Dead Pony Club
Libertine Black Ale
2 x Specials
3 x Guests
1 x Cider
Literally 100s of BrewDog and worldwide guests.
Meet or cheese boards
I have a bad habit. I get far too excited about things before they happen. Then I often have to persuade myself they’re as good as I’d hoped they would be when, quite honestly, they’re not. BrewDog Bristol did not suffer this plight.
The bar “soft” opened on Friday night. A slightly bizarre concept that seems to occur with increasing frequency with new beer offerings. Choose a big opening day then open the day before. It’s a bit like having a sound check before a gig I suppose, but then you don’t tend to invite an audience to those. Anyway, we couldn’t make it due to a rather superb dinner at the Hare and Hounds in Bath but we did walk past at 5.30pm and the bar’s post work footfall is second to none. Why O’Brien’s sandwich shop sat empty for so many years, I will never know.
Come 6pm on Saturday the bar was buzzing. James Watt had delivered a keg of the 15% Dog A via rowing boat and his trademark rousing speech via the bar top (I’m told, I missed it, doh!). Dog A was a thick, treacle like beermoth, liquidise a Christmas cake with half a bottle of rum and it would probably taste similar. Hardcore shines in keg form, still BD’s outstanding beer if you ask me. 5am Saint and Dead Pony Club provide some bulk at the session end of the scale.
But it was a guest, Mikkeller’s Weizenbock, which was the beer of the night and perhaps epitomises the bar’s ethos. There is an essence to BrewDog’s attitude towards craft beer that is often lost amongst their marketing baggage. Ultimately, they are driven, like many of us, by a love of good beer, whether they make it themselves or not. Everything in the bar is focused around that ethos, be it the minimalist industrial tables that promote collective taste discussions, or the highly trained staff that fortunately do know their saaz from their amarillo.
The BrewDog bar is a positive step for Bristol towards becoming a great beer city like Manchester and London. It’s inclusive, modern and exciting and, most importantly, offers great variety and promotes an attitude towards beer that is as much about tasting new things as it is about getting drunk. This is the beer world I want to live in.