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Friday, July 18, 2008

I Got PUNK'D...IPA That Is!

Why the exclamation at the end of the title? Because I thought it was necessary after downing an incredible Punk IPA brewed by the bad boys at Scotland's BrewDog Brewery.

As the public melts here in Toronto I figured last night was a great time to finally crack the top on this Scottish brew, a brew that I so kindly received from the fine folks behind the Roland and Russell Import Agency (thanks guys). Alan at A Good Beer Blog has already commented on Punk's brother Rip Tide and told the interesting story of the brewery's fight to offer a 12% beer (Tokyo) in the land of 40% whiskey's. Stephen Beaumont told us all about BrewDog's Paradox Islay, a beautifully whisky cask aged imperial stout in the last Session.

Now, readers of this blog know that I don't really profile beers and when I do it's usually a Canadian one. I want to do more and plan on doing more. Anyway, I thought I'd tell you about Punk. But first a little about the BrewDog Brewery.

From what I've read and what I've been told, the guys that own and operate the brewery are crazy about beer...great beer. Opened in April of 2007 by a guy named Martin Dickie and a guy named James Watt (both my age!), BrewDog brews a number of terrific beers that include: Hardcore IPA (explicit imperial ale), The Physics (laid back amber), Rip Tide (twisted merciless stout), Hop Rocker lager (redefining a genre), Tokyo (intergalactic fantastic oak aged stout) and Paradox Islay. They also brew a number of cask conditioned ales to compliment their diverse line-up and proudly brew a number of special cask offerings for events. They've already won 2 World Beer Awards for the World's Best Strong Pale Ale and the World's Best Stout-Imperial. Not bad for a brand-spanking new brewery.

It turns out that Martin and Watt were fed up with bland beer and decided that in order to drink better they would have to take brewing into their own hands. And that's exactly what they've done. One of their many tag-lines is "At BrewDog we are selfish, we make the beers we want to drink," which is something every true beer drinker wants to hear from brewery owners. They also state that beer was never intended to be pumped full of additives, preservatives and other really scary stuff, it was intended to be flavourful, rewarding and well crafted. They sound like geniuses to me.

As Alan mentioned, BrewDog has been getting some bad press in relation to their marketing efforts for Tokyo as can be read here. I don't have a bottle to try, but now I'm craving one more than ever.

So, Punk eh? Delicious. The beer pours a lovely hazy pale gold and is a touch cloudy with little to no white head. It is reminiscent of a cask conditioned ale and is simply stunning in the glass (but what well crafted beer isn't?) I take a picture and think of taking two, but the beer is calling out to me..drink me now dammit. I have to smell it first though and I'm glad I did because it has a beautiful smell of glorious hops which provide a sweet earthy nose, piney and a little fruity/citrusy. It is full of aroma but not over-powering as some IPA's are. The taste - awesome. Nice bite due to the hops, thirst quenching in this insane heat, the sweet malty profile nicely balances out the hop content providing a well rounded example of a 'post modern pale ale' that works both the English style and the American style into its profile. I want to savour this beer, but it goes down way too easy.
Tasted - 341ml bottle, 6% alcohol.

This is a beer any true beer drinker would appreciate. Nice in the hot weather, would be great with spicy food, easy drinking, yet complex and full of flavour. Contact Roland and Russell for more information on how to obtain some for yourself.

Some other fun quotes from BrewDog:

  • Taste our Lager and we are pretty sure you will agree that the fine line between insanity and genius has just become a little more blurred.
  • A beacon of non-conformity in an increasingly monotone corporate desert.
  • Beer was never only destined to be made by huge faceless corporations who only care about profit margins and volume sales.

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