BrewDog -- a reply to critics
I accept two points of criticism: I should have looked at the BrewDog website and I should have thought more carefully before rushing in to print. It's clear from the contributions to this debate that I'm not the only one who has occasional rushes of blood to the head. I'm also disappointed that this issue has generated so much activity whereas there has been hardly any response to the news that the Burton museum has been saved. Have we got our priorities right -- is a £30 bottle of beer more important than a national brewing centre?
Where yeast is concerned, I have studied the work carried out at the Swiss Hurlimann brewery where Samichlaus was first produced. The beer was made to test the tolerance of brewer's yeast and the brewery found that a normal culture could not produce alcohol above 14%. I have visited the Sam Adams Boston brewery and tasted a Triple Bock that, from memory, was around 18% -- that was finished with a champagne yeast. Those of you who scoff at my suggestion that wine or champagne yeast may have been used by BrewDog may care to keep this experience in mind. Doghead Stout, which was around 22%, was also finished with a wine yeast. I have also studied the way in which the Ice Bocks of Bavaria are made.
I have now looked at the BrewDog site and seen the piece about the strong beer. It raises more questions than answers about how this extremely high level of alcohol was achieved. I will attempt to visit the brewery next year -- it's a long and daunting journey from southern England and Fraserburgh does not have a railway station but I will attempt to work something out.
Having just returned from the BBC Food Show where I conducted eight tutored tastings to large, receptive and friendly audiences, I am once again disappointed by the tone of some of the contributions to this debate. We all love beer -- that's the starting point. Lets be good, bibulous friends. Criticise by all means but let's keep the venom out of it.