And who doesn’t like a Trashy Blonde? I hear you ask. And my answer has to be ‘well, exactly!’
I haven’t lost it, don’t worry. Some people will know what I’m talking about and some could have a vague guess. Others will wonder why they are wasting their time reading rambling nonsense. This, of course, is not nonsense; it’s Brewdog.
The self-proclaimed Craft Beer Revolution was started by two friends back in 2007 who were bored of the run of the mill rubbish that the general world was providing and so they set up a small brewery outside Fraserburgh (near Aberdeen). They haven’t looked back since.
Like many I am a big fan of their to-hell-with-it, off the wall marketing (as I commented on in What would your mother say? and my trip to Illegal Jacks), its irreverent and imaginative attitude makes it stand out from what is, arguably, a very dull field. I mean, who wouldn’t want to drink a Tactical Nuclear Penguin, a Punk IPA or a Trashy Blonde? With its irresistible style, coupled with great tasting beer it is not even remotely surprising that they have been a massive hit. Now about 20 beers down they have a stack of awards and an army of fans. And now they have bars.
Back in March they opened their second bar in Edinburgh’s Cowgate, and I’ve been dying to try it ever since. But in my inimitable style it’s never quite happened. That was until last Thursday when my friend Carley (the anonymous friend from Squirrel Hunting… whose permission I’ve remembered to get this time) and I went to check it out. We’d both heard a lot about it through the Brewdog blog as well as their various Twitter feeds (@brewdog and @BrewDogEdin), so we knew they’d gone for a ‘functional utilitarian’ design and served a variety of their bottled beers as well as a continually changing selection of them on tap, but that was about it.
Pretty soon it was obvious that my plan to be home soon after eating was not going to happen. Having started with a ’77 lager and a pint of 5 am Saint (i.e. one with ’77 and the other with 5am – we’re not drunkards [most of the time]) we decided to be sensible (for once) and since neither of us had eaten since lunch time we ordered a couple of burgers. Carley went for the Classic whilst I threw caution to the wind, opting for the Rocket to the Shroom which came with (as one might suspect) rocket and mushrooms, but with some crisps and spicy humous on the side.
The chat paused a little here, replaced by lots of “mmm”s followed by more notes of approval. Once not a scrap was left on our boards and not a drip in our glasses we should have probably headed on our way, but we were really getting into it now and decided to have another. So out came a pint of Dogma, a pint of Punk IPA, half (it’s what it comes in, owing to the abv) a Hardcore IPA and a Zeitgeist – not all at once, you understand, but bit by bit over the remainder of the evening.
We had a fantastic evening, drinking a variety of beers – all of which we said we wanted more of – and having increasingly entertaining conversation. In short we loved it. Once this place was a beer-soaked karaoke bar, now it is heaving with an endless stream of admirers. Whether it is the reclaimed metal bar top, the wood panneling that looks like it was once a school gym hall floor, or the excited atmosphere that engulfs the place, the bar certainly has that je ne sais quoi and more than lives up to all the hype . What I also love about it is that they are not at all snobbish about being an independent brewery, they don’t care whether you are an expert or there to have a drink and a laugh; all that they seem to care about it that you enjoy the beer and your time there. And that we certainly did.