Members’ bottle share: The Doghouse, Glasgow
Words: Richard Croasdale
Thursday 03 May 2018
This article is from
Can of The Year
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While we’re in Glasgow, scoping out the best bars, breweries, restaurants and cultural hot spots, we take to opportunity to meet up with a group of local Beer52 members to share some of our favourite beers. The team at Brewdog’s landmark Doghouse bar in the heart of the Merchant City district is kind enough to play host, with the charming and knowledgeable Pete talking us through a selection of brews.
First up is Tiny Rebel’s Frambuzi, a superb and refreshing raspberry sour (also in this month’s Beer52 box). “It’s sweet,” remarks Gregg Davidson. “It’s sour,” counters Priya Suryakumar. I’d say it’s both: super clean, with a crisp, yoghurt tartness and long, floral raspberry finish. At 4.3%, an excellent setup for the big beers that are to follow.
Next we go for To Øl’s Sur NEIPA: Citra & Mosaic, which is a real hit around the table, despite being far from your typical NEIPA. Before it’s even poured, the handsome can is already drawing comments. “Some of the cans you get now are like art eh?” says Gregg Davidson “particularly from guys like To Øl, Mikkeller, Omnipollo”. Pete agrees: “Cans are the future – they’re lighter, more recyclable, cheaper to transport and protect from UV.”
The Sur NEIPA is hazy gold in colour, with a big hit of mango and relatively low bitterness. It has really appealing complexity from the sour mash, with lactic tartness and just a hint of funk. “I’ve got grapefruit,” says Craig. “It’s quite nippy… a nippy sweetie!” We found it exceptionally well balanced between the fruity hops, and the layered, slightly damp sourness.
Third up is a big bottle of Burning Sky’s barrel-aged Stock Ale to pass around. Edward Irwin catches something Belgian on the nose; “bananas?” he ventures, winning affirmative noises from around the table. Chetan Barai and Gregg pick up a dark fruit and wine character, which Pete explains is typical of this style – a Flanders Red – where oxidation in the barrel imparts musty, sherry-like notes and a winey character.
Our final three beers are all from Brewdog’s Abstrakt Series of barrel-aged dark ales, and Pete is clearly excited to share. AB:20 is a knockout traditional English barleywine brewed with coffee, oats and milk to evoke a classic Italian tiramisu. “I mean, you can tell it’s 14%, but that goes so well with the coffee and the creaminess that it’s still balanced,” says Peter Kudla. There are rich dark chocolate notes in there too, alongside vanilla and biscuity malt, which get more intense as the beer warms up.
Where AB:20 is a chic and seductive Italian, AB:22 is something equally sexy but far more stern. An imperial stout brewed with cacao and coffee, then left for two years to mature in the darkness of a Scotch whisky barrel, there is something rich and complex swirling beneath the immediate hit of chocolate ganache; vanilla, coconut, dark fruit and Scottish tablet.
Rounding out the Brewdog trio, AB:23 is arguably the brash American cousin to AB:20; a US barleywine matured in bourbon barrels. “You can really taste the bourbon in there, like a vanilla crunchy,” says Gregg. Priya adds: “But it’s still definitely a barleywine… you can taste the caramel and biscuit. They work really well together.” This beer brings all its flavours right to the front, with candied fruit, Seville orange marmalade and a lash of sherry adding spice to the unctuous malt.
Pete has given us nearly two hours, sharing his tasting notes, getting us talking and answering questions, so it’s time to let him get back to the busy bar. Our evening isn’t over though, as we all stay around the long table, chatting like old friends and working our way through the tap list into the small hours. A great way to while away an evening in one of the UK’s best beer cities.
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