BrewDog and The 1000 Beer Year: Let The Blog Wars Begin!

Actually, it’s more like a friendly conversation, but I love a good dust up so I went big on the headline.

Ryan over at The 1000 Beer Year recently posted a very nice counterpoint to my piece on the whole BrewDog End of History thing.  He makes some very good arguments which you’ll probably agree with if you see things his way.

I’ve also left a longish comment to clarify my position on the whole thing, and I think I defended myself nicely.

Head on over the Ryan blog and take a peek at what he’s written and maybe leave a comment on how you feel about this whole thing.  And then let’s make End of History into history – we need new stuff to fight about.

Preferably something that doesn’t involve road kill.

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Categories: Beer


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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20 Comments on “BrewDog and The 1000 Beer Year: Let The Blog Wars Begin!”

  1. July 29, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    Brewdog is still over the top, IMHO, but they’ve now been one-uped by a Dutch brewery.

    • July 29, 2010 at 11:46 am #

      Make it stop!!!!!!

      • July 29, 2010 at 11:58 am #

        I know. It’s turning into something like a hopped and somewhat carbonated whiskey.

        • July 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

          I say call it whatever you want, just make it taste good. I’d love to have a sip of this stuff and see what it’s like. I bet if you spend all that dough on it, you’ll love it even if it tastes like pee. Emperor’s New Clothes and everything…

  2. July 29, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    I thought that was a great piece over there, (and I would comment but he doesn’t allow for name/url comments and I can’t be bothered setting up another account right now.)

    Anyway, Jim your argument does come off elitist. I mean, taste is not something that can be standardized. When you say “call it whatever you want, just make it taste good” you should add “to me” at the end, and then it holds more water. Otherwise, it comes off like you are the Taste Czar or something.

    Beer aside, I think its great marketing. Even you seem unable to stop writing about it. Got to give them credit for that. Now let me get back to my caviar stuffed ostrich egg sandwich.

    • July 29, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

      I guess I assume that everyone understands that I’m writing from the perspective of me. Taste is subjective and people are free to like what they like. We’re also allowed to dislike that which rubs us the wrong way, and that’s where I’ve landed with BrewDog.

      Now if you’ll excuse me, someone just tapped on the window and asked if I have any Grey Poupon…

    • July 29, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

      Hey Scott! Comments now should be allowed. I had no idea I had placed restrictions on it. As to your comments about taste, I’m not accusing Jim here of failing to be a relativist when it comes to taste, nor am I saying that there can’t be objective-ish standards by which to judge a beer. My only non-marketing point is about carts and horses and what order in which to put them.

      • July 29, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

        I’d go with horse first, then cart.

      • July 29, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

        Ryan – cool. You’ll get more input that way I think, and great piece BTW. You brought up a lot of points that people should consider in general, especially the whole horse/carts thing.

        Did you know Jim drinks his beer from a Tiffany mug?

        • July 29, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

          Just like the SOLID silver mustard spoon, the Tiffany mug was a gift from Nanny-Mums. I love my Nanny-Mums, she takes such good care of her sweet boy.

  3. July 29, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    Of course we do, that goes without saying! I just think that consumers forget the business aspect of brewing in the craft beer world. Seems like if the marketing of craft beer gets away from angel tears, unicorn farts and the giggles of children, people get very upset. It still needs to sell, and I just think they’ve touched on a successful marketing system. (That was me BTW @ the window)

    • July 29, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

      BrewDog is free to do whatever they want marketing-wise, and we are free to react however we’d like, too.

      I don’t mind being funny, creative of aggressive with marketing, but for some reason creating these “stunt beers” rubs me the wrong way, like they don’t care about the beer drinker, just getting attention.

      Again, they can do as they please, but it doesn’t please me. I feel, react and report.

      And I want my sterling silver mustard spoon back.

  4. July 29, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    I get what you’re saying about their priorities, but just because you dislike their extreme beers doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t care about beer drinkers. There’s a demand for the stuff right now and they are filling the demand.

    I suppose we’ll know when its gone bust when they are stuck with a warehouse full of unsold high %ABV beers, but until then people are buying it – for whatever reason.

    I suppose we’ll see how it plays out for them in the long run. I’m sure you are not the only person who has written them off as a customer, but OTOH I wonder how many new fans they have.

    Also, that spoon was only silver-plated tin, so I’m keeping it.

    • July 29, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

      First off, that spoon was a gift from my precious Nanny-Mums, and Nanny-Mums would NEVER gift anything but solid silver!

      And secondly, I agree with what you’re saying mostly. They will reap what they are sowing here, be it fewer fans or a greater following. I think it’ll be the latter, as they are getting tons of attention and some good support for their run-of-the-mill beers in the press. With increased awareness comes greater sales, and I think they’ll win out overall for all this mischief.

      But I still don’t like it for the reasons stated and I’m to the point where I’m turned off every time I see their logo.

  5. July 29, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    Well, you’re right about the spoon. Mostly. Its silver-plated gold actually but it looks like it was part of a kit of other silver-plated gold items including a toilet plunger and garden shovel. Do you still have the whole set?

    I wish I could copy/past the Brewdog logo here. That seems entirely appropriate to me.

    • July 29, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

      I knew you would go for the “put the logo in the comments” thing. There’s a way, but I’m not tellin’!

      And I still have the shovel and used to have the plunger. But then I left it in the toilet one day and lost track of it. On a possibly related note, I’ve begun to poop ingots. Hmm…

  6. July 29, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    When TNP came out, I was interested in it. I hadn’t had an “ice beer” before and definitely thought it would be something to try. Still haven’t had a chance yet..something about it being held up in customs.
    THEN STB is released. Again I am intrigued due to the process and wondering what a beer with an ABV higher than my age would taste like.
    End of History? More like end of my interest. I won’t ever have a chance to try it. I admire what BrewDog is attempting to do but it’s not for me. It’s like Mikkeller’s poop beer (I know the real name Weasel but we started calling it poop beer and it stuck). After Mikkeller released it, it turned me off to their “Beer for Crazies” line. I’ll stick with their more normal stuff.
    The ABV battle seems very much like a big pissing contest to me. I don’t fully appreciate it but I get it…it’s fun. Who can piss the furthest?! Well, it doesn’t matter to me as long as their more sessionable beers are still tasty and not served in taxidermied rodents.

    • July 29, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

      Well put, Tamre. After trying Utopias, i was very interested to see what BrewDog had accomplished with TNP. Unfortunately, beyond a high ABV, not much. It made me skeptical about their priorities, but whatever.

      Then came STB and I saw the trend; another uber ABV beer made to get press. I didn’t try it, but I have heard that it too was more than a little rough. At this point I was losing interest in BrewDog altogehter and I wasn’t alone – the mainstream press didn’t seem to notice.

      So then comes EOD and to make sure they get the attention they crave, they stuff it in a dead squirrel. Some think it’s hilarious, but I find it repellent. Not because the squirrel, but because what the squirrel represents – they’ll do anything for attention.

      I see all the effort and creativity they are putting into creating mega-beers and PR stunts and it turns me off. Make your regular beer better and I’ll buy it. As it is now, I can live without it for sure, which is what I intend to do.

  7. July 29, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    Just wait until I post my review of End of History…just wait.

    • July 29, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

      I’m not sure I can wait, Daniel. Link it here when it’s ready.

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