Hardcore IPA – a BrewDog flagship

There has been plenty of press in Australia about a relatively new brewer from Scotland called BrewDog. BrewDog comes from Fraserburgh, a small town North of Aberdeen. In a very short space of time, BrewDog has made a major splash in the beer world with aggressively marketed and intensely tasty beers.

They’ve produced over 14 beers already and at least 6 of them have made it to the bottleshops of Australia. BotF has tried a number of them and they’ve all been very distinctive. This last one has been saved for some time because of the promise of an extreme experience. IPAs are known for their extreme hoppiness and therefore bitterness. BrewDog aren’t shy about going to the end of a spectrum when it comes to alcohol content or hoppiness. A read of their label gives an idea of what is going on.

Hardcore IPA claims to be the absolute in bitter beers. The International Bittering Units scale, or simply IBU scale, provides a measure of the bitterness of beer. The technical limit for IBU’s is supposedly 100 and apparently there is no real gauge after 100 IBUs when it comes to taste threshold. Interestingly light lagers without much bitterness will generally have 5 IBUs. Hardcore IPA claims to have an IBU reading of 150(!).

I was expecting a Turning Japanese moment, and whilst it was a memorably intense moment – there was no pain. The combination of hoppiness and high alcohol made it more like a straight rye or grappa experience. Very, very good beer and I could have had three or four – this was eminently drinkable.

As mentioned, BotF has tried some others and taken appropriate beer Porn at a Scottish BotF’s household – so they are added for completeness. When I try BrewDog’s 41% IPA “Sink the Bismarck” – I’ll certainly let you know. I may have to go to Fraserburgh for that one.

They are exxy – but Oh so worth it. BrewDog – brilliant.