I didn't want to like this beer.
I have a bit of a beef with Brewdog at the moment.
We recently received a shipment of 6 bottles of Bashah Imperial Tayberry Reserve which we were quite exited about. These bottles said on the side in hand written form that they were 6 of about 700 or so (I forget the actual amount). This was all good, the staff took a couple and we allocated the rest to a few of our proper beer geek patrons.
I took one of the beers I thought it was great. However, I was rather annoyed when a couple of weeks later, we received another 6 bottles after being told we were only getting those previous 6. These new 6 had the hand written mark on the side that they were 6 of around 1100! but clearly it was exactly the same beer. So how many were there 700, or 1800??
So what was it all about? If you went and bought a limited product, say a new sports car, and they told you there was only 700 made, and two weeks later after your purchase of said car they told you "oh we've just made over a thousand more." You'd be quite pissed off, wouldn't you??
I know a beer is a little scaled down than that but the principle is still the same. That's why I was a bit upset, especially when we found out that there was 1000 more, they were a bit cheaper!
This is why I call into to question the whole idea of labeling amounts of beer made. Why to brewers insist on putting on there beers "1 of 1000" and so on. It makes the beer into something it's not. Beer should not be a collector item, surely beer is made to be drunk, shared and enjoyed, not collected like a stamp!
Which brings me to the beer I'm currently drinking AB:04 from Brewdog - once again a beer, which is clearly stated, one of 3500 (so they say).
Like I said I didn't want to like this beer, but so help me.... it's epic. This is a fantastic beer, and if I were brewer it would be one of my regular brews. It's a massive imperial stout (at 15%) brewed with the addition of chilies to give it punch. It has a great aroma of roasted malts, dairy chocolate and that big chilli smell. The flavour is mental. you get a good chilli burn but it's balanced out by huge sweet chocolate flavour. There is smoke in there. A big helping of oak, and vanilla which leads from it, also there is a prominent carbonation which makes it a very zingy beer. On paper this sounds like a bizzar beer but trust me it works.... it's works very well.
This is the point to brewers; don't count your beers, just make them. If you can make beers like this don't label them, just make them! people will love you for it. I don't think any beer should have a number on the side of it, that's not what it's about! Putting numbers on beers only furthers the image of collecting, saving, and not drinking. It's an easy question really, - brewers, do you want you beers to be drunk? and do you want everyone to be able to drink them, or just a few minority to keep them on shelves?
Brewdog, you make awesome beers, why would anyone want to limit these things, it's unfair, everyone should get a try! You did what you wanted. You've changed the beer market, people want your beers now. Don't limit the amount of people that can try them. If you make a beer don't say your making 500, and them make 1000 more. Don't bother with numbers at all, just keep doing what you know you can do. It's all about making great beer. Share it with everyone!