them. More often than not they are converted and come back time after time to try new things.”
Want to say hi to Neil? Simply pop into BrewDog Aberdeen for a beer and a chat or contact him via email – Neiltaylor@brewdog.com
- Great addition to the bar, you remind me of a young Byron Leftwhich with your passion for the ale!
Ps. What's that muck on your arm? Please tell me you didn't get that tatooed on? ;)Magic Man30.06.2011
- I'm always surprised by the level of knowledge your bar staff seem to have. They don't push it on you either and are certainly not pretentious with it but if you're enquiring and chatty they'll talk with you for hours about beer. By *far* the best atmosphere in any pub I've ever been in. billythekid30.06.2011
- Neil is great. Passionate about beer and super friendly - a brilliant guy to have as the boss at my local! John30.06.2011
- I was a little bit concerned when I found out that Bruce was moving on. Neil however is an excellent replacement, and just as passionate and knowledgeable about the beer. He's a great guy. Staff can make or break a bar, and the Brewdog Aberdeen team are a lot of what is making the place the sucess that it is. iprise30.06.2011
- The Aberdeen Bar rocks, Neil and the team do a great job. Adrian30.06.2011