I went on Brewdog’s Beer School last night, for no other reason other than someone bought the experience for me as a Christmas present. A couple of hours, five thirds of beer and cheese pairings for twenty quid. Half of that when booked through a Travelzoo offer.
So what did I think? If I’m going to be totally honest, I quite enjoyed it. Danni, who hosted the event at the Leeds White Cloth Hall Court branch of the Ellon based brewer was excellent; entertaining, engaging and endearing. Quite astute too, despite keeping my gob shut most of the time she sussed me and Mrs C were well into our beers, trying options of brewer, pub owner and even home brewer without quite getting it right.
That’s the reason there are no photos. Well, you don’t want to pay to rock up to an event and end up on someones blog site do you, so I kept the old camera in my pocket. There were eight of us altogether, sat round a large table in the main bar area. At least two of the others had been brought Beer School as a present.
Did I learn anything? I did actually. I never knew there were random messages stamped on the underneath of their cans. I can’t remember them all, apart from one under Jet Black Heart Stout – Rocket to Dublin. They were all of a typical Brewdog oddly funny, slightly cynical nature.
Other snippets of Brewdog history were quite interesting too and I didn’t know they used Lemon Grass in the Dead Pony Club. Overall the presentation was at a nice level for everyone to understand, almost the typical Water, Malt, Hops format that every brewery tour you’ve ever been on revolves around, just with an entertaining bias.
We tasted five core beers; Punk IPA, 5am Saint, Dead Pony Club, Lost Lager and Jet Black Heart along with five cheeses which were all of the highest quality, in fact I would have gone for the cheese on it’s own, it was that good. As a bonus we also had a third of Mikeller’s Hallo Ich Bin Pineapple and a taster of the 16.5% Triple IPA Anarchist Alchemist, which was a nice touch.
Brewdog beers are what they are, you either love them or hate them, or is it just the company that people hate? The core beers are neither cutting edge nor breathtaking; like one of Brewdog’s many slogans says, ‘Craft Beer For The People’. And that was the pitch of the presentation, almost promoting new tastes to everyday people.
Out of eight punters only three, including myself and Mrs C, usually drank proper beer, the other seven mentioning cider, mainstream lager and spirits/cocktails. I think Mrs C drank the lions share of the excellent sour beer and there were quite a few glasses of stout passed back down the table.
There’s usually a can or two of Dead Pony Club in the bottom of our fridge and I see there are some cans of Jet Black Heart appeared after this mornings shopping expedition, so something worked. I hadn’t had their Lager before and I quite liked it, a new concept to most mainstream lager drinkers; Lager with a taste.
Overall I thought this was a decent way to spend a couple of hours on a Wednesday evening. I guess some people will slate me for it, do as you will. I’m unsure what exactly is wrong with Brewdog as a concept. It is what it is, even down to their annoying publicity stunts and marketing which are surely all intentional?
Brewdog Beer School; a decent do for someone that’s not so far up their own whatsit they can’t appreciate an interesting and entertaining couple of hours with a few beers and a decent bit of stand-at-ease.