Are Brewdog over the hill? Have they even been up the hill? These were some of the questions being posed by the drinkers of Manchester last night. There definitely seems to be an undercurrent of dissatisfaction with some of their beers. Or at least some of their newer ones to be accurate. It was even suggested that the only reason to visit the Manchester bar was to sample the guest beers.
So in the interests of completely unscientific research, I decided to try a bottle of Dead Pony Club for today’s breakfast beer. I, along with several others, was less than thrilled with this on draught on the opening night of Brewdog Manchester. The consensus seemed to be that it was, well, rather dreary. Some of their beers are actually better in the bottle, so I was hopeful about this one.
It’s the standard Brewdog size and is only 3.8% by alcohol. It poured lively amber with a good white head. The aroma was quite restrained but promising. There was pine and herbal notes which indicated a decent hop level.
The first thing I noticed about the taste was that it was much crisper then the draught version and it didn’t have the unpleasant cloying aftertaste. There’s certainly a decent buzz with tart fruit hops on the tongue... But that’s it.
As usual with Brewdog’s weaker beers, they seem unable to provide a decent malt backbone to complement the hops. So you’re left with a one dimensional beer that feels a little weak and unbalanced. Hardly the greatest achievement for someone with so lofty ideals.
This will probably suit the uninitiated and the Brewdog fans who are used to their stronger stuff. However, although it’s not a bad beer, considering the competition out there in session beer land; this comes across as something of a missed opportunity. I could easily sup a bottle or two, but it wouldn't be my first choice.