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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Who Let the Dogs Out - BrewDog Tasting @ Malt Traders

BrewDog, founded by the humorous but serious beer geeks James Watt and Martin Dickie (and a dog!) are arguably the worlds most famous craft brewery right now with their own TV show airing in the USA.

They have produced some cracking beers however, with many that are true to style as well as beers that transcend, test and break styles. They have also won many awards with their brews both in Scotland, the UK and Internationally.

They have also let the public, staff and shareholders choose what beers to brew and have even offered capital to grow and improve the industry by assisting new breweries to get started in the UK.

Given Australia's love of craft beer, travel and self pioneered business it should be no surprise then that a former Brisbane-ite would make their way into the BrewDog fold. Sienna was our host for the tasting session and the manager of the BrewDog pub in London and a cicerone for craft beer.

Phoenix, the importer for BrewDog (in Aus) and many other quality craft breweries along with Malt Traders, manager Greg and Sienna hosted a small tasting session for about 18 people.

As the event began we heard some BrewDog history, how they got started, what they've given back to the community and how far they've expanded since their humble beginnings in 2007.

It was also pointed out that there is potential (if we are loud enough) for Australia to get a BrewDog pub in the future so take to social media and let them know that Brisbane is the place!

We were taken through a few of the iconic brew's beginning with the flagship Punk IPA, followed by Libertine Black Ale, 5AM Saint (Red Ale), Electric India (Hoppy Saison), Hardcore IPA (Imperial IPA) and finishing up with Cocoa Psycho which is a big rich, chocolate and coffee tasting Imperial Stout.

Each brew was explained in detail so that we knew what we were looking for in tasting them along with information about it it's origins. For example Electric India was chosen and brewed by the Shareholders of BrewDog.

In between beers we were chatting to each other and others were entering the beers into UntappD which really let me know I was with some budding members the craft beer community!

Photo by Sienna

I'd had all the beers before with the exception of Cocoa Psycho which was great to try but the standout is Electric India which has a big hoppy nose with a Belgian style funk to it that is expected from a saison which results in a smooth but full flavoured and ultimately refreshing beer.

At the end of the night myself and some other attendees were able to have a chat Sienna and we talked about how Australian craft beer is booming and I suggested some beers from Australia to try whilst here or to take back to London, a great way to end a good night!
So I'm going to write this one a little backwards and finish with the venue, Malt Traders as not only did they host the event but they are a cracking little bottle shop with a rather unique setup (at least for Brisbane).

Malt has a tonne of wine, spirits, craft beer, cider and even snacks and take away meals but what makes it stand out is that you can drink what you want and do so at decent prices.

A large table can be found in the centre of the shop making it the perfect setting for a sneaky after work drink, a pre-drink or even just a quiet little session with a couple of friends.

There is also a Growler fill station with local and international beers usually adorning the 3 taps which have nifty Star Wars tap toppers.

If you drink craft beer, work in the city and haven't checked out Malt it might be time to visit this great little venue.

event pre-drink with Brisbane brewed White Lies - Chocolate Stout

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