First we take Manhattan then we take...
The Brewdog sales team have just returned from another trip sate side and this time it was New York that was the focus of our attention.
To keep up to date with all our brand launches, events and international activity before (and as it happens) you can now follow me @Brewdogsales on twitter.http://twitter.com/Brewdogsales
For those of you not already up to speed and following our every move, here is a quick recap with some recommendations for those heading out to NYC in the near future, or those lucky enough to live in what is surely one of the greatest City's in the world.
Stepping out from the yellow cab in Brooklyn, at the address given to me by our man in America(Mick from Preiss Imports)I was left confused to find no welcoming, bustling, All American Craft Beer Bar, but instead a distinct lack of anything resembling a bar at all...
...so I enquired as to the location of the Spuyten Duyvil (our agreed rendezvous point) from a passing pair of Strokes wannabes-and was dually told to follow them as they walked inside the broken down entrance that I had been blocking with my bemusement.
Once inside, I had a glimpse of the future, as this hidden gem is almost exactly what I envisage our first Brewdog Bar will look like when we are finished gutting it out-you MUST go here http://www.spuytenduyvilnyc.com/.
As Mick was late or I was early (you decide which one seems more likely) I had a chance to enjoy a River Horse IPA (as close to our Hardcore as I have tasted) with a plate of great Cheese, Charcuterie and Pickle while being serenaded by Lou Reed (well it was just the Jute Box but apparently he regularly plays live in the neighbourhood)-and so I had arrived. BrewDog will be appearing on their Cask rotation soon.
The next day was all about gearing up for WhiskyFest NYC which was held in the middle of Time Square, where we featured 3 different blends of Paradox (Arran, Macallan and Smokehead). We always go down a storm at these shows and it is great to catch up with our friends from the whisky companies around the world, many of whom make it possible for us to age this fine brew by supplying the Casks. Paradox was a revelation to most of the crowd, who had never tasted anything like it.
If you get homesick on your visit and find yourself in this neck of the woods, then you can stop in at the St Andrews bar for a refreshing Punk IPA http://standrewsnyc.com/
Day 3 was the Big Blind Tiger Brewdog Extravaganza, but first we had to take care of business at our Warehouse out at New Jersey. These guys make it happen for us in the State and I just want to say a big thanks to our team out there that guarantee the beer gets to our New York customers on time and in the same condition that it leaves the Brewery-it really is a tight operation, headed up by a man (Big Steve) that would intimidate Tony Soprano himself.-We are in safe hands and we salute you.
And so to the main event which was hosted by Dave and Al, the proprietors of http://blindtigeralehouse.com/ who made us most welcome and put on a great show. The place was packed to bursting and no wonder with the finest selection of our beers I have seen under one roof-2 Paradox's (one cask one keg)-then Dogma, Punk, ZeitGeist, Hardcore and Bashah all on Draught, with Atlantic IPA on bottles that they had managed to save for the occasion.
This will be the first of many such events to come to New York with all the key Craft Beer Bars keen to see how we can go one better when we come to their establishment. But for the time being the BT team have set the bar very high and we take our hats off to all the owners and staff that make it possible for us to be served in one of the great Craft Beer institutions of the world.
Not content to stop there we took the party onto NY's newest bar Highlands, which is pouring Dogma and Punk IPA and well worth a visit - although not when you have a full diary of sales calls planned for the following day as I did.
And so to the penultimate day of business in the big Apple and I was treated to a tour de force of the best Beer bars in the East Village and beyond by Sean from Union who are our distributors for NY.
We hit so many places and took more orders than I have ever seen a business development manager take in one afternoon while dragging around a very hung over co pilot.-So here are some places you should not walk by on your search for the greatest Beer bar in world and all of which will be sporting a brand new Brewdog tap handle in the near future: -
Also coming soon to the whole Foods outlets (that have the facility) will be Growlers of Punk IPA, followed up by a rotation of our other brands-an amazing day in the trade and this was just the tip of the iceberg of a whirlwind trip.
And so on to the final push, back towards JFK and home. After a last meeting with the top brass @ Union we decided to swing by The Bier Kraft store http://bierkraft.com/ that we had heard so much about. We met with Ben the owner (and his lovely wife and Mother in law/ business partner) who was only too happy to give us the tour and show off his amazing outlet. This is the kind of place that every neighbourhood should have but that only a few great men like Ben can deliver. BK is a testimony to all things artisanal with the emphasis on Beer of course.
I return from New York inspired and determined to take the revolution in the UK to the next level, we have come a long way but this trip has shown me once more how far we can take this-and moreover given me ideas about how we can go beyond the US bench mark.