Everyone say hello to Austen’s first Guest post on the blog…wondering what this is all about pop over and read my introduction post here.
I am very much a Brewdog convert.
I remember seeing them years ago when they were just starting out at small food and drinks shows and trying their beer. I left thinking that will never work!
Then later as they got bigger I continued to be unmoved as I visited their first Glasgow bar and left less than impressed by the quality of the beer. At some point (I can’t quite remember exactly when) I had an epiphany and realised I actually love Brewdog beer and in turn their bars. This culminated recently when on holiday in Tokyo that I went out of my way to make sure I visited their first venue in the Far East while doing a craft beer bar tour.
That’s the background and it turns out converts can become the biggest fans and as the chief Geek herself can tell you, these days I can be heard promoting the merits of Brewdog to all who will listen. This meant that when the call up came to check out the new Doghouse venue in the Merchant city on behalf of The GFG I was delighted to accept.
We were on the guest list for launch night and myself and my fellow beer lover Rocco G arrived around 7pm when the place was already quite busy, the beer was flowing and the atmosphere had a great buzz about it. We were welcomed on arrival by the friendly staff who explained the setup and gave us our beer/food token.
Basically it entitled us to a half pint of punk and some BBQ food. We of course went straight for the Punk IPA. It’s a great beer and I think (you would need to ask Brewdog themselves to be sure) this is probably their most popular beer. It is the one they perhaps see as being the crossover beer that gets people new to their brand (or IPA’s) hooked on the bold hop level and the different/interesting taste that eventually turns you into a BD fan.
Personally I prefer the stronger hops of Jackhammer these days, but I think that just comes with time.
Food wise the Doghouse very much has a restaurant aspect to it with a BBQ area featuring prominently. Now I have to say this looked a bit like a vegans nightmare. It was basically a tray of different BBQ meats, everything was on offer from beef brisket to chicken thighs to sausages.
There was in fact around 6 different meats to taste and for me it was all nice enough, although actually my favourite food item of the night was the Mac and Cheese side that I got alongside the huge meat feast that was on offer. There was actually lots of sides available and I also had some delicious cold potato salad to.
On the food front I would say that for restaurant quality (they are promoted as a restaurant and not just a pub) there might be some quality levels still for them to get to, but as pub food to go along with the great beer on offer the food really hits the mark.
Food chat over its time to tell you about their beer!!!!
If my memory serves me right there is over 20 taps and probably around 250 bottles on offer in the bar.
On tap it’s majority Brewdog of course but there was other brands as well such as the famous American Stone Brewery.
It’s on the bottle front that things go a bit crazy with the huge variety of beers from around the world on offer and from so many different breweries.
If you’re a craft beer fan the selection is mind-blowing and the coolest thing of all is that you can drink the bottles on offer in the bottle shop in the actual pub. Sitting in with your carry out comes at a higher price of course, but it really was brilliant to be able to wander around picking up loads of bottles before choosing your next tipple of the night.
This also allows beer newbies a chance to look around and find a brand and style that they like without having to quickly select one from a fridge behind a bar.
Doghouse is a three-pronged venue and I have touched on them all, pub, restaurant and bottle shop, but it is the latter with the option to sit in as well as takeaway that really was the coolest feature for me.
I’m not going to describe the venue itself too much – it’s much larger than its Glasgow counterpart with lots of seats and there is industrial grade metal finishes and exposed brickwork everywhere. Basically it fits the Brewdog bar style and love that or hate it they are not going to change it so best just focus on the beer instead.
Well that’s nearly it from me.
I just wanted to point out one last important part of the BD experience and that is the interaction with the Beer Punks (staff) themselves.
On two occasions I asked for beer recommendations and I was very pleased with the selections put forward. Giving a few hints on my taste preferences and I was pointed in the direction of an amazing Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin and a tasty Firestone UJ IPA.
The knowledge the team has makes all the difference, they did not pick Brewdog beers and they selected beers that I would certainly go for again. The Ballast Point Sculpin was one of the best beers I have had in a long long time.
From what I can tell Brewdogs plan is to take their bars to just about every corner of the UK. For me as long as they take a variety of craft brewery beers options with them it can only be a good thing, as its letting people across the country have the chance to drink great beer.
Doghouse itself is a great location and due to the variety of beer options available it has the potential to be the best place to drink craft beer in Glasgow. I will certainly be back and loved having the chance to visit and to give them a five-star review on behalf of Team Geek.