I can almost sit back now and wait for all the crazy publicity stunts that James and Martin think up. Complaining about their own beer to the Portman group I thought was interesting. I have a low opinion of any industry self regulator, being a small and diverse business I see plenty of it about across several industries, run by big boys as damage limitation exercises in every single case. I nearly jumped to James' defence on that occasion, but it seemed he needed no help. What publicity it created everybody telling him that he'd gone too far this time. A couple of apologies from James later and all was forgiven, publicity worked, job well done.
Of course they do best when they produce something interesting in the beery way of things. Tokyo* was fantastic. It's not a beer that everyone gets the point of. I sell it here and it gains mixed responses. Some love it, some try it and don't like it and some just can't see the point of a beer you can't drink a gallon of. Interestingly, litre for litre, it is a similar price and alcohol content to port wine. So why the Portman group took the bait in the first place completely stuns me.
But then we get Tactical Nuclear Penguin. This is a laugh from start to finish. If you haven't done so yet, watch the video before reading any more.
Now, did you like that? No? Oh dear, you really have no sense of humour have you? It is possible of course that this beer tastes foul. I haven't tried it yet and I am unlikely to do so at a price tag per volume greater than that of a good cask strength malt whisky. But I love the concept. Sure, we can question if it is really beer, but that is missing the point. It's been matured as a stout for 18 months before they start freeze distilling making it a smooth delicious beer, apparently. It's clearly not been made to hit the binge drinkers any more than conventional high quality distilled drinks like brandy for instance.
I'm not sure if it is good etiquette to criticise a fellow beer writer, but I was astonished at Roger Protz assessment of the drink. Perhaps Roger himself is courting controversy or perhaps he believes what he is saying. Either way the response in the comments on his post would suggest that the beer blogging world disagree with him quite a lot. I feel a little bit of sympathy for him having lost touch so much with what is now becoming quite progressive in the beer world. Roger is a solid supporter of the classic, traditional British pint of cask, perhaps it would be unreasonable for him to take any other stance.
However, are we not a select few in the beer blogging world? I know the vast majority of my customers, if Tokyo* is mentioned, declare it not to be beer. What will they think of TNP? Not a lot I should think. Roger represents the view of the majority of cask beer drinkers I suspect, misguided I know. My point here is that it doesn't matter to him or to us. BrewDog want to get to us, the beer fanatics who love the things that they do. Roger played right into this plan and as one astute observer wrote "Could you play your scripted part with any more precision?" That's why I have no worries about my investment in BrewDog, because all publicity is good publicity for them.