By Rob McWhirter
‘Say goodbye to the corporate beer whores crazy for power and world domination. Swear allegiance to the uncompromising revolution’ orders their website. But before we swore allegiance, we thought it wise to take a look at Shoreditch’s newest craft beer bar: Brew Dog.
Brew Dog was born in Aberdeen Scotland and bred by two brothers (Martin and James). Bored of fizzy, pasteurised beer they took matters into their own hands and brewed their own beer in a tiny brewery using second hand equipment. The rest is history. What they produced was beer with ‘lots of hops, lots of flavour’ and Brew Dog now has 11 bars in 10 cities and exports its beer to 28 different countries. Their most recent addition arrived on Bethnel Green Road on the 19th October 2012.
Brew Dog is in the spot that craft beer advocates Mason & Taylor previously occupied. Reassuringly though, all of the knowledgeable staff that made Mason and Taylor such a good spot for craft beer have been retained by Brew Dog. This has ensured that the place has kept its love and knowledge of craft beer, whilst being given a Brew Doggy twist. Manager Mark remarks that it is still ‘the level of service’ that differentiates Brew Dog from other bars. ‘We actively encourage customers to come to the bar and get some tasters and we try to put them at ease straight away’.
The bar has at least 15 Brew Dog beers to choose from, plus an ever changing variety of guest beers from around the world. If you’re feeling particularly brave, try the 32% (no that isn’t a typo) beer that Brew Dog offer: the ‘Tactical Nuclear Penguin’. ‘It definitely tastes like beer, just very extreme beer’ Mark assures us. Brew Dog also hold regular beer tasting classes, serve up craft beer cocktails and if you’re sober enough to behave yourself, a selection of board games. The bar will also be showcasing a Japanese inspired street food menu which if it’s anything like their beer, will be worth a try.
It can’t be denied that upstairs Brew Dog does feel a little sparse; think wood benches and concrete pillars, but we’re guessing that when it fills up this won’t be an issue (especially once you’ve worked your way through the beer menu). Just taste the beer and you’ll see where Brew Dog have invested their efforts.
We can also reveal a sneak-peak at the yet to be unveiled basement of the bar. Dubbed ‘The Underdog’ it will be a speak-easy beer/cocktail basement that promises to be the hidden gem of Brew Dog. It will open its doors on Friday 2nd November and from what we have seen so far it looks to be a great little space. Whilst it is being kept very hush-hush until it officially opens, we did manage to take a couple of sneaky photos, see below.
Brew Dog focuses all of its energy on sharing the love of good craft beer. Upstairs you won’t find any gimmicks or distractions, just a massive range of interesting beer and knowledgeable bar staff who will love to talk to you about it. We can only speculate on what lies in store in the Under Dog, but our instinct is that it will involve beer, debauchery and fun.