Brewdog Collabfest 2016
I’m not sure that the Brewdog Collabfest makes quite the impact it should in the beer world (I might be wrong).
I happened to notice it in a tweet and noted that as I’d be in Cardiff that weekend, the local Brewdog would be an obvious location to try the beers (it was).
Often when I’m in London I find myself catching up in the early part of the week after the Collabfest weekend.
There are more Brewdog bars this year so there are more beers. I’m not a ticker so I didn’t try (quite) all of them but I did have (mostly in thirds, a Brewdog strength as it were) most of them.
What beer you like is mostly a matter of personal taste, though I didn’t dislike any of those I tried. I did avoid some styles that I’m not super keen on- one or two red ales for example, and some coffee stouts (which I do like but I’ve had a lot of).
Anyway, the Brew By Numbers Table Saison (3% mustard and salt) was both interesting and drinkable. At the other end of the scale Wiper and True’s DIPA at 9.5% was dangerously drinkable (I had two x one third).
The Cloudwater amber beer- a Special Bitter at 4.5% was a good solid beer. Excellent.
The Howling Hops Raspberry Ripple from very much down my way in NE London was very good as was the Siren Ten Dollar Shake, Fruit Smoothie IPA, lovely. The Dead Man Brew Machine, Cherry & Bourbon Oaked Saison was also highly drinkable.
There were others of course but as a snapshot of where UK craft beer is at the Collabfest is arguably unparalleled.
Cherry Coconut. Coffee, Mango and Orange were in various ways popular ingredients, but only beer with chilli.
There is a wider issue of Collab beers. Once quite rare there is an argument that these have become ubiquitous and therefore of less interest. Perhaps in some cases but the Collabfest is a kind of a state of the craft art beer event.
Its perhaps unusual to suggest Brewdog lack promotion, but a bit more focus on that point would be quite justified.
I discussed this post with Megan Davies who drank the beers with me (but not always the same ones). She has commented separately on twitter @megfdavies