I came across BrewDog‘s ‘Bar Stool Beer School’ through a social media advert, and I’m really glad I did.
Honestly, I have never been bowled over by BrewDog. There is nothing wrong with the beer, the venues are always well put together and the staff have always been friendly, but it has never been a ‘go to’ venue I wanted to race back to. That being said, I think times are about to change.
Firstly, let’s talk about Beer School. The premise is to get people drinking craft beer, ideally BrewDog (obviously!). They run Sunday to Thursday at 6pm, with a maximum of 8 people per session, lasting about 30 mins. You get to try 4 pre-selected BrewDog craft brews for FREE – who doesn’t want free beer?!
You’re not just given these beers and left to your own devices, you have a knowledgeable team member to guide you through each brew, as well as a neatly put together pamphlet providing info on ingredients, how beer is brewed and how to taste beer. You even have room for tasting notes.
Our beer guru was Simon. He was friendly, knowledgeable, and you could tell how passionate he was about beer and BrewDog, which was really good to see. One by one, Simon brought us four beers and talked us through appearance, aroma, taste and mouthfeel.
The sizes of the tasters aren’t huge, maybe ¼ of a pint each, but is about right to give you the flavour profiles of each brew. We tried Punk IPA (5.4%), Indie (4.2%), Dead Pony Club (3.8%) and Lost Lager (4.7%). These four brews are a good entry into craft beer and designed to bring people forward from boring lager to something with more flavour and character. They do the job well with a mix of flavours that are still crisp and refreshing, so shouldn’t put a larger drinker off.
Following the ‘Beer School’, we decided to stay for a few more beers, due to the impressive variety from Russian Imperial Stout to Sours. It was also the start of their UK Craft Beer Fest so some interesting guest beers were also available. The ‘Two Scoops’ from Cloak and Dagger brewery was excellent – this was a pistachio and chocolate ice cream stout and was fantastic.
Overall, I think ‘Bar School Beer School’ is a great thing to try. The main reason being it’s free, so get signed up online now!! If you think of yourself as educated when it comes to brewing and beer, you probably aren’t going to learn anything new, but for me, it has been an opportunity to revisit what BrewDog are producing.
I was really impressed with how they’ve expanded over the last few years, and look forward to another visit to try some more of their selection – as well as trying some of the food, which smelt and looked amazing!