Its been some years in the planning, and a minor controversy in the local rag but finally Liverpool has a Brewdog bar and many people are overjoyed about it, i popped in for a visit before i headed to a beer festival over on the Wirral, here’s some of my thoughts.
Firstly if you know a fair bit about beer you have probably heard of Brewdog, you’ve probably had a few of their beers, Brewdog tend to only appear in the media when they are singled out for brewing extremely strong beers, or pissing off CAMRA (or vice versa). Brewdog have been building up a large fan base and opening several bars not only in the UK but further abroad. With the excellent pub and bar scene in Liverpool many were wondering when brewdog would set up shop in Liverpool? there were a few rumoured places, initially it was thought they would setup shop around Slater street, I’m glad they didn’t for one, I cant stand the place anymore personally. Its like the drunk death star trench run. Brewdog fell foul of the local council (who hand out premises to tesco willy nilly) and Merseyside Police who were worried about them setting up shop.
Now I don’t know the specifics of why they were worried, if it was possibly to do with supplying super strength beers to the local scalls then this argument was moot. Why? well at the risk of profiling, these drinkers wouldn’t be willing to pay a silly sum of money for a pint of super strength beer, they wouldn’t appreciate it or any of the other excellent beers on offer, they would be much happier drinking a pint of mainstream lager and giving sideways looks to someone across concert square. Also you cant just stroll in and order a pint of tactical nuclear penguin, because its not available in such measures.
So in the end it didn’t really matter, people saw sense and allowed Brewdog to open and im glad, it would have been a huge failing of common sense if it hadn’t and a real loss to Beer lovers in Liverpool.
So whats it like? well other than the big red sign outside it blends in well with the other surrounding establishments. I don’t know much about interior design or art, but i like the interior, can you call these things modern? were modern things 20 years ago still modern today? who knows but it’s a nice place! scattered about are plenty of tables, benches and a couple of booths. the large bar dominates the place. an easy to read list of available beers is clear to see from most of the premises thanks to the cinema style hoarding behind the bar. It gets a bit dark later on at night but it’s very light and airy during the day thanks to the big all glass frontage, maybe the person working the dimmer switch got a tad enthusiastic when we visited. I’m not one to comment on what W/Cs are like in pubs and bars, but the toilets are pretty cool! I like the use of the old kegs in the wall, i have no idea what the women’s was like, obviously.
If you manage to secure a booth then you will have access to a magic button that if you press it will get the attention of a member of staff who will be able to wait on you at the table. I did worry this might have been open to abuse but was told a credit card had to be left behind the bar in order to secure this service, so well thought out!
we managed to find a seat in the corner by the big red neon sign, which made me think of being an extra in some cold war submarine film, so apologies if any of the photos are a bit on the red side! as we wandered over i noticed one of Brewdog Liverpool’s star attractions, VIDEO GAMES! so i went straight over to checkout what was available.
At my time of visiting a Simpsons and Spiderman pinball table were available, a Star Wars arcade machine (not the atari original sadly) and A Silent Scope, which wasnt working. I chucked a quid into star wars for old times sake and managed to get to the battle of hoth before i realised id left my Friend on his own, and decided to get promptly shot by a stormtrooper to end the game, which took a few seconds, stormtroopers can’t shoot for shit remember.
Beer bibles were available at each table to give you the run down of what was expected to be always available and what will be available as a guest beer. I really liked the layout of the menus, very easy to read and also gave you some clear information on tasting specifically how hoppy or malty an ale was, good news for me and my friend as we are opposite ends of the scale when it comes to beer. So well done to the people who did the menu, my OCD approves!
Thanks to the magic of untappd i can remember what i had (or rather a hard drive somewhere can). I only managed two beers before we had to be off but both the Five AM red ale, and the Pumpkin Head ale were both in good condition, my friend enjoyed his choices too as i recall. We didn’t just come for beer we also planned to have a bite to eat before we got on our way.
There isnt a huge menu available at brewdog but what is available is enough to line your belly and keep you happy! It’s mostly burgers and hot dogs nothing wrong with that, pretty staple diet for a bloke like me! I opted for the Scottish hot dog while my friend had a Cheeseburger. My hotdog was bloody amazing it has to be said really filling and the extras added on really topped it off. Definitely try the tots if you can (commonly known as tater tots to our cousins over the atlantic.) i actually had something similar frequently when i was a lad so it made my day having them again.
It seems clear that Brewdog is looking to integrate itself well into Liverpool’s fabric of life, as there will a tap take over by local brewers Mad Hatter very soon, so it looks like local beers will definitely be on the menu as well as those from further afield. Beer tasting classes are also available, a possible christmas present for the booze hound in your life?
In a nutshell then the food was hot and tasty, the beer was cool, refreshing and satisfying, the video games were an awesome addition. I have only been to the Brewdog bar once but look forward to returning again, and probably again!
Oh by the way if anyone from Brewdog reads this if you fix that silent scope ill probably never leave…..