Brew Dog founder and brewer, James Watt, stopped by Monk’s Kettle on Tuesday afternoon to share some of his brews including Tactical Nuclear Penguin (32% ABV) and Sink the Bismark (41% ABV).
Brew Dog is located in Aberdeen, Scotland, in the heart of Scotch Whiskey country. Watt had been homebrewing for about 4 years before “going pro.” “My goal is to make people in the U.K. as passionate about beer as we are,” stated Watt. His passion was fueled after meeting the late beer writer, Michael Jackson at an event in 2004. James had some of his homebrewed stout aged in a whiskey barrel and asked Jackson if he would taste it. According to Watt, Jackson tasted it and told him he should quit his day job and brew professionally. Brew Dog was born.
Those of you who have tasted their beer know that it is hard to describe within traditional beer-style terms. That’s OK with Watt. “I want to challenge perceptions of what beer is.” You will notice that Sink the Bismark at 41% ABV is 1% higher than Scotland’s native adult beverage, Scotch Whiskey. This was not unintentional according to Watt.
While they are perhaps best known for their high-alcohol concoctions, Watt told me that they also are working at the other extreme. Nanny State, an ale that comes in at .5% ABV and a 2.7% ABV Mild are part of their beer portfolio.
At Monk’s, in addition to the above mentioned 2 “big boys,” they poured:
Devine Rebel – A Barleywine brewed in collaboration with Mikkeller
5 A.M. Saint – A 5% ABV hoppy amber ale, featuring Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand
Hardcore Imperial IPA – 9.2% ABV and claimed 150 IBU’s
Bashah – A black double IPA with a Belgian yeast strain brewed in collaboration with Stone Brewery
Like all their beers, these defy easy descriptions. Like all their beers, they have character. And true to their mission, tasting Brew Dog beers will help you expand your perception of what beer is.