I stumbled across Liverpool BrewDog by accident. I knew there was one, but not where. It definitely wasn’t in The Guardian top ten craft beer pubs in Liverpool, which I found on the internet. Now, The Guardian guide says it was published in December 2014 and Liverpool BrewDog opened up in November 2014 so that’s a bit funny? Perhaps the editors had been sitting on Tony Naylor’s review for a few months, maybe he missed it, maybe he didn’t rate it? Or is it because The Guardian guide doesn’t hit the spot and is really a top ten of pubs that do craft beer rather than Craft beer pubs (I prefer the term bars here)?
Liverpool BrewDog is tucked away on Colquit Street which is apparently in The historic Ropewalks district of L1. which is a term I’ve not heard before. I always remember the area between Bold Street and Duke Street as a maze of dimly lit narrow streets and dank back alleys that were home to a few small clubs, a lot of cardboard boxes, rats and not much else. Since then, sometime over the last thirty years, the area seems to have transformed itself into a destination night time economy venue. Thankfully, Liverpool BrewDog seems to be just on the edge of the more commercial part.
First impressions; it’s quite big, not many people in for a Thursday afternoon, but I like it. There’s an almost subliminal nautical theme going on with the partitions which break up the single room being fashioned from a flotilla of sails and the bars formed from concrete, resembling a corrugated quayside. Otherwise the decor follows the standard Brewdog fit out. Think lots of neon and moody lighting.
In terms of beer, then it’s all bottles or keg lines, thirty of them and surprisingly they had no Dead Pony Club on. This seems to be happening quite a lot now and I don’t really get it. It might not be Brewdogs most esoteric product, but it is a tasty 3.8% drinkable pale ale that hits the spot and, to my mind, should be a staple in all their bars ALL THE TIME. We ended up with a Punk IPA which was a bit stronger than we fancied, but still nice. We could have gone daft and had something really nice, really strong (and expensive) but there was quite a lot of Thursday left in front of us, so we took a rain check on that.
As you come into the bar there’s a takeaway bottle store cum merchandising shop area incorporated to the left hand side. In Brewdog speak that’s a BottleDog. I had a quick skeg, they stock some interesting bottles. They also do food, which is not something on offer in the older versions of BrewDog bars. Ironically, when all the ones in the iconic Liverpool real ale pubs were disconnected years ago, Liverpool BrewDog boasts bell push buttons to summon table service!
I like Brewdog, as a brewer, as a concept, a product. I know it doesn’t suit some of the die hard CAMRA types, but they sell decent beer and it suits me. If they ever start selling mediocre keg beer, like many of the joints just down the road in Concert Square and Seel Street, then I’ll start to get worried and do something about it, until then, bring it on Brewdog.
As far as Brewdogs go then I rate this Liverpool one very highly, top three out of the ones I’ve been in.