So the Dog has landed. Craft has finally gone mainstream. They’ve jumped the shark. Or something like that. Yes, Brewdog have finally landed the big one: a tap on the Wetherspoons bar. It’s been the worst kept secret in the beer universe that the boys from Aberdeenshire-and their shareholders-have long had their eyes set on joining Tim Martin’s empire of the ales. First it was going to be Punk IPA and its seemingly inevitable arrival was (constantly) being hailed as proof that craft beer had broken out of its bubble. Except it didn’t arrive. Instead the Americans got in first and Brewdog had to settle for a place alongside the cans and bottles in the fridge. But now, at last, their time has seemingly come.
From the 1st October, Brewdog’s new lager ‘This Is Lager’ will be available on draught in 200 Spoons. By March of the following year, it will be available in all of their pubs. Quite a, if somewhat inevitable, feat. And clever, too; they’re not fighting for the affection of the rather snooty crafteratti but aiming for the jugular with a lager brand. Of course this has traditionally been seen as a waste of time, such is the stranglehold of the multinational brands. But now is the time of craft, allegedly, apparently, and Spoons would seem to be the ideal partner for anyone engaged in such a venture.
But what is this miracle brew? Well it was launched this week with the usual modest PR from Brewdog. Pack leader James Watt said: "Lager is often demonised or derided as the choice of drink of chavs and louts, which is the result of laddish marketing that diverts attention away from taste and enjoyment and undermines the potential of lager as a creative and artisanal beer. If we can redefine lager in the UK, we will redefine our relationship with alcohol. We can actually start to reverse binge drinking trends currently being tackled by toothless and misguided legislative proposals unlikely to ever see the light of day anyway."
So their mission is to redefine lager and our relationship with alcohol whilst making a few quid at the same time. Ambitious or just another day at Brewdog HQ? This Is Lager is said to contain ten times the amount of hops found in ordinary lager and then there is the pricing issue. But for now it looks like it’s Carling v Craft round one.