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Manchester, United Kingdom
Tyson is a beer hound and cheese addict living in the beery metropolis paradise known as Manchester
If the people are buying tears, I'll be rich someday, Ma

Saturday, 5 May 2012

@Brewdog Manchester

Yes, you heard right. It’s here. The phenomenon that is Brewdog has finally arrived in the nation’s capital; well you can’t take Borisland seriously, can you? Having been knocked back on their original plans to open in the Northern Quarter, they have ended up more somewhat more central in Peter Street.

Thursday evening saw the press invited to have a look around and taste some of their wares. With all the beautiful people there, naturally I felt right at home. Actually there was a high level of non-CAMRA beardies there-I blame the Port Street boys for trying to make beards look cool. Which they aren’t, obviously.

The place was certainly very busy. I suppose that’s to be expected when word got round that I would be there. It’s quite compact and very much in the now customary utilitarian Brewdog style. The small mezzanine level adds a nice touch and offers a good viewing platform, but I prefer the layout of their Camden bar. Smokers and al fresco drinkers are catered for by a drinking area out front.

Now to the important bit: the beer. There are an impressive 10 Brewdog beers on draught and two guest beers. The fridges groan with bottled beery delights that will keep beer geeks more than happy for some time.

Brewdog

Dead Pony Club PA 3.8% £3.60 pint

Zeitgeist 4.9% £3.95 pint

5am Saint 5.0% £4.25 pint

Punk IPA 5.4% £4.25 pint

IPA ID Galaxy 6.7% £3.75 half

BA77 Lager 7.7% £3.60 half

Riptide 8.0% £3.50 half

Hardcore IPA 9.2% £3.50 half

Chris from Stone 10.3% £2.50 third

Anarchist/Alchemist 14.0% £5.95 third

If you like your beer in shots, you could also try:

Tactical Nuclear Penguin 32% £6 25ml

Sink the Bismarck 41% £6 25ml

Guests

Nogne Tiger Triple 9.0% £4.50 third

Mikkeller 19 IPA 6.8% £3.95 half

Brewdog seem to struggle with weaker beers and I found Dead Pony to be a little one-dimensional and thin for my taste. At the other end of the spectrum we were treated to Dog A. This 15.1% whopper was originally brewed as AB: 04 and became the most sought after Brewdog beer ever. It’s an Imperial Stout brewed with dark malts, pure cacao and coffee and, just for fun, naga chillies.

Back on planet Earth, the Punk was good and both of the guest beers were tasty; with the Mikkeller being surprisingly well balanced for a beer with 19 hops in it. The staff were attentive and well-drilled under pressure, Wetherspoons take note. And there was fun to be had with their “crap beer amnesty” where they encouraged people to swap the likes of Carling for some “proper” beer.

So, plus points for having a well run bar that is focused solely on beer. However, minus points for the elephant in the room. Any pub or bar truly serious about showcasing the best “craft” beer really needs to have cask on. If Brewdog don’t want to brew cask, that’s ok.  But to deny their customers the option is to subscribe to the kind of monotheistic thinking that they accuse others of. And without the likes of the excellent Trashy Blonde to fall back on, they need to work on producing a stand-out sub 5% beer.

14 comments:

Steve Lamond said...

no-one else likes trashy blonde! I think low ABV beers just don't compare on keg to their equivalent in cask, shame brewdog never going to cask again.

Jacob said...

I love Trashy Blonde!

Barry said...

God that is expensive. May be worth calling in for the bottled range, but otherwise without real ale there’s no usp. And talking of cask, Trashy Blonde was a classic.

RedNev said...

I've really enjoyed Trashy Blonde on the couple of occasions I've had it - it was on cask each time.

Tyson said...

Steve

What did you say about no one liking Trashy Blonde?! I agree about the cask situation, though. That is very regrettable.

Jason said...

Called in after reading your review. Loved the beer but not the prices. Place could do with more lights.

Martin Ward said...

Yeah have to agree about Dead Pony. It's almost like an afterthought to their other beers and lacks any real kick. Without that you have no session beer options. Which is a shame as you are left with just having halves if you want Brewdog beers . You'd think that with 12 beers on they could manage more than 1 beer of under 5%.

Ian D said...

Absolutely rocking tonight

Tandleman said...

I liked almost everything BD did on cask. I like almost nothing of the rest. And I liked Trashy Blonde too.

Cooking Lager said...

Jesus wept, how much? how much?

Andrew said...

We popped in on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon and when there's only a few people there it was massivly lacking in atmosphere

Can't say we'll go again

Urmston Boy said...

Have to agree with Andrew. The place was completely souless and reminded me of a waiting room. And the prices were enough to make a grown man cry.

Penny said...

It all sounds very interesting. Next time I'm in Manchester, how about you helping a lady navigate the beer list in there?

Tyson said...

Penny

No problem. You know I would love some Hardcore action with you.