Saturday, 7 August 2010

Strongest beer sold in real animals!

The End of History?
Master self-publicists Brewdog, a small Scottish brewery which specialises in shocks and creating moral panic, have brewed a new strongest beer in the world: it's called The End Of History, is 55% and costs £500 a bottle - only 12 bottles have been produced.  I have written before about their previous strongest beers, but this time the shock tactic is not just the strength, but the fact that the bottles are encased in stuffed animal coatings: seven dead stoats, four squirrels and one hare. You can read Brewdog's reasoning behind this beer on their website.

The beer itself has been described as a blond Belgian ale with touches of nettles and juniper berries (one of the key ingredients of gin) and in order to achieve the strength, it was created using extreme freezing techniques. 

Predictably, there have been reactions on two fronts. Firstly, the standard knee jerk reaction from the anti-alcohol campaigners, who completely miss the point that your average alcoholic isn't going to spend £500 on a bottle of beer, even if he had that kind of money to spare.

But also from an animal welfare point of view: on a good causes website I sometimes look at, someone wrote an item about this beer which has elicited 482 comments so far (far more than for more serious topics, so clearly little furry animals can cause you to lose your perspective). Many of the comments condemned the animal cruelty they assumed was involved, even though it was made clear that the animals were already dead, so no cruelty could have occurred. I commented twice that it's a publicity stunt, which has worked as they’ve all now heard of Brewdog, when they hadn’t before – but my words were swept away by a flood of horrified overreaction.

Funnily enough, the more pertinent question of bad taste never arose.

6 comments:

  1. Surely this is basically just a case of "wind them up and watch them go..."

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  2. I agree, and I quite like that.

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  3. I didn't post on this as I like to maintain a Brewdog free zone. One of the reasons is that it's a diminishing circle of publicity for them.

    There was a lot of blogging done about this beer, but very little given to the fact that only a week later it was eclipsed by a Dutch brewer.

    And not only is it stronger-60%. But Nijboer's Almere-based brewery, 't Koelschip (The Refrigerated Ship), is selling "Start the Future", in a one-third litre bottle for only £29
    each.

    Perhaps they should have stuffed it in a dead animal?

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  4. I think the phrase "there's no such thing as bad publicity" is being tested to the limit by Brewdog, who are becoming better known for their antics than their beer.

    I hadn't heard of the Nijboer beer, but if they can do it for £29, why are Brewdog charging £500?

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  5. So, from brewing iconoclasts to rip-off capitalist manipulators. Yes, I should have seen that.

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