Take 5 - new guest beers!
Some of the latest hoppy offerings in our fridges
Here at BrewDog, we love trying new things. Sure, trusted favourites and staple beers are all very well; there are many occasions when you just want to reach for something familiar, after all. Everyone has those moments when the only energy you can afford to expend is that required to simply reach the fridge/ beer cupboard/underground satin-draped tasting chamber. Yet, sometimes, you really can't beat taking a punt into the unknown. Beer hunting, lest we forget, is all about potential – who can say what new favourites might be out there awaiting discovery, currently unknown? How are you going to know?
With that in mind, lately we've been working hard to get an increased range of guest craft beers into our bars. Bottles and kegs direct from old friends and new finds alike. Why? Well, there's nothing quite like that moment when a beer delivery arrives; that polystyrene-scattering instant of eagerness when the boxflaps are pulled back, and new beers revealed. Likewise, this also holds true for that moment when you flick open a BrewDog bar beer menu, and run a finger down the contents; or pull up on tiptoes to peer into the fridge behind the counter, and see what treats nestle within.
Here are five recent arrivals into BrewDog HQ that you should soon be seeing behind those very counters. Dip those aforementioned tiptoes into these beery waters, and let us know what you think. If you get to try any of these five, or any of the other guest beers we have on offer, leave us a comment below; and give us a shout if there are any guest brewers you'd like to see featured in our bar fridges, or pouring from our taps! Which beer is destined to become your new fallback option…?
Stronzo Maclovin Scotch Ale (8.7%)
Ahh, Denmark. That fist-catching-a-pancake shaped, bacon-loving bastion of Scandinavian cool. So many great beery trends are arcing outwards from the Jutland peninsula – and one of the most under the radar of these are Stronzo. From the small town of Gørløse, 40km north of 'the Cope', Stronzo are putting out some hugely imaginative and borderline surreal beers (see later). Owned by brothers Kristian and Morten Strunge, Italian-speakers may well know exactly what their brewery name means; everyone else will have to Google it (checking the internet settings first, of course). Maclovin is a walloping Scotch Ale – dark rum and raisin, with sweet caramel and plenty of booze. It's like breaking off a piece of almost-set black toffee, one that pulls away in strands as you try to lift it from the still-warm tray.
Port Brewing High Tide (6.5%)
India Pale Ale – the craft beer bastion. The flag-waving juggernaut that rolls inexorably onwards, crushing all other styles beneath. In short, there are lots of them out there. People love hops, it seems to be that simple. The best advice we can give is to try and get them as fresh as possible, so the hop flavours are at their very best; there's nothing worse (in IPA terms, at least) than a vague, faded India Pale Ale that merely reminds you nothing can possibly last forever. To counteract this melancholy, we have Port Brewing's High Tide – a liquid flashfire of honeysuckle, minerality and pine. It sings San Diego (or San Marcos, to be precise) from the very start, a mayfly-esque celebration of fresh-hop fabulousness. Grab this beer from the online shop here
Mikkeller Spontanbeetroot (7.7%)
Are there many suffixes remaining to be Spontan'd? The latest wonder from 'Gypsy Godfather' Mikkel Borg Bjergsø is here, in all BrewDog bars – Spontanbeetroot. Just try and introduce this one to a non beer-loving friend; a spontaneously fermented sour beer, stored in barrels and with added beetroot. Yes, on the one hand you could make a sensational salad dressing out of it. But on the other, you've got one of the most individual, refreshing and downright imaginative beers out there. Beetroot works brilliantly in a sour – the tartness removes much of the dank earthiness the vegetable yields, and replaces it with a supreme fruity, berryish zestiness, and a tingling, Monster Munch-like finish, to boot.
Nøgne Ø India Saison (7.5%)
Speaking of tingles, there are few better dance-along-the-synapse experiences in beer than a perfectly judged saison. Surely the style of the moment, they are hugely moreish when executed classically, and yet saisons lend themselves to augmentation so readily. For example, Norwegian giants Nøgne Ø have combined with Australians Bridge Road Brewers for this India Saison; a classic Belgian take, amplified by a hop thunder from Stella and Galaxy. Peach, pear, orange on the nose, yet on the taste the beer is dry, with a rolling, earthy spiciness. It's like drinking chalky lemon marmalade. Nøgne Ø translates as 'naked island'; throw off the clothes and cavort with this one (well, when you get home, at least).
Stronzo Precious Mjöd (15%)
Finishing where we began, our fifth and final suggestion is another from the tighly-knit Danes of Stronzo. Precious Mjöd tips the scales at 15% abv, and is a riotous experience from start to finish. On the bottle, self-described as a 'bourbon barrel-aged black mead', it pours like something akin to primordial tar – you could trap sabre-tooth tigers with it. Huge aromas of soy, oak, smoke, walnuts and asphalt sit there, thick and miasma-like. It tastes fossilised; you could paint your fence with it. Yet, on the far finish; sweetness. From the turbo-molasses beginning, the layers of the barrel fall away and the mead appears, nudging ahead of the smoke and winning the slow, slow race to the tape. Just a fascinating beer – the complete, total sum of its parts. Dip your toes in this one, and you won't be able to wash them for months…
Have you tried any other amazing new beers from other breweries lately? Let us know what is rocking your world right now in the comments!