The attention-craving brewers at BrewDog have now completely confirmed my suspicions – they care more about media attention than brewing great beer.
It started with Tactical Nuclear Penguin, a 32% ABV brew that tasted like paint thinner poured into a poorly brewed stout. This “zany” big brew got them all sorts of attention in the media and the blogosphere. The fact that Martin and James dressed up in penguin suits to announce the beer probably helped.
Soon after TNP launched, it was eclipsed by a 40% ABV beer by Schorschbraeu. Then BrewDog fired back with their 41% ABV response, Sink the Bismark. It too was a deeply compromised beer, a brewing stunt created for the glory of the brewers, not the pleasure of craft beer fans.
Sink the Bismark didn’t get the same level of buzz that the launch of Tactical Nuclear Penguin enjoyed, probably because the “extreme beer” story had already been told and the mainstream media had moved on. What’s an attention whore to do?
The answer is The End of History, a 55% ABV ale packaged in animal carcasses. No one can ignore a mega-beer packaged in roadkill, right? The media will go nuts for this, right? Right. The gang at BrewDog have once again gotten their faces in the paper, and once again it’s for all the wrong reasons. Congratulations fellas.
Let me say for the record that BrewDog’s standard beers are just okay, not great. I don’t buy them because they are pricey and there are quite a few domestic offerings that are less expensive, better made and better tasting. I really don’t think these guys have the credibility to brew these “stunt” beers and still command the respect of craft beer fans. If all their beers were amazing, then I’d say go for it. But they’re not. They’re average.
Now if Dogfish Head or Avery or The Bruery or Southern Tier decided to brew an extreme beer, I’d be intrigued, because I respect their brewing chops. Still, I don’t think any of them would feel the need to stuff it into a dead sloat (the charming brown fellow on the left).
I was going to let The End of History go by without writing about it because I didn’t want to give BrewDog another scrap of exposure. But it’s been working on my brain all weekend and I had to get it out, so here it is. If I had any doubt that BrewDog cared more about the media than the people drinking their beers, I don’t now. The guys are using craft beer for glory and profit and aren’t really giving anything back.
I’m 100% done with BrewDog. They can keep their roadkill.