Scotland is home to numerous unique beer styles—you’ve got your toasty, malty ‘Scottish Ales,’ bigger bodied ‘Scotch Ales’ (Wee Heavy and the like). All great, malt-accented styles that make sense given Scotland’s geography and climate, which has traditionally been prohibitive to the cultivation of hops, but great for the growing of grain. The alternative of importing hops from the English has, let’s just say, not been something the Scots were inclined to do. Not only do Scotland’s beers tend to be on the maltier side of the beery spectrum, they’ve remained fiercely independent and stylistically distinct—fewer imports are brought into Scotland than many other European countries. So what’s a couple of charged up, beer-loving buddies looking for more brewing diversity to do? Start a brewery and begin making their own damn brew! Meet James Watt and Martin Dickie, a pair of Scottish lads looking to bring new and diverse styles to the Scottish beer scene. James likes boats, cookie dough ice cream, philosophy and beer, and dislikes clichés and our triviality obsessed tabloid culture. Martin likes brewing beer and coffee, cake, “herbalism periodicals,” beer (of course), and dislikes excessively curvy fonts, plastic shuttlecocks and American sitcoms.
Are you getting the picture yet? They’re a pair of young punks who don’t care what the world thinks or has to say. They are the neighborhood stray dog. They are marginalized. They are “other.” They are artisans.
This was the philosophy behind the 2007 founding of their brewing outfit, BrewDog. As they themselves put it, “we do not merely aspire to the proclaimed heady heights of conformity through neutrality and blandness. We are unique and individual. A beacon of non-conformity in an increasingly monotone corporate desert. We are proud to be an intrepid David in a desperate ocean of insipid Goliaths.” In other words, if you don’t like our beer, you don’t like REAL beer, and we don’t like you.
We find they’ve got an attitude similar to San Diego County’s Stone Brewing Company, with beers like “Arrogant Bastard” clearly informing the drinker that “you are not worthy.” A healthy amount of arrogance is good for the microbrewed beer world, particularly in Scotland where the wave of better beer has yet to crest. So BrewDog offers untamed, unique styles to the Scottish market (and beyond). There’s Hop Rocker, a “statuesque lager,” The Physics, described as “laid back amber beer,” Punk IPA, a “post modern classic pale ale,” Hardcore IPA, their “explicit imperial ale,” Rip Tide, proclaimed as “twisted merciless stout,” Paradox “whiskey cask aged imperial stout,” and various others.
If you'd like more information about the crazy big beer brewing nutjobs over at BrewDog, get your eyes on www.brewdog.com.