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BREWDOG Pub Hopping - BEER FOR PUNKS

My first BrewDog brew was the Punk IPA years ago, like 2007 or 2008.  I was not a fan at the time.  Don't think I drank BrewDog for a while after that.  Roughly two years ago I discoverd Fussa Base Liquor in Japan and they had just started selling a nice selection of American craft beer as well as from other countries.  They had several BrewDog (brewed in Scotland) beer's to choose from so I gave it another shot.  Very pleasantly surprised with their brews.  It also had to do with my craft beer palate being much more advanced and into tasting a much larger variety.  Jackhammer (which I have posted about before) became one of our "go-to" IPA's.  Hardcore IPA was another we would grab just to have on hand at the house.  A couple of mine and Louis's other faves they had were Mix Tape 8 and for a short time, the collaboration brew with Oskar Blues, Shipwrecker Circus. That was an awesome barley wine at a nice 10.5%!!!  Wish they would make that treat again!  

Anyway, we have since then watched every episode of Brew Dogs and really seek out their brews.  They aren't afraid to try new things and they do get crazy with it, it's greatness!  Now that we are living in the UK we have gone to a few of the BrewDog bars...London locations were, Shepherd's Bush, Camden and Shoreditch.  In Scotland we popped in the Edinburgh bar and recently stopped in the bar in Nottingham.  They are such fun bars to go to!  Oh and little did we know there was a damn BrewDog bar in Roppongi, Japan.  Only found out after we got to England.  Shit!

Shepherd's Bush was our first try while in London for the weekend.  We had to go seeing as we love their beer, they have guest beer and their menu said Texas Style BBQ.  Not sure if it was the fact we had been walking around all day or that we had downed a couple not so light brews but the damn bbq was outstanding.  We got a plate with all the meats and a couple of sides and screw the utensils, we ate animal style and it was so damn good.  Some of the best BBQ I have ever had.  This location seemed to be a popular spot, it got very packed.  We went back a couple months later and same thing, get their early and grab your seat for the night!  Good times! 

Shepherd's Bush

Shepherd's Bush

Tasters

Tasters

 Shoreditch and Camden were the next locations we hit up between those two trips.  Not as packed but we did go during the day.  Day pints are the best!  

In October we drove up to Scotland for a few days.  I really wanted to get us up to Aberdeen to see the brewery but couldn't on this trip.  It will happen ;) Scotland is AMAZING by the way.  Would love to go back and see more.  Our first night there we walked over to the Edinburgh BrewDog bar.  It was great fun!  Tried some of the Russian doll brews, ended up buying the pack of them with a glass before we left Scotland.  Met some brothers from Norway and introduced them to several craft brews.  Needless to say it was a little slow start the next morning.  Loved it!

Most recently popped into the Nottingham bar when we drove up for the day just to see what the town was all about.  Another great place, lots of shopping and very tasty sounding restaurants.  Seemed to have quite the variety about town for food.  The BrewDog bar was kind of tucked away in what seems to be an up and coming area.  They have gaming consoles set up on the side wall with old school box TVs to play and all kinds of board games and what not to shoot the shit with friends and really just enjoy your time hanging.  Love that!  Would definitely like to go back for a day of shopping and day pints!

I rather enjoy hitting up the BrewDog bars.  Great atmosphere at all of them, friendly and knowledgeable staff, good food, games and of course AWESOME BREWS!  If you are ever around the areas look them up and see if you can find one nearby.  They are growing so chances are good you will find one.

Cheers!

Craft Beer Japan

I just want to gush about how great the craft beer culture is growing in Japan.  I lived there from December 2010 to June 2014 and saw it grow like crazy!  I couldn't have done it without the Craft Beer Japan app I had downloaded on my phone.  That was an AWESOME app to have.  It was very handy, had all the info you needed and maps to get to the brew pubs.

japan app.jpg

Antenna America - Yokohama - WOW!  Amazing!  So much fun!  You have to check out Antenna America if you are in Japan.  They are located in Yokohama among the majority of craft beer bars.  As you enter the bar room right in front of you is a wall of beer coolers holding the finest American craft brews for your picking!  Drink them on the premises or load 'em up and take them home.  They even carry merchandise from the different breweries they carry from t-shirts and pint glasses to stickers, hats and even Stone Brewing BBQ sauce!  They always have an awesome selection on tap and some great eats to soak up the booze.  I personally LOVE their fish tacos!  They have a nice big patio for the warmer days and just opened a larger seating area on the floor above complete with a foosball table.  You are guaranteed to have an awesome time.  The staff there is so friendly and they love to talk beer! Get excited and get over there!!!!

Some of the great beers you will find inside Antenna America

DevilCraft - Craft Beer Pub & Pizzeria - Kanda and Hamamatsucho - I was at the Kanda location when they opened DevilCraft.  Kanda's location is 4 stories high with each floor holding around 10 people max I would say.  The Hamamatsucho location I frequented more often as they had one floor and a nice size patio in front.  Both locations have the same amazing American craft brews and AWESOME Chicago-style pizza!!!  I mean amazing pizza!  I would say it best to reserve a table at either location though because they fill up quick on any Friday or weekend evening.  I was here when I tried Caldera's Roasted Hatch Chili beer for the first time!  I could not get enough, it was so delicious I just wanted to eat it!  

A glimpse of the amazing pizza paired with some tasty brews

STONE Craft Beer & Whisky BarAsagaya - This was a great go to spot even for a little trip after work on a weekday.  Small and quiet but had a decent selection of craft brews.  In fact they had a little fridge that sat right by the bar that you could just grab a bottle of your liking and the bartender would pour it in a pint for you to enjoy.  Great little cozy atmosphere and loved that they had beer magazines to flip through while tasting.  

Outside Stone Bar

Beer Pub ROGUEKichijoji - Another cute little place off the beaten path in Kichijoji.  Had a few good craft brews to choose from and a friendly staff.  Love Kichijoji, such a nice town to walk through with so many noodle/ramen spots and of course lots of yakatori spots!  The smells walking through the alleys are wonderful!  Great place!

Outside Beer Pub Rogue

Popeye'sRyogoku - Another great place found using the Craft Beer Japan app.  Good selection and decent food as well.  This place gets rather packed so good to get there a little early in the evening.  They always have some very small appetizer they give you before you order a beer and it is always so tasty (whatever it is).  Also right down the road from this is one of the best yakatori spots we have been to, unfortunately I do not have a name for it to share with you :/

CraftheadsShibuya - This was actually the first craft beer bar I visited after moving to Japan. It was not easy to find the first time but once you know where it is it's no problem.  They only serve craft beer (mostly American) and all types of American Bourbon & Whiskey.  They have a pretty tasty food menu but not super cheap.  Great cozy spot and they also sell some merchandise from some of the American craft beer breweries such as shirts and pint glasses.  Definitely recommend it!

Goodbeer FaucetsShibuya - This was another place I was at for the opening and it is not far from Craftheads!  Great atmosphere, good menu (again not cheap) and great selection of American craft beer with decent happy hour prices.  They have all sorts of bottles lined along the bar top and windows all around for viewing the city streets while sipping tasty brews.  

Watering Hole - Shinjuku - Kinda stumbled upon this gem one day boppin' around Tokyo and getting thirsty for some beer.  Noticed it was new to the Craft Beer Japan app and in the area. Awesome place and again, awesome staff!  I actually never went to any sort of establishment in Japan that didn't have anything but a great and friendly staff.  Great bar and great craft beer to choose from!  They had some good things on tap and a cooler you could help yourself to and pick from a good selection and have it poured into a glass.  One of the trips over I had myself a delicious Green Bullet from Green Flash!  Awesome beer!  This one is a sipper at 10.1%, don't think you will go pounding these down.  This place I visited several times!

Bashamichi TaproomBashamichi - Had to try this place of course since it is American style BBQ pub!  Great place, always friendly people and yummy food!  One of my favorite Baird Beers is the Saruga Bay Imperial IPA at an 8.5%.  Mmmmm!  Please check this place out!

There are many more great spots but these are some of my top picks and places I went to on more than one occasion.  I have to give credit again to the Craft Beer Japan app as it is how I found all these places.  Great times and I would love to go back to them all someday.  I miss Japan greatly.  Amazing culture, amazing people, amazing food and amazing brews!  

Kanpai!

pumpkin, spice and beer beer beer

Tonight I decided it was time to taste the 3 pumpkin beers I scooped up at my beer store.  First up was

BrewDog Pumpkin Head

.  Love the label to start, pretty rad.  The beer has a nice spicy aroma with a pretty autumn caramel color.  There is a nutmeg with a slight citrus taste from the start,  with a pumpkin taste more on the end.  Sometimes these types have like a sting or bite of spice but this one was softer on the throat, smooth.  

Ratebeer

gave this one a 48 and it comes in at 5.1% ABV.  Might be nice to have again on Halloween and Thanksgiving.

I made Thai pose with the brew because well, she is too cute and she too loves craft beer!

Next up is

Flying Dog Imperial Pumpkin Ale

.  This one did not have much of an aroma but it did have some flavor!  Chilled for a bit so the first couple sips did not have much flavor.  After holding the beer for a few and then tasting again it had much more spice flavor.  Again I say that temperature is key.  Craft beers like these should not be super cold.  We usually keep them on the counter and just do a flash chill before drinking.  Not too cold, not too warm, but just right.  Like Goldie Locks!  

Ratebeer

gave this one a score of 93 with an ABV of 9%!  Love me some BrewDog but between the two this one wins.  Still one more to taste!

Last up is Brooklyn Brewery Post Road Pumpkin Ale.  This one has the strongest spice flavor of all.  I think next time I would limit myself to tasting one per night but we split them so they are small tastes but with bolder flavors.  I feel full of spice and pumpkin!  This one is a 5% ABV and

Ratebeer

gave it a low 46.  I would have to try it again without having 2 prior pumpkin beers.  I didn't finish it, I will say that much.

Cheers to good beer!  Hope you all have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

What are your favorite pumpkin or fall brews?!

Breakfast Beer? Why certainly!

I hadn't ever been much of a fan of

Rogue

beer but recently have had a couple that tickled my tastebuds in a good way!  Another good "go-to" IPA would be their Rogue 7 Hop IPA.  I was hesitant at first because their Yellow Snow IPA was a flop in my opinion but was delighted to find it had a nice smooth taste.  It is rated an 89 on

BeerAdvocate

 and at a nice 8% ABV.  Actually rated a little higer on

Ratebeer

with a 98 overall.  Pretty cool it is brewed with all 7 hops grown on the Rogue Farm.  Try it out!

Next on the list of Rogue's good tasting brews is their Chocolate Stout.  First tasted this greatness at a little restaurant in town across from the beer store we buy our craft brews at.  Let me first say it is amazing on draft!  It is kept at the perfect temperature for this flavorful beer.  Temperature is important with craft beers.  Super cold is not always what you want.  Screw those "blue mountains!"  This beer has such a great aroma and so many great flavors.  

Ratebeer

gave this baby a 99!  It is listed as a sweet stout with a 6.3% ABV.    

Rogue's description:  Ebony in color with a rich creamy head. An earthy flavor of oats and hops that gives way to a rich chocolate truffle finish.

My description:  The chocolate and maple flavors hit your tongue and you will want to pour this beer over your pancakes on a Saturday morning!

If you buy a bottle off the dry shelf (not in a cooler) I recommend maybe a 10 minute chill in the freezer then opening and pouring.  At least that is what we did to try and get close to the temp it was on draft and it seemed to work the best.  

ALWAYS DRINK CRAFT BEER IN A GLASS!

Have you tried it? What did you think?

Cheers!