Riddle me this; what does a food blogger do the night before embarking on a four day juice-only diet?… goes to beer school, that’s what!
I like beer. I know bugger all about it, but I like it, so when the opportunity to review the BrewDog Brighton beer school – aka an evening of booze paired with cheese and meat, well I didn’t need to be asked twice.
FULL DISCLAIMER: a very dear friend of mine is a Sales Manager at BrewDog, and it was her who organised for me to come in and review*, but this will in no way influence what I write on here, it’s just fortunate (mainly for our friendship) that I had a right good evening *breathes a sigh of relief*.
Brewdog came to Brighton in August of last year into the old Blind Tiger (or The Pressure Point, if you’re really old, like me) site. I can’t say I went to the former but I’m pretty sure that the slick and industrial-looking design influences, are the result of an extensive interior refurbishment.
… as it turns out this is actually true, I had no idea of the effort and lengthy process that goes in to the making of beer, at all; there’s lots of videos on their website which you can check out for all the deets > here.
Here’s the science bit…. (Alex gave me a recap)
All BrewDog beers are brewed in Scotland, by people who have actual university degrees in this field. The quality control process is stringent to say the least, with at least seven scientists sitting on the daily tasting panels, in some of the most technologically advanced tasting labs in the UK, if not the world. BrewDog invests vast amounts in the tasting and quality control processes so they are able to deliver on their promise of being ‘uncompromising in taste’.
The selection of beers you try at beer school depends on what they have on draught that day in your local BrewDog, but the Brighton branch always has at least 30 on offer across draught and packaged. If you aren’t a beer fan usually, then give the Elvis juice a go, it tastes like a boozy lilt and was definitely my fave, but the Hardcore, at 9.2%, will eff you up pretty quick, if that’s what you’re after.
Swoosh to release the aroma and oils of the hops and it intensifies the smell and different taste notes within the beer, then you write down your thoughts about the different flavours your palate detects, and the person whoever’s hosting your beer school will decide on whose answers are best and who wins a prize.
I started off well, my fiercely competitive streak kicking into action, but the more beer I supped on, the less I cared about winning… whoops. I did smash Tom at a game of ‘would you rather’ at The Spiegl Tent a few weeks later though, so it’s currently 1-1.
Cheese & meat platter to pair with our smorgasboard of beers
I have to admit to being a little worse for wear by the time these arrived but – free range from local chickens (carrying on with the theme of responsible sourcing) these were deep-fried and slathered in tangy, sticky sauce.
Buffalo wings purists won’t be be happy about the fact they were battered, but I loved them, think KFC hot-wings (guilty pleasure) and you won’t be far off, the skin-on fries were great too.
Some of the nicest pub loos in Brighton, fo’ sure
Despite not being able to remember a great deal of detail about the beer itself (other than it slipped down extremely easily), we both had a great night and it’d be an excellent gift for the beer lover in your life, part of a stag or hen weekend or just for a fun evening out. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or hit them up on their social media to find out about booking your own beer school experience at Brighton BrewDog – around £26 per person, I believe.
Take note: if they tell you that you won’t get a hangover because the beer they brew is ‘clean’… it’s a pack of lies, I’d have happily let someone kill me the next day, and my breakfast of green juice was not the one for soaking up the excess of beer, at all.
Have you been to Brighton BrewDog? Does their beer school sound like a bit of you? Post in the comments section or on my social media (links below).
*any meals which were free of charge are clearly stated or marked with an asterisk, you can read my full disclaimer here.