Back today with another alcohol-themed post. This time we went beer tasting! It started off as a voucher my boyfriend was bought for Christmas by my parents and we were keen to go along! I believe it is now known as the Beer School on their website.
The voucher was for 2 people to go beer tasting at Brewdog, anywhere in the U.K. We could have 5 thirds of a pint with cheese pairings.
The voucher could only be used on a Sunday to Thursday. So we went on a Monday evening!
How to book
In order to get this experience, you have to book online which is straightforward and they are on every day at 6.30pm.
We looked at the options and due to work, we decided to just go on Monday night! The booking confirmation came through and we got there about 6.20.
Once we were there, we asked at the bar and we’re directed upstairs to the reserved table. We did our tasting in the Manchester bar! They have just opened a whole new place in Oxford Road area of town too.
The beer tasting process
We met the two other people in our tasting group and then Tallulah introduced herself. She was very energetic and brought excitement to the whole experience.
We discussed how we were going to try the beers. First by smelling them, then holding them up against the light and comparing them to the colour chart before trying them.
Once we had tried them, we tried some cheese and noticed whether it altered the flavour of the beer.
The beers we tasted
Our first beer was dead pony club, which was my overall favourite. This was very light, fruity flavoured and very easy to drink.
I enjoyed it being paired with a creamy Brie and it did make it creamier and even fruiter. This beer was one of my favourites.
We chatted about the strengths of some of the beers in BrewDog, they were in a competition to brew the strongest beer with their final entry being a whopping 52%. They often have 15-20% beers available in their bars, but these are only allowed in ⅓ pints.
Our second beer was 5 am saint, this was much more ruby coloured and was paired with cheddar. I enjoyed the flavour of this greatly but it had more bitterness in the beer which did mellow out with the cheddar.
At this point, Tallulah talked about the history of BrewDog, explained the company values and why the pints are often more expensive than you expect.
We also discussed some weird taxidermy publicity stunts that BrewDog was involved in, which was hilarious. I’ve found some example articles to explain what I mean – roadkill bottle anyone?
About an hour in, we tried the most famous beer there … BrewDog punk IPA. Despite their long list of beers, this accounts for over ⅓ of all their sales. Which seems incredible to me as it is just mediocre as a beer.
This was paired with a creamy goats cheese which did make it more palatable but I did give this one to my boyfriend.
Our fourth beer was indie, a beer I also really liked. This was a bit heavier and had a lot more barley flavours involved. This was paired with cheddar again which made it much lighter and easier to drink.
We discussed the process of making beer and tried different flavours of barley. We then also discussed weird beer flavours and the competition between each of the BrewDog bars during their beer festival. All of the bars partner with a local brewer to them and create a beer. The highest-ranking one wins and stays for the next year.
Brewdog also has a big training programme with many exams and processes to be allowed to work there. All their staff are experts in their craft beer.
The final official beer we tasted was jet black heart. This was a nitrogen milk stout.
This beer looked like a Guinness but tasted like a coffee. It was one of the favourite beers I’ve tried and definitely something I would be keen to drink again.
It was lighter than I expected and smooth, like a great flat white.
We tried this with a cheddar which made it shift to taste even more creamy and somehow like I was drinking a chilled coffee.
After the last one – Tallulah brought up 3 different measures of other beers they had on tap. One was a fruit beer, one was 12% and the other was a sour beer.
I couldn’t decide if I liked the sour beer, it was a weird combination and reminded me of the love-hate relationship I have with pickled onion crisps! I hate the aftertaste but live the initial taste.
We loved the process of trying each cheese with a different beer. Tallulah brought them all up separately with the correct beers and it made the experience even more exciting!
I would recommend trying the beers and cheeses together and it makes the flavour shift and become either more bearable (in the case of PUNK state) or just alters the flavour.
Overall opinion of BrewDog beer tasting
I think it was brilliant, we learnt so much about BrewDog as a company and their beers. We enjoyed trying the different ones and understanding how the cheese made each beer taste different.
I would recommend the BrewDog beer tasting experience to anyone else who is interested in beer.
The Great Ambini
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(All details were correct as of March 2019 – Please let me know if you notice any mistakes)