The 5 most important BrewDog beers

The 5 most important BrewDog beers

 Here's an exercise for you: pick something with which you're reasonably familiar (such as a band, actor, sports team etc), and then try to select what you think to be their five most important moments. For those three categories above, you might riffle the grey matter for the five standout albums, films, or players, for example. Some are fairly easy; Bruce Willis, for instance (Die Hards 1-5, in that order). Some, not so; Maroon Five (…er…). It's hugely subjective, of course, Maroon 5 fans - that's what makes it so interesting!

Take breweries. Pick one and come up with a list of the five most important beers that they have released. Again, this depends on your interpretation of the word 'important'. It could be the five best, in your opinion; those that have meant the most to you, as you've learned to appreciate what that particular brewery are about. Or, alternatively, it could be the five that you think have defined that brewery, to you and others, as they have developed on their beer-making journey.

Here at BrewDog, at the time of writing we have a grand total of 215 beers listed on the beer review site RateBeer. If you could shuffle through that long, long, list and take five - which would they be, and why? To start things off, we'll throw our hat into the ring and nominate five we consider to be amongst the most 'important' we have made. We've even shown our working out, too. Listed in order of release, see if your five match up with ours...


Punk IPA (2007)
The first ever BrewDog beer, and still our best-selling flagship; you'd probably expect to see Punk on this list – and you'd be right! But Punk IPA is more than just a focal point; it's a great metaphor for the development of BrewDog as a whole. It reflected the influences of James and Martin, and the frustrations that led them to start the brewery. It also evolved as they did, changing in 2011 to gain the benefits of dry-hopping. Since then, it has led from the front as our exports skyrocket, becoming the biggest-selling IPA in Scandinavia. 


Bashah (2009)
Talking of early influences, our admiration for Stone Brewing Company led to one of our first major collaborations with Escondido's finest. Following a brewing visit to California (which yielded Juxtaposition Pilsner), having the guys return the favour at Fraserburgh was a fantastic moment. The result? A black double Belgian IPA by the name of Bashah. Although our barrel-ageing programme had already begun - with the Paradox series - ageing Bashah on different ingredients (raspberries and tayberries) sparked something in us, and became a forerunner of the many barrel-based adventures that were to follow.


Tactical Nuclear Penguin (2009)
Even though we'd been brewing for two years, Tactical Nuclear Penguin was by far the most involved beer we'd ever made – it was aged for a year and a half before we even started, for instance! Freeze-distilled to a penguin-perfect -20ºC and finishing up at 32%, the (then) world's strongest beer magnified the first stirrings of the debate on minimum pricing, and kick-started the abv-wars. A lot of people took TNP really seriously, but it was never intended that way, which is partly why we packaged each bottle inside that ultimate collectors-item; a hand-sketched, penguin-toting paper bag.


Abstrakt AB:04 (2010)
The first of the limited-edition Abstrakt series had hit the shelves the year before, and become popular straight away, but it was the fourth release that truly seemed to grab people's attention. A 15% coffee, cacao and naga chilli-infused imperial stout, AB:04 swiftly became our most sought-after beer, and the 3,200 bottles produced vanished before our very eyes. It was so well received that the decision was taken to re-brew it – and as Dog A/Dog B, this particular Abstrakt went mainstream, where it has remained to this day.

#Mashtag (2013)
Our supporters have moved us on in so many ways, but it was cool to see how you responded when given the reigns entirely with regard to a new beer. Each stage of the brewsheet for #Mashtag was compiled via an online, multiple-choice selection process, from the base malt bill right through to the eventual name and bottle label. We didn't know where it would lead, but #Mashtag demonstrated where crowd-sourcing can take you – a 7.5% kiwi-hopped brown ale, brewed with hazelnuts and oak chips – oh, and also a neat way to socially involve BrewDog drinkers with our beer-making process, from top to toe.

(PS Don't forget we still need a label design for #MashTag 2014! Check out details on how to enter your scribbles here Closes 23rd March 2014)


Yeah, we're tooting our own trumpets – but each of these beers marks the product of a point in time for BrewDog. Taking 5 out of 215 is no easy task, though – do you agree with our list? What do you think the five most 'important' beers are that BrewDog have made?

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Tarheel 22.03.2014 @ 1:39pm
Only one - Libertine. Discovering an American-style craft beer in Nottingham after trying, but failing, to like British cask ales made Libertine a Godsend to me.
Chemo 22.03.2014 @ 5:48am
Lastnights beer was PUNK
S.gleave 21.03.2014 @ 6:20pm
Hardcore that is all
Simon P 20.03.2014 @ 9:12pm
Picking a favourite 5 in order is VERY hard:1. Tokyo2. Jackhammer3. Hoppy Christmas4. Libertine5. Mix Tape 8Anarchist Alchemist so nearly made it into my top 5.Still hoping to try Bashah one day, was before my craft time, as others say make another batch please guys! Cheers all
snoopmac 19.03.2014 @ 9:09pm
Punk - always my no.1 choiceHardcore - after a couple of Punks...Sink the Bismarck ...wee chaser after the Punk and Hardcorea black IPA that I only had once in Edinburgh, think it had blackberries or something in it.
Brian 19.03.2014 @ 7:23pm
Tokyo* all the way! :)
Mr.Swede 19.03.2014 @ 7:20pm
Sure miss There is no Santa and Hello my name is Ingrid.
Sion 19.03.2014 @ 7:17pm
Zeitgeist. Proof positive to those unfamiliar with schwarzbier that Lager is not, and never has been = adjunct pilsner wannabes
Massimo M 19.03.2014 @ 6:56pm
1 Punk2 Hoppy Christmas3 I Hardcore You4 Hardcore5 Riptideover 26 Brewdog beer drunk!
Swede/Tw 18.03.2014 @ 9:51pm
Jack HammerHardcorePunkLibertine BlackRip Tide
Fairzo 18.03.2014 @ 8:48pm
Tokyo*, like a few others it seems, would be my one for the desert island. Very important to me is the original Paradox - set me on the Brewdog trail.
Black lagar 18.03.2014 @ 7:33pm
Zeitgeist should be in there nom
furrylamp 18.03.2014 @ 7:01pm
there is no santalibertine black aleraspberry revolverAB:095am saint
Loukas 18.03.2014 @ 6:46pm
Chaos Theory5 amHardcore IPADead Pony Club Punk IPA
boosy 18.03.2014 @ 6:32pm
Original Tokyo is at the top. Still my favourite beer of all time.
Juggalo Mark 18.03.2014 @ 6:18pm
Bashah was simply fantastic and its good to see it included. Definitely your best ever
G Jess 18.03.2014 @ 4:05pm
Tokyo, Tokyo, Tokyo, Tokyo, Tokyo
Bono 18.03.2014 @ 3:36pm
Tokyo definitely deserves a mention, its on a whole other level!
GarethGazzGravey 18.03.2014 @ 3:31pm
For me the 5 just have to be Punk IPAHardcore IPAShipWrecker CircusCocoa PsychoLibertime Black Id have loved to have tried TNP, but t sounds from what Ive read that it was before my craft days and have likely missed it. Im gutted if that the case
Chris H 18.03.2014 @ 3:16pm
Punk IPA- Hello?!Tokyo*- cause its my favorite if I could have 1 beer a day for the rest of my life, it would be thisTactical Nuclear Penguin- Cause its my favorite favorite bottleBlack Tokyo* Horizon- bringing the 3 biggest imperial stouts from 3 of the worlds top brewers together to make an even better bigger imperial stoutParadox Jura- Because its was freaking AWESOME!!! Make some more please...
Matt S 18.03.2014 @ 3:09pm
The End of History... and could you do another batch... please??? xxx
Pete H., Nottm 18.03.2014 @ 1:10pm
Punk IPA - because it was your 1st beer.Hardcore IPA - Punks bigger brother with more attitude.Paradox SmokeHead - my favourite whisky infused beer.Tokyo* - just because its fantastic.JackHammer (Mk 1) - possibly the most hoppy beer Ive ever tasted.
hystrix cristata 18.03.2014 @ 12:54pm
Tokyo*, Paradox Arran, 5a.m Saint, Hardcore IPA, Alice Porter or Hello My Name is Ingrid.
pitty 18.03.2014 @ 12:43pm
PunkHardcoreTNPTokyoAb 04
Troubledwaters 18.03.2014 @ 12:09pm
Nanny State is pretty important too, a great comeback to the people crying about the high ABV.
scaro 18.03.2014 @ 11:52am
Punk ipa, Hardcore ipa, Allice porter, Helo my name is Mette-marit, Paradox isle of arran,
AleBeHonest 18.03.2014 @ 11:33am
I made sure Id scribbled my own list before I read yours and mine was as follows...Punk IPATokyoSink The BismarkJackhammerI first put #Mashtag, then crossed it out and replaced it with an unspecified AB series beer.Unfortunately Bashah was from before my craft beer journey started so didnt make the list.
Elena, London 18.03.2014 @ 10:54am
Still gutted I missed Bashah - make it again please??
Field Brewer 18.03.2014 @ 10:51am
Id add The End of History for sure!