THE CITY // BrewDog Bar

25.4.15

Selfies at Brewdog aberdeen
A rare selfie!
From humble beginnings in Fraserburgh back in 2007, BrewDog have come a long way. Now one of the most recognisable brands on the craft beer market, their products are still brewed locally - from an "eco-brewery" in Ellon - but are now sold in bars, restaurants, independent shops and large supermarkets the length and breadth of the UK and in countries around the world.

If I confess to you that I've never been much of a drinker and that beer would not be my drink of choice (cider, Pimm's or gin, please), it might seem strange that I should come to be spending a Wednesday afternoon in BrewDog's flagship bar. And yet I recently found myself happily doing just that.

Brewdog aberdeen

Situated on Aberdeen's Gallowgate since 2010, near the corner where Broad Street and Upperkirkgate meet, I've passed by the glass-fronted bar and its "Beer for Punks" signage on many an occasion, but it wasn't until a Friday evening a few weeks back that I finally set foot inside. 

A pub/bar on a Friday night would usually be my worst nightmare, pushing all of my anxiety buttons, but I agreed to head along for a couple of drinks with friends after our initial plans for the evening fell through. And instead of being nightmare fodder, it turned out to be a very enjoyable evening, both for the company and the fact that BrewDog is ..different.

So much so that I dragged my flatmate along the following Wednesday to experience more of what they had to offer!

Little book of hops and dreams - Brewdog aberdeen

Part of BrewDog's charm lies in the relaxed feel of the space they've created. Bright and open with mirrors the length of one of its walls, there's nothing claustrophobic about the room here even on a busy Friday night. Bare brick, wood and blackboards are all big features in the decor here making it a bit of a (dare I say it?) hipster's dream, while the sofas, booths and bookshelves stacked with board games invite you to settle down, make yourself comfortable and stay. 

There's a big visual element to everything that BrewDog does, from its distinctive labels and branding to the art that features heavily throughout their properties. A fun fact for you: Johanna Basford - illustrator of the hugely popular 'Secret Garden' colouring book for grown-ups - is married to one of BrewDog's founders and has been responsible for designing a number of their bottle labels.

The Aberdeen bar is adorned by striking graffiti-style images painted on its mirrors as well as a wall featuring an installation of pieces (frequently changing and available for purchase) from local arts organisation Peacock Visual Arts.

Black spaniel at  Brewdog aberdeen
An actual dog just chilling in BrewDog.
Besides being a cool space to hang out in, the key attraction at BrewDog is clearly their products. I might not be a beer drinker, but even I can appreciate the creativity and innovation behind BrewDog's own ever-growing range of lagers, ales, stouts and India Pale Ales, renowned for both their high quality and their eagerness to push the boundaries of craft beer. A range of their beers are sold bottled and canned here (also available to take away during daytime sales hours), as well as a changing line-up of their drinks on tap. There's so much choice it's a good job their staff are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about them all!

In addition to their own products, they have a rotation of 'Guest Drafts' and bottled beers available ..and a wide range of non-beer-based drinks for customers like me! My friend enjoyed some of their cider selection on my first visit, while I was impressed by their choice of  Fritz soft drinks, which the barman enthused over almost as descriptively as the beer. As designated driver I sampled the MischMasch - an interesting but surprisingly tasty combination of kola, orange and lemonade - and the FritzSpritz sparkling rhubarb, which was really good.

Beer cocktails at Brewdog Aberdeen

They also do a range of beer cocktails (or cockt-ales, if you will) and I have to confess that it was the intrigue of these - along with the food menu - which made me drag my friend along for a second visit. 

I wasn't quite sure how beer would go down in a cocktail, but it turns out it really works. My 'Earthly Pleasures' combination of Five AM Red Ale, gin, cranberry juice & spices went down an absolute treat, while Lesley's 'Peach Fed Horse' (Dead Pony Ale, vodka, triple sec, with peach & citrus flavours) tasted light and refreshing.

Of course, it would be silly not to have some food to help soak up that alcohol and BrewDog have a tempting range of snacks to help do just that.  They've joined forces with Joe & Seph's Gourmet Popcorn to provide a range of unique popcorn flavourings paired specifically to their drinks, as well as with the guys at Pieminister to cook up pies featuring two of their most popular beers.

Baked camembert at Brewdog Aberdeen

For us, though, it was all about the cheese. (Isn't it always?!) We were tempted by the sharing cheese boards which are available in two sizes and served with fruit and meats (though I'm sure they'd have left the meat out for the vegetarian over here), but opted instead for the baked Camembert with bread (LOTS of bread!) and chutney. And my word was it a good choice!

The board came to us with a tiny glass of Punk IPA (I think), which the barman explained could be poured over the hot, gooey Camembert to give it a little extra flavour kick. It was so delicious I find myself feeling suddenly hungry and salivating just typing this! Yum, yum and yum.

Combined with our cocktails, the board games, the awesome space and the attentive hosting of the staff (as well as the fact they advocate visits from actual dogs!), I am a definite new BrewDog convert and look forward to heading back soon for more.

You can visit them at:
17 Gallowgate, Aberdeen


2 comments:

  1. This sounds like such a unique and interesting place - the FritzSpritz sparkling rhubarb sounds and looks like a dream! I'm moving to Aberdeen for university this September so will definitely check it out :). Great review.

    Mairi x
    copperpink.com

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  2. Sounds great - a friend of mine has been there and liked it too. I love the doggie on the table. And I had read about the link with Johanna Basford. So nice when people can make creative enterprises work.

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