Brewdog: Dead Pony Club (Scotland: American Pale Ale: 3.8% ABV)

Visual: Lightly bronzed gold. Easy forming crisp white bubbled head.

Nose: Very stark grapefruit. Pineapple. Good hop character. Passion fruit. Quite dry. Grapes.

Body: Very crisp and hoppy. Dry lemon sherbet. Grapes. Light toffee to the backbone.

Finish: Real hop kick. Lemon sherbet again. Slight malt. White grapes. Dry white wine. Grapefruit.

Conclusion: A 3.8% session beer. From Brewdog. Surely some mistake. 3.8%ABV is an abv sometime viewed with suspicion as it is the abv which pretty much results in your standard 2 unit pint and thus is viewed as the abv of your cookie cutter dull beer. Now this is a pretty unfair reputation but it exists nonetheless.

This beer on the other hand is pretty much anything but cookie cutter. It marries a hop kick to a citrus flavour not quite dissimilar to the rio fizzy drink, but with added white wine like touches. Very crisp and dry and despite the hop kick it is quite easy to drink.

Despite the quite obvious tart flavour it really doesn’t feel thick in texture. The flavour actually seems quite a separate from the crisp texture. It’s something I’ve noticed a lot in low abv ales that eschew the real ale style, they can really bring the flavour, but the texture is often less notable. Because of this the beer has slightly less grip, you can tell that the hops are doing the heavy lifting here.

It works interestingly then as an intended session ale then. The lack of thickness, while not perfect does mean that it does not get heavy on the tongue too quickly, and I can’t complain about the flavour it does bring. The tartness is thirst quenching with its grape and grapefruit mix of flavour. The hops then just kick.

Taken as a beer to have the one of it isn’t bad. There are better for flavour and balance, but it’s nice and fresh enough for a little wake up. The texture really does hurt it here as it needs a bit more weight if taken on it’s own. There is a nice sweet toffee like back that matches the freshness so it does have a bit of play to the flavour. As mentioned before the non real ale style never seems to get grip at low abv.   It is designed for a few more than one drink though and as a session the lightness of texture isn’t too much of a problem and the dryness and tartness keeps it coming.

So a tasty enough beer, and good for sessioning. As you have probably guessed it doesn’t have much weight, but it is crisp pleasant and fun and has a lot of flavour. Fills a much needed spot in the craft scene.

Background: Originally called Deaths Head Pony Club, but the name wouldn’t fit on the bottle. Or so they say. I prefer to think a bounty hunter from the marvel universe arrived and asked them to reconsider, yes?  I’ve been hoping for a nice lower abv beer for a while, much as I love the big guns sometimes you want something you can enjoy without getting too heavy into it. As always I will admit I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers.