Brewdog x Cloudwater
New England IPA by Brewdog & Cloudwater is arguably in my top 5 beers of all time. It was so good. It was up there with the best that Cloudwater have to offer; v12, v13 & NW DIPA Citra. So it’s safe to say I was rather happy when I heard that V2 was on its way.
New England IPA v2 is 8.5% ABV New England Style IPA. Here's what Brewdog have to say about it:
"A second team up with Cloudwater sees us brewing an 8.5% ABV New England IPA, hopped with a blend of hops known for their citrus, tropical and berry characteristics. Spicy, zesty and piney aromas give way to an effervescent, tropical IPA, backed up with a hints of clove and pepper. Hopped in the whirlpool with Mosaic hops, and dry-hopped with Citra, Mandarina Bavaria and more Mosaic."
If this beer is half as good as the original it would still be a great beer. However, I suspect it may just be as good, or even better...
When you open this beer, you'll instantly notice the BIG juicy flavours that we're used to with this style of beer; pineapple, mango & orange are complimented with a huge amount of pine. It pours a hazy amber with a thin white head.
The flavours here are excellent. Those juicy fruit flavours are at the forefront of it all backed by loads of piney bitterness. You also get that slight hint of spice at the end, coming from the cloves. This is such a great beer to drink, and the 660ml bottle ensures it's an extremely boozy drink!
Now this is one HAZY beer and it has A LOT of sediment. I'm
not sure if it was just my bottle, or that is how it was meant to be, but there was a lot of it. It didn't bother me, but if you don't like sediment in your beer, then this one might not be for you.
This beer is AWESOME. You simply have to try it while you still can. It will be interesting to see if Brewdog & Cloudwater continue this collaboration in a similar vein to Cloudwater's DIPA series. Overall I loved this beer, but I think the original just scrapes it for me; that was almost the perfect beer.
4.75 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
At this years #PunkAGM2017, one of my favourite beers of the day was Brewdog's own Vermont style IPA. So when I received an email following the AGM asking if I wanted to retain my shareholding, and in doing so I would be rewarded with a 6-pack of their new Vermont style IPA - it was a no brainier.
The beer in question is Hazy Jane - a 7.2% ABV New England IPA. This has fast become my favourite style of beer, so I was extremely excited to get these cracked open. Here's what Brewdog have to say about it:
"Hazy Jane is a Vermont style IPA, with low background bitterness, loaded with intense juicy fruit character. Pineapple, stonefruit, mango, light resin and hints of lime peel – this juicy IPA is full-bodied and smooth, enhancing the soft ripe fruit flavours. Unfiltered and only available in cans from our online shop and BrewDog bars!"
Everything about this beer sounds great so far - I think we're onto a winner.
Opening the can, you are instantly hit with a fruit explosion; pineapple & mango are backed up by the slightest hint of citrus from the lime. There is almost a sort of cereal smell about it too - the oats being the likely culprit.
It pours a golden hazy yellow, with a small head that disperses quickly. The fruit really shines through again on taste - with pineapple and mango at the forefront, backed by some slight sourness from the lime. Hazy Jane is extremely easy on the mouth, with little to no sign of the alcohol or any bitterness - perfect summer drinking.
Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. It hasn't quite hit the heights of the version from #PunkAGM2017 or the collaboration with Cloudwater, but it is still a great beer to drink and I look forward to working my way through them. The added touch of giving them to Equity Punks first for keeping their shareholding was an extremely nice one, and certainly hope that this beer becomes a seasonal staple of Brewdog.
4 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
I normally get excited when Brewdog release a new small batch beer. More often than not they tend to be something different, and come with can art that rivals Beavertown. Step forward Pump Action Poet, their second small batch release of the year which is a 7.5% ABV Stonefruit IPA.
Here's what Brewdog have to say about this one:
"Pump Action Poet is loaded with stonefruit and tropical flavour – aromas of juicy peach, apricot and nectarine, pineapple and mango - all piled on biscuity malt. Hopped with Citra, Amarillo and Simcoe and brewed with added wheat and oats, this super smooth IPA has a balanced bitterness and a full-bodied mellow malt base. The addition of peach and apricot enhances the flavours of stonefruit naturally present in some of our favourite US hops, and adds a subtle tart edge to offset the intense juicy fruit character.
The second small-batch can release of 2017 is a locked-and-loaded salvo of flavour for the summer."
Sounds like a perfect beer for this glorious summer weather we are having...
Now this is seriously some of the coolest can art that I have ever seen. Artist Tracie Ching has done an awesome job here. I'd love to see Brewdog release this one as a tee.
It pours a golden yellow, leaving a big foamy off-white head. The aroma is very sweet with big juicy citrus fruits, backed by some nice piney hops. The sweetness continues on taste, with little to no bitterness present. Extremely drinkable - you wouldn't think of this as being 7.5% ABV. This beer hugely reminded me of another Brewdog beer; Elvis Juice, however the bitterness of the grapefruit has been replaced with a lovely sweetness from the apricot & peach. It is extremely easy to drink and very refreshing on a hot day.
4 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
Annual General Mayhem
This Saturday past saw the #PunkAGM2017 descend on the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre. Thousands of beer punks made their way there to take in the epic beer, food & music.
I ventured there with my wife and on entrance we were handed two full beer token cards. This equated to approximately 4 beers depending on what you ordered - great touch.
The place was absolutely jam packed full of people and it took a good 10 minutes of queuing at the bar until we got our first drinks. This was a bit of a pain, but it was worth it for the awesome beers on offer.
Over the next few hours we made our way around the venue, checking out what was on offer; from the various bars, excellent choices of food, Q&A sessions and live music - there was so much on offer. BrewDog certainly know how to put on a show!
Without doubt my favourite beer of the day was the 7.5% ABV BrewDog Vermont IPA V3. This beer was epic! I couldn't get enough of it. It's definitely up there with the New England IPA collaboration with Cloudwater.
I also got a chance to try Lone Wolf gin, complete with their own brand tonic, which was great - extremely refreshing. Gin has fast become my spirit of choice, so I'm glad it's finally fully released.
My one gripe however, was that at Bar 7, where Buxton was pouring - I am 100% certain that at one point they had the Original Ice Cream Pale Ale & the Lemon Meringue Ice Cream mixed up. I even ordered it twice to see if it was a mistake first time, but there was no way either time I was given the original. I was a little disappointed with that as the original is such a great beer - not that there is anything wrong with the lemon...I have a bottle in the fridge (review to follow soon).
The biggest news from the event was that BrewDog have sold a 22% stake for a £213 million investment from American group TSG Consumer Partners, that now sees them valued at more than £1bn. Incredible!
I think that's more than enough cause for them to throw a party like that 🍻
Brewdog x Cloudwater
Before they conjured up Coffee & Cigarettes with Beavertown, Brewdog had released a collaboration with one of the UK's hottest breweries - Cloudwater.
Arguably the biggest name in UK craft beer teaming up with the brewery that seems to be the talk of the town right now is a hugely exciting prospect.
Released in 660ml bottles, New England IPA is a 6.8% ABV IPA. Acquired through Westhill Service Station, this was one beer that I was greatly looking forward to (especially after missing it first time round).
Here's what Brewdog have to say about it:
"North East Scotland meets North East USA in our BrewDog Vs Cloudwater showdown.
This New England IPA is low in bitterness but loaded with explosive fruit flavour. Redolent with tropical fruit notes, fresh squeezed orange juice, pineapple, fragrant cut grass, and hints of pine dust, the aroma is complex and alluring. On the palate, the bittersweet balance emphasises the sweet, juicy fruit character, while the addition of oats adds a silken mouthfeel, giving the beer a full and rounded finish. If it wasn’t for the subtle bitter edge and the slight hint of alcohol warmth, you’d swear you were drinking juice.
This beer is unfiltered and intentionally hazy. Very hazy."
This beer comes with a huge amount of expectations on its shoulders. To say I was looking forward to cracking this one open is an understatement...
Straight from popping the bottle you know that you're onto a winner. Sweet, juicy fruity aromas fill the air; pineapple, mango and a hint of grapefruit fill your nose, followed by that familiar piney/hoppy smell.
This is a HAZY beer! It pours a thick, pulpy hazy golden yellow, leaving a foamy white head on top.
The fruitiness comes back in play when you taste the beer; pineapple, mango & grapefruit all come flooding through before the piney hoppiness kicks in to finish it off wonderfully. These flavours, combined with the thick, pulpy texture off the beer all work together to pack a serious punch. This is a fantastic beer.
I certainly hope there's more collaborations between these two to come. This is up there with the best beers I've ever had - probably in my top 3, and if they can recreate anything like this...I for one will be happy. I urge you to try this beer if you are lucky enough to find it anywhere, it will not disappoint.
5 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
Brewdog x Beavertown
Is it possible to have too much of a good thing?
Appearing out of nowhere in Westhill Service Station's latest newsletter, was a collaboration between Brewdog & Beavertown. Step forward Coffee & Cigarettes; a 12.1% ABV Imperial Stout, brewed by two of the biggest & best breweries in the UK today.
Here's the official lowdown from Brewdog:
"We invited Beavertown, who are at the very pinnacle of UK craft breweries, to a collaborative brewday. On a pre-dawn voyage of discovery with London's finest we stumbled into daybreak and uncovered renewed purpose with this imperial stout.
Riffing on the theme of how to kick-start those early mornings brewers find themselves battling against, this beer is a smoke and caffeine-themed heavyweight aged in three different whisky casks.
Each of those casks brings its own element into play – the peaty Islay, oaky vanilla Bourbon and spicy Rye all having an input. With molasses, caramel, raisin and mocha notes this beer is dry, peaty and roasty and will charge your glassware and soul both."
I know, right?
Well this beer is a whisky lovers dream.
Cracking open the bottle and you get a HUGE whiff of boozy coffee. Big smokey, peaty whisky aromas blend with coffee, vanilla & chocolate. The beer pours jet black with a foamy beige head.
On tasting, you are instantly met with the taste of smokey whisky. Let it roll around a little, and the coffee and vanilla flavours start to show themselves. The whisky is almost too overpowering to begin with, but it is nicely balanced out with the sweetness of the vanilla, and a little chocolate.
Overall I enjoyed Coffee and Cigarettes. The time spent in three different whisky casks definitely gives this beer an edge over other imperial stouts. I wish the big dogs would come together more often - especially these two. That reminds me, I have a bottle of New England IPA by Brewdog & Cloudwater chilling in the fridge...but more on that later.
4 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
New from Brewdog, Self Assembly Pope is a 7.4% ABV coconut/vanilla infused porter.
Described by Brewdog as a Myriad hedonistic aromas of cocoa powder, vanilla bean, coconut, and bitter chocolate, with hints of roasty black coffee and dark fruit, followed by a smooth, velvety mouthfeel and a rich, bittersweet finish.
Combining vanilla, coconut & chocolate with a selection of malts and Galena hops is bount to procude interesting results, and something I was eager to try.
Cracking the can and pouring into a glass, the beer is near jet black with a bubbly beige head. Sweet coffee and coconut aromas are instantly present and it's these two flavours that battle it out to be the strongest on taste. There's a backbone of sweetness from the chocolate and vanilla this gives an overall impression of a drinking liquid bounty! Everything in this beer comes together nicely to give an excellent porter.
Brewdog are continuing their trend of procucing some awesome artwork for their small batch beers here, with Self Assembly Pope being no exception - it looks seriously cool!
You can purchase Self Assembly Pope through Brewdogs online shop:
Overall, a very tasty porter with strong, interesting flavours. 4 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
Brewdog x Omnipollo
Well this is an exciting combination...
Fruit Bat, a 6% ABV raspberry smoothie IPA - the first of two collaborations between brewing giants Brewdog & Omnipollo.
Described as being packed with fresh juicy raspberry flavour, wheat, oats & milk sugars have been added to give this beer the creaminess & depth of a fruit smoothie, which in turn balances out the tartness of the raspberry. The beer has then been single hopped with Mosaic to give it a touch of that familiar bitterness you associate with an IPA.
Cracking the can & pouring into a tulip glass, I was hit with the scent of raspberries straight away. On taste, there is an incredible mouthfull of fruity flavour with a slight hoppy backbone. You get the flavour from the wheat & oats that also give it a thick smoothie like texture.
All in all, fruit bat is an extremely tasty beer which is very refreshing. However, in a week of reviewing two fruit beers - Tropigamma is the winner for me.
If you can't find Fruit Bat at your local bottle shop then you can buy it online here:
You should without doubt try and get your hands on Fruit Bat whilst it's available, I'm definitely looking forward to trying out the second collaboration between Brewdog & Omnipollo 🍻
Wow. I don't know where to start with this one.
Neon Overlord by Brewdog is a 7.3% ABV chilli & mango IPA. Released today, I was lucky enough to pick up a couple of cans on my way home from work at Westhill Service Station.
Opening the can you are lured in by the sweet fruity aromas of pineapple & mango. However, upon tasting - you are smacked in the mouth with a massive dollop of spicy chilli. This may not sound like everyone's idea of a good beer, but I really enjoyed it. The sweetness you get from the fruit is just enough to compliment the chilli.
Not only is the beer awesome - the can design is up there with the best efforts from Beavertown, if not better. It is seriously cool.
I wouldn't suggest that Neon Overlord be your entry to chilli beer - the chilli is very strong, and quite spicy. If you are a fan of chilli beer or just looking to try something different - then I highly suggest giving it a go 🍻
Right the middle of Westhill, you will find a BP petrol station with a Spar store attached. To the naked eye - this just looks like an ordinary petrol station/shop...but take a wander inside to the alcohol section and you find a craft beer emporium!
The first thing you will likely notice will be the entire stall dedicated solely to Brewdog. The selection available is fantastic - not just the headliners (Punk IPA, 5AM Saint, Dead Pony Club, Kingpin & Jet Black Heart), but they stock almost all of the latest releases. If I notice on Facebook or Instagram that Brewdog are releasing some new beers in the bar that night - 90% of the time they will be available in the Service Station on the same day! Unfortunately, I don't live 5 mins walk from a Brewdog bar, so it is great to be able to nip in to the garage and check out the latest offerings on the day they are released.
Alongside Brewdog, they have also recently started stocking Aberdeen's very own Fierce Beer (Dyce) and have a great selection of their offerings. They also stock lots of other local Scottish craft breweries and have a fantastic, wide range available.
You will also find a selection of international breweries - Stone Brewing from Berlin are one of the latest to be stocked alongside Pabst Brewing from USA.
The chilled section boasts some of the most popular beers - which is an added bonus.
I recently spoke to Chris Proctor, one of the supervisors at the store who has been dealing with Brewdog, Drygate & Stone breweries for the last while, and I had the chance to ask him some questions:
I was really curious where the boom of craft beer at the garage came from? Was Darren (store manager) into craft beer and made the decision to start selling it?
The variety of craft beer we offer initially sparks from either individual companies reaching out to us with a desire to work together, or it can be ourselves doing the contacting if a particular brewery catches our eye. Although our craft sales are doing better now than ever, the eclectic range you see on our shelves has been a work in progress, spanning over many years. We had a rather hefty store refurbishment back in 2013, which allowed us to expand our chilled and ambient alcohol sections. This extra space gave way not only to the usual suspects that always sell well, but to also offering new and alternative beers. I believe it was Darren’s aim to go above and beyond what most retailers like ours typically provide, and today, it certainly appears to have paid off!
Is there some sort of connection with Brewdog? I find it amazing that more often than not when there is a new release at Brewdog... It's on the shelf at the garage the same day!
Initially, when we started working with Brewdog, our display was very minimal - a couple different bottles or so at most. However it didn’t take long before our orders started to noticeably increase. Today, we have a separated stand dedicated to Brewdog, and this year we’ve also moved some of the top sellers into their own chilled fridge as well. There’s a Brewdog rep that visits local stores and he’s always blown away by our extensive range. Their Direct Sales Coordinator is someone I speak to pretty much every week and he does a great job to look after us and yes, hook us up with new beers to sell right on the hour they’re officially released. I can only see our relationship with Brewdog growing, and as long as they’re brewing, we’ll be selling!
Do you find that there's a lot of interest in the craft beer selection you have?
Absolutely! It’s hard not to acknowledge the vast amount of craft beer lovers nearby that keep our stock moving. The craft stuff really is one of Westhill Service Station’s strongpoints. I think our passion to bring new and exciting beer to the public, links very well with the simultaneous rise in people’s interests and desires to try out beers new and alternative. Most weekends that I’m in the store, it’s more common than not to see several customers filling their baskets with a mixed selection to taste test. We’ve just recently set up a Facebook page for people to follow what’s new in the shop and what we have on offer in our ever expanding fresh and hot food section. A few posts in, and we’d mentioned some new craft items and it quickly gathered a significant online reach. I believe the next day, our craft sales rocketed! Again, I can only see this interest growing as long as we continue to provide what people already love, along with new things for people to fall in love with!
How do you decide which beers to stock next? For example I noticed in the last week you have started stocking Stone Brewing beers.
I’d say it’s trial and error, but honestly, there’s not much we’ve had error’s with regarding what’s ordered in. Everything seems to shift well which is fantastic. Firstly, when ordering something from a new brewery, we’ll test the water with a small batch on display and then see how it goes from there. The first few weeks of a new beer on the shelf is usually always successful, but what we look for is whether that pace is sustainable overtime. The new Stone stuff we’ve just got in is a prime example of how we let our selection grow. For instance, we’ve ordered in beers with some of the lowest ABV’s that Stone offer, in order to keep the prices lower for the customer to feel happy enough to try them out. If customers start returning to the Stone beers, then we can continue to expand and look at getting in stronger (pricier) options. Another thing we are passionate about is using local suppliers. There’s an abundance of indie craft breweries kicking about in Scotland, and Aberdeen’s very own Fierce beer is one of our latest local suppliers that are doing tremendous things this year.
If you haven't already visited Westhill Service Station and checked out their craft beer selection - I highly recommend doing so. There is a much better range of Craft Beer in there that you will find in most big supermarkets! 🍻
You can also follow them on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/WesthillServiceStation
Westhill Service Station is located on Straik Road, Westhill, AB32 6TJ.
An enthusiastic lover of all things craft beer from Aberdeen, Scotland.