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WRITER, CONSULTANT AND BROADCASTER SPECIALISING IN BEER, PUBS AND CIDER. BEER WRITER OF THE YEAR 2009 AND 2012

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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Brew Dog London opens!

Blimey - a look at my Wikio ranking (if anyone still looks at Wikio rankings) shows what happens when you don't blog for six weeks...

In case you've not been following, the reason I seem to have given up blogging is that I have to focus on my new book.  It's going well: I've written about 45,000 words (about 140 pages) so far, but with a mid-January deadline I won't be having much of a Christmas, and I won't be blogging too often before it's finished.

But I just wanted to do a quick post because I went to the journalist's launch of Brew Dog's new London bar last night in Camden, North London.

And it's really just to reiterate what I said when I visited their Edinburgh bar in the summer, and express my delight that they've opened one a bit closer to my house.

No brewer divides opinion and stirs up as much controversy as Brew Dog.  And they do that deliberately.  Sometimes I write to slag off their childish pranks, sometimes to praise them.  About two years ago half the blogosphere was devoted to discussion of their antics (oh, and their beers) and I've read some people say they gave up reading blogs because they were sick of reading about Brew Dog.

But the company is four years old now and maturing rather nicely.  And the bars - which are starting to spread to many major UK cities - really are excellent.

Purists will be upset that they don't do any cask beers at all, but this would be a good experiment: if you're prepared to be open-minded, it's worth going along and challenging the keg offering to deliver.  I think there's something there for everyone.  Last night I was talking to someone who writes for London Drinker, CAMRA London's magazine, and we were disagreeing about keg beer - he was saying he could still taste the gas in the beers he was drinking and that he didn't like that and wished they were available on cask.  But later, he tried some of the stronger beers and came back to tell me they were excellent.

So there's a great range on offer.  And the other thing I love about Brew Dog bars is that when I walk in, and I feel a little bit old and that the bar might be too cool for school, this is dispelled as soon as I actually get to the bar.  Brew Dog bars could so easily be too cool for school, and they're not.  They're unpretentious and run by people with a genuine passion for beer, a passion they want to spread.

Finally, I went here directly from a new 'bar and kitchen' (ugh!) run by a reasonably large pub operator, that's moving with the times by stocking an interesting range of craft beers that will be familiar to geeks but you really don't see in many places at all.  That's to be welcomed.  But £4.25 for a pint of cask Meantime Pale Ale (4.2% ABV), brewed less then ten miles away, was taking the fucking piss.  By contrast, the prices at Brew Dog were perfectly reasonable for what you were getting.

Gotta leave it there - got to go and write about Princess Margaret and the Bishop of Southwark having a lock in.

But if you're in London, go to Brew Dog Camden.  And of you're not, don't worry - a Brew Dog bar will probably be opening a bit closer to you sooner than you think.

11 comments:

Gareth said...

'Maturing nicely' you didn't struggle to get in past the tank then?

Still, for all their silly publicity I wish them, and others like them (or maybe not too much like them), well!

Ben said...

Do they stock beers other than their own? 'cos I might venture down if they do.

Kendon said...

I'm hoping to get there this weekend as I have not yet had a chance to visit a BrewDog pub.

I'm afraid I may be contributing to that younger keg drinker vibe although I do enjoy proper cask ale as well. It's perplexing to me as why people cannot accept both for what they are, good beer. However, in the case of BD, I appreciate that they are quite antagonistic in their efforts (even the complete lack of cask is a slap in the face isn't it?)

BTW, I am currently reading "Man Walks into Pub" and absolutely enjoying every page. Keep up the good fight!

Dominic said...

45,000 words! Here i am as a fresher trying to get up to 2,500.

www.whydrinkbeer.com said...

Merry Christmas, looking forward to the new book and thanks for throwing us a blog bone in the meantime. Cheers!

Terry said...

While I don't wish at all to rain on Steve Lamond's parade, I confess myself bemused at Wikio's claim that his blog - currently rated number 25,377,367 by Alexa, and with only 59 links in - comes so far ahead of, eg, Adnams Beer News, ranked 410,519 by Alexa and with 1,171 sites linking in.

White Rock Salt said...

Merry Christmas, looking forward to the new book and thanks for throwing us a blog bone in the meantime. Cheers!

Adrian Tierney-Jones said...

well I’m here at the moment and I think it’s fabulosa — remember when this place was a crappy bar, here about four years or so ago — cracking place…

Steve Lamond said...

@Ben, yeah they have guest draught beers from mikkeller, US craft brewers and a few UK plus a massive bottle selection. Well worth a visit. My thoughts:
http://beersiveknown.blogspot.com/2011/12/new-dog-in-town.html


@Terry, is that relevant here at all?

Michigan Beer said...

Brew Dog sounds really cool, I love to taste their beers. :)

matthew said...

I'm looking forward to trying the London bar next weekend. Hopefully they can sort out their Manchester premises soon, quite a nice few bars opening here like the port street beer house.