There's a storm brewing - as Zephyr breezes on in


There's a storm brewing - as Zephyr breezes on in

BrewDog launches rare beer to raise money for RNLI  

We have now released Zephyr: a 12.5% Imperial Ale matured in 1965 Invergordon whisky casks, which goes on sale today, Wednesday 20 May 2009, as a limited release of only 100 bottles. At £25 for a 750ml bottle, all sale proceeds will be donated to the RNLI. 40 bottles will be available on our website.

We are donating Zephyr profits to the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) as the charity plays a crucial role in the Fraserburgh fishing community where BrewDog is based.  The organisation rescued BrewDog co-founder and fisherman, James Watt, from a situation in the North Sea when his boat suffered engine failure in heavy seas.

Zephyr, an outlandish experiment, has spent 21 months ageing in 42 year-old whisky casks, stuffed with 30kgs of fresh strawberries from BrewDog co-founder, Martin Dickie's, grandmother's strawberry farm in Aberdeenshire.

Bottled into champagne bottles at BrewDog's microbrewery in Fraserburgh, Scotland, the result is a translucent pink burst where the tang of berries contradicts against the coconut, vanilla and toffee flavours from the Invergordon casks.


The stunning bottles, whose labels are handmade and printed on silk screen by young Scottish designer Johanna Basford, will only be available at two specialist retailers; Uto Beer, London and Cornelius Wines and Spirits, Edinburgh. Zephyr is also available to buy online as of today.

BrewDog MD James Watt, said: "Zephyr has turned out to be a true masterpiece - it seeks to recreate the spirit, attitude and sovereignty of all that is lost in the otherwise flat beer world.  We've composed the beer from the finest fusion around: old whisky casks, Martin's grandmother's strawberries and IPA - which when combined in our crafting process, gives Zephyr a distinction beyond all resemblance."

Watt added: "As its so rare, we could have set the price point of Zephyr much higher, but BrewDog is all about craftsmanship, quality and introducing new audiences to great beer.  We're not a faceless corporate relying on marketing gimmicks by setting the price point too high - we want our beers to be accessible to everyone.  

 "Zephyr is unlike anything I've ever seen in a glass. It is a bright, translucent, fluorescent although almost transparent pink colour and creates an incredible explosion to wake up people's taste buds and allow them to discover the joys of a real, proper beer."

The hops of the India Pale Ale in Zephyr have died down in the aging process but still give it a reassuring bite. The strawberry flavours dominate the nose and the coconut, vanilla and oak flavours from the Invergordon whisky cask hold the whole thing together. 

James Watt chose the RNLI to balance out a bit of fortune after the RNLI saved his life recently: "The RNLI is a fantastic charity which plays an invaluable role is saving numerous lives at sea.  I was on a smaller 20ft inshore boat when they rescued me - our engine broke down in poor weather and extremely heavy seas.  The wind was pushing us dangerously close to the rocks and the RNLI got to us just in time to save us and the boat."

Zephyr's unperturbed attitude extends past that of the name and taste. The bottle's unique look was created by young Scottish designer Johanna Basford.

Basford said: "Silk screen printing by hand means each piece is intrinsically individual, having its own unique DNA of inky impression, making each bottle a little piece of art in its own right.  Silk screen printing the labels in this way is slow and labour intensive - BrewDog is the only brewery in the world to hand print its special edition labels." 

Zephyr has already been a hit online with beer writers and bloggers like Mark Dredge after lucky beer fans were given the chance to sample a 330ml pre-release bottle.

Dredge said at his Pencil and Spoon online blog: "Sentences are redundant with this beer. Unnecessary. Frivolously time consuming. It promises a zephyr and you get the cool breeze of elegance. Have I ever had a beer with so much going on? Will I ever again?...The finest champagne you've tasted. But better....Once is not enough."

Zephyr is available to buy online at as well as Uto Beer, London and Cornelius Wines and Spirits, Edinburgh, priced at £25.


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Jim 26.05.2009 @ 5:00pm
Sold out on the website already. That will teach me to go away for the weekend without checking first.
Looks like a visit to Utobeer for me then.
Pondering getting two bottles so I can share one. Well its for charity.
Adrian 22.05.2009 @ 5:46pm
Really excited about getting delivery of mine. The label looks stunning. The handprinted labels are wicked.

Good to see the proceeds are going to charity. Well done BrewDog!
RJU 22.05.2009 @ 5:45pm
Anticipating a mind-numbingly exceptional beer. Eagerly awaiting arrival of 2 bottles.
J Wakefield 22.05.2009 @ 3:24pm
Just got two, man I cant wait to try them.
G Dunbar 21.05.2009 @ 5:33pm
I shall be calling Cornelius daily to verify its arrival!
Toby 21.05.2009 @ 1:11pm
i just bought two! get in!