Filtration at BrewDog

changes to our production methods = better beers

Filtration at BrewDog

In accordance with our 2009 Resolutions to get allot better at absolutely everything we do ( ) we are in the process of changing the way we filter our beers. No longer will our beers be sterile filtered, so look forward to BrewDog beers with even more flavour, aroma, mouth-feel and body!

We almost inadvertently fell into the sterile filtering of our beers. Conventional wisdom in the UK about how beer can be presented really lags behind that in the rest of the world. Due to Martin's brewing education readying him for a job with Inbev or Heineken, there was only three schools of thought on how beer can be put into bottles with any kind of shelf life; pasteurized, sterile filtered and bottle conditioned.

Pasteurization, or temporary cooking of beer to kill off any biological instability in your beer, is what ruins about 95% of the world's beer.  As we have no space for bottle conditioning we reluctantly decided we would have to sterile filter our beers. We were advised by UK industry experts that this was the only way to get the shelf life we needed on our bottled beers. This filtration technique is not without its drawbacks however as it is a very tight filtration and can strip out a lot of the flavour, aroma and mouth-feel of a beer.

It was only by travelling and meeting other craft brewers that we discovered that there was an alternative method that was much better for our beers. We are grateful for the help and advice of our friends in the international craft beer community in helping us find a much better way of presenting our beers.

Complete process control and a light filtration. This gentle filtration merely removes the hop bits from dry hopping and the char from the whisky cask aged beers and makes the beers almost bright to the naked eye. The aromas that come through when you don't sterile filter is quite amazing. The intense aromas and flavours that our beers had before just got even more hoppy, even more citrus, even more smoky and even more outrageous.

As we have said many times before, BrewDog is about making the best beer we possibly can. We don't proclaim to have all the answers. If there is something we can do better we'll be the first to hold up our hands and do our darnedest to embrace and improve. 

The new filtration, or perhaps lack of it, will add a lot to our bottled beers and hopefully add allot to our customer's enjoyment of them. We recently bottled batches of very lightly filtered Paradox Smokehead and Paradox Springbank, the difference is amazing. We also now have some lightly filtered Punk IPA, How to Disappear Completely, Devine Rebel and Hardcore IPA.

You can buy a mixed case of these here:

We are just a young brewery and learning all the time. Thanks for being on this journey with us.
Improving absolutely every single aspect of everything we do will always be all we are focussed on. And if we have some fun and unsettle a few institutions along the way then that is cool too.
We have some pretty exciting plans for the rest  2009 and we hope you all want to be part of them.

James, BrewDog

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Comments (4)

Sam Hill 4th June, 2009 12:15pm
Tried to buy your lightly filtered case but having a few problems. Only received half the case so far due to paypal problems and no indication on the bottles that they are only lightly filtered. Havent opened one yet though.
Schigi 28th May, 2009 7:11pm
The Beer Nut 27th May, 2009 12:36pm
Great post, and a fascinating insight into the process. Be sure and tell the other UK brewers, now.
lorenzo 27th May, 2009 12:23pm
this post is probably one of the most important since the beginning... and a very welcome one !! we cannot wait to taste the new bottles...pretty sure paradox will be too good for humans. may we have some springbank as well ?? ;-))