Say hello to...Bruce
We catch up with our resident bar manager...
The question of 'what's in a name?' has been stirring the philosophically minded among us for centuries but when it comes to the name 'Bruce' we can think of nothing but connotations of awesomeness. Springsteen. Lee. Willis. Forsyth. OK maybe scrap the last one but you get the picture – the name Bruce may as well be Latin for 'awesome'. It should come as no surprise then that our bar manager, aptly named Bruce, lives up to his namesake and doesn't just keep BrewDog Aberdeen ticking over but makes sure it's rockin' at all times.
So how exactly did someone like Bruce end up managing a BrewDog bar in the wilds of Aberdeen? The man himself tells us how:
“I'm no stranger when it comes to management, be it a golf centre or a soft play area for kids. Craft beer, however, is only something I've been interested in for the past year and a half after I visited the West Coast of America. When I heard that BrewDog were opening a bar and needed someone to run the place I jumped at the chance. I've had experience running a licensed premises in the past but nothing could prepare me for the response we've had at the bar and the passion BrewDog fans have for their beers."
Needless to say, managing BrewDog's craft beer bar wasn't the first time Bruce had come into contact with the company or the beers:
“I first came into contact with with BrewDog through a good friend of mine – Chris Mair – who is BrewDog's sales manager for Scotland. BrewDog seemed like a company who were pushing boundaries and trying to do something different. When I realised BrewDog had been started by a couple of young Scottish lads around my own age it made me even more keen to support the cause; namely by drinking the beer!”
Committed to the cause, Bruce has now been taking part in the chaos that is BrewDog for close to six months. Despite the rumours however, BrewDog is far from being a beer-fulled frat party and, instead, is a heady mix of 60% hardcore grafting, 30% talking about hardcore beers and 10% drinking said hardcore beers; a combination Bruce hadn't anticipated:
“Don't get me wrong, working at BrewDog is pretty hard work. I got involved in the building work at the bar when it was about 80% complete but to take the bar from an empty shell, to finding a team, to what it is now was a pretty cool experience and despite the hard work that goes in, I can't wait to do it all over again in Edinburgh.”
Surprisingly though, it's not the huge array of global craft beers that kept Bruce fueled up during his shifts at the bar or gives him the inspiration to create the slew of events BrewDog Aberdeen is quickly becoming famed for:
“The passion of the customers at the bar is really quite something. There's not a day that goes by where I don't have an in depth discussion with customers about the beers we have on. Even on days when my enthusiasm is down, the passion of the customers drags me back up again and I'm back to thinking about how we can make the bar even better.”
Despite some inspirational chat from the patrons, the perks of working at BrewDog Aberdeen really are the beers themselves and as the end of a shift approaches Bruce says he finds himself gearing up to wind down with some of his favourite brews:
“Deciding on a favourite beer is tough as there's so many to choose from. After work I'm partial to 5am Saint or if I feel like treating myself it's got to be Lost Abbey Angels Share. If I'm in the mood for sharing I'll go for a Speedway Stout although I'm still pining over some of the beers we've run dry on like Bashah Imperial. Actually, loads of our beers deserve a mention like anything by 3 Floyds, Port Brewing Wipeout, Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard and Flying Dog Gonzo Porter on draft.”
As they say, beer is best enjoyed with friends and what better an occasion than one of BrewDog's craft beer events which are already building up something of an infamous reputation among fans, locals and the press alike. Thanks to Bruce, it sounds like there's plenty more in the pipeline too:
“This year I am keen to introduce beer tastings to the bar so customers can work through the beers and get a bit of education about what they are and how they are made. The highlight of our events so far definitely has to be the Mikkeller and NongeO evening when we had all our taps pouring Mikkeller and NongeO beers, and the head brewers and company founders of both breweries were here talking everyone through their beers. It was a great night and one that still gets talked about in the bar.”
Living closer to the border but want to get your paws on one of the BrewDog bar's line up of beers or even attend an event? Don't fear! Bruce and the team are busy working away on BrewDog's second bar, located in Edinburgh's Cowgate, which is due to open this spring...bringing BrewDog's plans for world domination one paw closer into reach:
“BrewDog Edinburgh is under construction right now. One of my bar staff, Rebecca, has gone down as our project manager and we hope to open around the middle of March. The design and feel of the bar will be similar to Aberdeen, however it will have two extra draft lines on. I am in the process of lining the beers up for the opening and they are going to be pretty special! The Glasgow bar is pretty close to being signed as well so hopefully it won't be long before we're blogging about that one too. It will be awesome to have a BrewDog presence in three of Scotland's biggest cities.”
So, as our blog with Bruce draws to a close perhaps there's none better than the man himself to sum him up:
“In the words of others I am bald, beardy and beautiful (the last one was my mum when I was three)"
What more could you want from a bar manager?”