14 July 2011

The mashtun and the critics

If you read any beer blogs other than mine you'll probably know all about this one already. BrewDog invited three English beer writers to Fraserburgh to devise and brew a beer, and Avery Brown Dredge is the result.

It's a pale lager at 7.5% ABV and loaded with Saaz hops, earning it the punning style designation "Imperious Pilsner". And it burns. Right from the aroma there's an alcoholic heat I tend to associate with much stronger lagers, along with a sour musty grain thing I've met in quite a few German pale bocks, and is one of the main reasons I avoid them. On tasting, the boozy warmth continues, in a soupy central-heating-for-tramps sort of way, and it's added to by the acid bitterness of the hops. There's enough weight to balance the heavy hopping and stop it from making the beer harsh, but it still sizzles greenly on the tongue as it finishes.

It's not really a reflection on the beer that I don't like it: browse these pages enough and you'll find I have a history with strong intensely Germanic pale lagers. They're just not my thing. I prefer my pilsner to be a little more meek.

11 comments:

  1. I was up in Scotland last week and I saw this in a bottle shop up there. I just couldn't bring myself to buy it though, I just don't seem to get along with a lot of Brewdogs beers.

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  2. I've certainly found them to be a mixed bag, but there are plenty of good ones.

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  3. Its a lager but its not boring because we made it really interesting with alcohol and hops and malt and and and.

    Maybe lager should just be boring?

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  4. Oh dear god no. There are plenty of ways to have really nice pilsners at reasonable strengths and hopping rates. Not, of course, that I've any principled objection to supper-strong mega-hopped ones, I just tend not to enjoy drinking them.

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  5. "Supper-strong"? Super, even. Or soupy.

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  6. Haven't seen any of this beer over here, but I generally don't bother with BrewDog these days - too expensive for not really all that interesting a range of beers in an American context.

    Perhaps I am just getting old and soon to be in tweeds, but more and more I want balanced beers rather than extremes in any single direction.

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  7. This is so much better than their 77 lager or zeitgeist. Its nice to be able to taste the saaz for a change and a uk lager without skunking is always a bonus

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  8. It's a very different beer to either of those, and personally I'd take either of them ahead of it. Especially Zeitgeist: I think it's superb.

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  9. I'll second the Zeitgeist.

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  10. When I saw the beer it was £4.50 a bottle so I decided it wasn't for me.

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  11. Jonathan4:53 p.m.

    I think the failure for me that beyond super cold temperature it was so deeply unpleasant that I couldn't finish it. Good intentions, bad execution unfortunately.

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