New releases: Prototype Challenge 2013

New releases: Prototype Challenge 2013

"There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die."

- Raoul Duke, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Unlike Dr Gonzo, our Prototypes are neither too weird to live, nor too rare to die, and depending on your votes, may be considered for mass production. Get involved, try them all, and let us know which one we should jump start as a regular offering in the new year. To help you pick, here's a handy guide to all three.*


Hobo Pop: Amped-up American wheat beer

Malts: Extra Pale, Cara, Crystal, Wheat & Rye
Hops: Amarillo & Centennial
ABV: 4.2%
IBUS: 50
OG: 1.042

Hobo Pop is first out of the starting blocks; this amped-up American wheat beer has bags of vibrant citrussy energy and a complexity you wouldn't expect in a 4.2% beer. If this hobo had a knapsack, it would be stuffed full of Amarillo, one of our favourite hops.

On the nose you'll find rye spiciness, pithy orange peel notes, and a caramel malt sweetness underneath. Expect unusual malt complexity on the palate; masses of wheat and rye combine with American ale yeast to bring real effervescence and spice, before a mountain of orange and lychee flavours come crashing in like a vagrant clown at a birthday party.

Despite the big, thirst-quenching hop bitterness, and the complex malt spiciness, Hobo Pop is an easy-drinking beer. It shares some characteristics with a saison, and like a saison, will be at its finest when enjoyed at the height of summer - so try one by all means, but we recommend hiding one at the back of the fridge, to be enjoyed along with your first barbecue of 2014.


Interstellar: Red rye IPA

Malts: Extra Pale, Rye, Crystal, Dark Crystal
Hops: Magnum, Willamette, Amarillo
ABV: 6.5%
IBUS: 65
OG: 1.059

Following close behind is Interstellar, a red rye IPA with a complexity on a par with the maintenance manual for the Millenium Falcon. Fuelled by Willamette, this massive beer shares the hop profile of a beer we brewed whilst floating down a river in North West USA.

The malt base suggests that 5am Saint went to Dagobah for some training, and came back stronger & more polished. Big, prevalent rye spiciness, toffee, toasted marshmallow, and robust biscuity notes encompass the tongue, before being sliced at the back of the palate with hard, assertive grapefruit bitterness.

This is an autumnal IPA that will have your palate sent to the spice mines of Kessel, and smashed into who knows what.


Brixton Porter: Session porter

Malts: Extra Pale, Dark Crystal, Roast Barley, Black
Hops: Victoria’s Secret, Bramling Cross, Challenger
ABV: 5%
IBUS: 50
OG: 1.048

Originally intended as a beer to mark the opening of our Brixton bar, this porter made it further than our ill-fated potential London venue did.

With an aroma you'd expect to find in a foreign extra or a stout, this deceptive brown porter will taunt your nose with chocolate, deep rich roasted coffee, and the menacing, smoky salty hit of burning pirate ships.

When it hits your tongue, you'll be forgiven for thinking the 5% ABV is some sort of fantastic fabrication. The cacao sweetness, along with the smoky, roasty flavours, will take your palate hostage and hang in there, assuming complete control, until at the last second, an incredible strike force of English hops will burst in, wielding over-ripe autumn fruit, polite well-behaved berries, and a touch of cinnamon apple, in a roasted-bitterness convergence that blows up the whole damn place, leaving you ready for the next mouthful.


The 2013 Prototype Challenge is now in play - try them, consider carefully, and choose your favourite. For the winner, there is eternal glory, and a place in our line-up; for the losers, the scrapheap of obscurity beckons...

Get your hands on the beers from 5pm Saturday, on draft in all of our UK bars. There you'll be able to compare these young pretenders to our current line up, and see which is worthy of a place among their hallowed ranks. While you're there, you can place your vote and help your favourite beer on the path to victory.

If you can't make it to a bar to try them straight from the keg, bottles are available right here.


*The Armoury was sadly lacking in firepower, and for the purposes of the Prototype Challenge, has been abandoned. We won't send a beer out to war if it's not ready, and the Armoury fell short. Keep an eye out in future thought, as you haven't necessarily seen the last of it...

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J.bax 17.12.2013 @ 9:00pm
All 3 are reasonable but I wouldnt be bothered if any of them were available again.. They are not a patch on jackhammer or cocoa psycho... Can I vote for the 4th one, the hoppy black lager thats still in the conditioning tanks?
Dom 17.12.2013 @ 5:31pm
Interstellar was interesting but I wouldnt buy any of them on a regular basis. How about making a Belgian style witbier instead?
KongTheApe 17.12.2013 @ 11:51am
Can I vote to keep Cocoa Psycho and Jackhammer from last year instead? Nothing particually wrong with this years entrants but having tried them on Saturday theres nothing that leaps out either.
TheBBG 17.12.2013 @ 8:12am
Just voted for the Brixton Porter.I love what BrewDog do with dark beers, and this would work as a good lower ABV one to have in a session. Really loved the Interstellar as well, so if we end up with a two winners outcome like last year, I wont be disappointed.The Hobo Pop had some nice flavour, but was just a bit thin and underpowered, to my mind. Would perhaps work as a more mainstream beer to sell to those put off by BrewDogs huge flavours, but I didnt think thats what BrewDog were about.
David W 16.12.2013 @ 10:55am
When is the closing date for voting?
Willamette Amarillo 14.12.2013 @ 5:06pm
Your version of Stella ?Lets Hop Not !
Roman J 14.12.2013 @ 10:09am
Interstellar si my favorite, but Hobo Pop would be great too . :)
Danne 13.12.2013 @ 3:13pm
All would be nice ;) but I go for the first one :)
suckstohavecoeliacs 13.12.2013 @ 1:20pm
All three would have appealed to me pre coeliacs :-( keep up the good work.A Brocher
Frank C 13.12.2013 @ 12:30pm
Gotta vote interstellar. A Red IPA , just take my money
J.bax 13.12.2013 @ 12:29pm
Please let Hobo Pop be best! In fact, even if it doesnt win, can the winner be renamed Hobo Pop? It is one of my all time favourite names for a beer!
Erik Moholdt 13.12.2013 @ 12:24pm
The name red rye IPA fills my mouth with water...
Pete H., Nottm 13.12.2013 @ 12:16pm
Ive now got an excuse to call in on Saturday, as if I need an excuse .....And a quote from the late, great Hunter S. Thompson.
Hermis 13.12.2013 @ 12:12pm
Rye IPA sounds swell!
Loz 13.12.2013 @ 12:02pm
Can I vote for all 3?
Joe 13.12.2013 @ 11:54am
Will any of them really be as good as jackhammer?
KT 13.12.2013 @ 11:54am
Brixton porter sounds great!
Ben P 13.12.2013 @ 11:52am
Awww yeah. Cant wait to try hobo pop. Hoping it doesnt actually taste of hobos.