Drinking The Pumpkin Ale At Brewdog Glasgow
In the time between brewing a pumpkin ale at Brewdog Glasgow and actually getting it on draft at the bar, pumpkins are a couple of months out of season. Having asked about it repeatedly in the intervening months, there had been talk of it having been returned from the Fraserburgh brewery, and the occasional mention of how good it was tasting, even if the nutmeg was bullying much of the other notes. With it finally making its appearance in the bar, and for one night only, I felt I had to go along and see for myself how it turned out, even if to satisfy ever diminishing expectations.
There it was, chalked on the guest board, listed purely as a guest beer attributed to Brewdog and selling at £3 for a half pint. No mention of its novelty status, nor that it was brewed on the premises. Personally, I’d have called it Pumpk IPA, purely for the punnery; style be damned. However, the name chosen, by whatever means, was Cinderella’s Electric Soup (8.2%), at least providing a link to pumpkins and, given its one night only status, perhaps hinting it should be imbibed before midnight.
When poured, it looked darkish brown but it would have been a bit more difficult to get a better sense of the colour, the bar’s lighting being relatively subdued. Most noticeable was the thin head, hinting at the low carbonation present. On the nose it was strong on cinnamon and even stronger on cloves, all underpinned by a sweet maltiness. With the roasted pumpkin flesh used in the beer’s mash, I would have hoped for a bit of roastiness in there and there was something, though subtle and only detectable by a nose deep in the glass. However, the flattish mouthfeel that followed, accompanied by the unbalanced nature (the hop bitterness far outweighed the sweetness) made it difficult to enjoy. In the end, I sipped it only to justify the price.
In this story, it’s not the beer that matters, though. It’s not the first beer to be brewed in a Brewdog bar. The original Aberdeen bar saw a brewday produce Hoportunity Knocks and this event returned to that bar last month. However, the Aberdeen bar is more accessible to Brewdog’s brewers, therefore making it easier to get the beer there from the brewery (where they have to pitch the yeast). If Brewdog intends to do more of these live brewing events in its other bars around the UK, which is pretty much guaranteed, then a sense of immediacy would be appreciated. Back in October we were told that the beer would be ready in three weeks. To then take around four months to showcase it stretches the patience of those who participated. But then, this is Brewdog who have admitted themselves that they have recently had trouble getting deliveries to customers. So, in keeping with the Cinderella theme, perhaps it’s simply a case of if the shoe fits.
February 11, 2012