When you have to drink good beer.
Well last night Brewdog Bar Edinburgh had a "Soft" open, this turns out to be opening before its really open, if that makes any sence. Or more simply opening before the official Launch night. In fact so soft was the opening that i only knew it was actually open 15 minutes before it opened. Ok i had heard rumour but no real news. Until 5:45 when it was tweeted that the bar was opening in 15 minutes. Now this turned out to not be quite true i think it might have been 16 or 17 minutes. All told the Brewdog bar opened about a minute after the work being done was complete.
Now ive been lucky to have been to both brewdog bars, and they are quite interesting, Brewdog have said that theyve gone for a common feel without an identical look and you know what i think they have got that right
The outside of Brewdog Aberdeen
The outside of Brewdog Edinburgh
The inside of Brewdog Aberdeen
The Aberdeen Bar
The Edinburgh Bar(will try get a landscape shot)
And a Stoatally Ridiculous Photo
Now onto my thoughts.
So lets start with my gripe, even if lots of you tune out now.
This is a GREAT bar, its a Fantastic addition to Edinburgh, but it fails to be a world class bar for me, and that for one simple reason. No Cask beer. Now im a cask beer fan , and ive long nailed my colours to the mast. But im no Keg hater, I love brewers like Mikkeller, De Molen and De Struise, and there not known for cask beer. But ive seen my perfect Bar , its Brasserie 4:20 in Rome, and the brewdog bar could have so easily have beer this. The perfect mix of the best of Cask, Keg and bottles.
Brewdog do some great Cask beer, the Edge is a Stunning beer and is in the top 1% of all beers ive tried. I love the Hardcore on cask, though i appreciate others prefer keg. But many of the brewdog beers are great on Cask. Then there are other Small Craft Cask Brewers who are producing beer that doesnt get to shine in main stream outlets. A great Example of this is Kernel who have bottles at the Brewdog bar and do occasionaly Cask beer, would it not be WONDERFUL to find cask Kernel, the likes of Hardknott or Marble.
I can appreciate that Brewdog think the Cask market is covered and they want to do there own thing, But im sure they could have sold Cask beer that would not normally be seen. How often do we see 7%+ in Edinburgh Pubs, Im also sure Brewdog could have afforded to charge the Real price of these beers, which is not 3.50 a pint. I would Orgasm if i walked in and found Old Chimney Good King Henry on Cask (my favourite UK Bottle and in my top 10 beers)
But gripe over lets get back to just how Fantastic the Brewdog bar is, and it is Fantastic. It offers 12 taps, (they were not all connected) and from what i can gather 6 will given over to the Brewdog core range, and the other 6 to Brewdog Specials and guest beers from the likes of Mikkeller, De Struise, Left Hand and Great Divide.
Now these are beers we have not seen in Edinburgh up to now, and as far as im concerned having been a fan of many of the brewers that are likely to be on the Guest tap, The Brewdog Bar is a MUST establishment.
(Id rather drink the brewdog core range else where on cask ;-} )
On the Soft opening they had Left Hand Imperial Stout, Flying Dog Raging Bitch and the one that everyone i knew started with Mikkeller Vesterbro Kaffestout , not a bad start for 'soft' opening night
And then theres the Bottle list
link to the fullsize version
Now here is where i Stand Up for brewdog. It was sugested by some people that the bottle list is too dear, and there are a few that seem oddly priced but I trade a lot, i buy a lot of these types of beer when i travel, and yeah they are a little dearer than i normally pay, but these are Bar prices not Shop prices and as such fairly reasonably priced. Now dont get me wrong if you go out and drink a few of these bottles you may find yourself laying out 30 or 40 Quid. (many 750 are about £12 quid and i paid £12 quid for a Nogne Red Horizon 250ml bottle, but you know what it was worth it)
Dont get distracted, if you want to pay £3.50 a pint then the brewdogs core range is there and will keep you in good stead, if your happy paying a little more then the guest tap list will see you right, but if your looking for something special then the bottle list is second to none of any bar in Scotland, and if things goto plan will rival many of the best bars south of the border. I could easily pick 10 or 15 beers of that list and tell you why i think this beer is special. Many of the beers on this list aren't just good beers but are Great Beer, the Struise Pannepot is on the list of beers i regularly force upon people as an example of a WORLD class beer.
I look forward to drinking in the bar on many occasions.
Read a second take on the Brewdog bar from the beer cast crew with whom i spend the evening here
Oh and a photo of my and my mate at the Real Opening