Brewdog: Hop Fiction (Scotland: India Style Lager: 5.5% ABV)

Visual: Pale gold. Small amounts of carbonation. Large white, mounded solid head that leaves suds.

Nose: Floral. Coriander. Light bitterness and hoppy character. Wheaty. Orange zest. Light lemon. Slight carbonation.

Body: Dry. Slight lemon cake. Some bitterness. Slight granite. Moderate hop levels. Some toffee to caramel if held. Light brown sugar.

Finish: Some bitterness. Cardboard. Good hop character. Lemon cake. Light orange notes.

Conclusion: You remember those “Backyard Brew” beers from a while back? Beers from a large brewer trying to pass themselves off as a faux craft kind of thing? Well, if you had handed this to me blind and told me it came from them I would not have been surprised. Not to say that this is terrible, but it is so very meh, which is a bad sign. Incidentally, unlike 99% of the population I am actually quite fond of the word “Meh”. Just some random trivia for you.

Anyway, like a lot of the early beers Brewdog did after moving to their new brewery, this feels over attenuated and too dry – losing what should be a refreshing lager character and instead giving slight cardboard notes and granite. So, a few definite down sides to this beer are immediately obvious.

On the up side this does have a fairly solid bitterness and a mix of light lemon and orange notes. A lot of the early brews at the new site also had massive loss in hop character as they dialled in the recipes, so it is good to see that this did not get hit with that problem on rebrew.

However, even the original version of this – going by vague memory – was only ok but not world shattering. This, more attenuated version, means that the positive notes are far from enough to make it a beer I can recommend. Not terrible, but when a faux craft brewer is turning out a better larger than yours, you have a problem.

So – not similar enough to the original brew to be worth it for nostalgia. Not good enough by itself to be worth grabbing. Just meh. Meh. Meh. Meh. So, cannot advise buying.

Between this and the terrible rebrew of 6% abv Punk IPA it really feels like not much effort was put into these rebrews. A great dissapointment.

Background: Was wondering what style to put this under lager wise, so I gave up and checked ratebeer – turns out they now have decided India Style Lager deserves its own category now. Since they managed to resist calling it an India Pale Lager like every other IPA variant name, I have no objection to this. Anyway, this is a rebrew of one of Brewdog’s original three beers which I grabbed from their online store. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. I had tried Hop Rocker back in the day, but not much and never got around to drinking it. Mostly grabbed Punk IPA back then. Speaking of Punk IPA, they also did a rebrew of the original 6% abv Punk IPA. It was terrible, far too over attenuated – looked like they hadn’t tweaked brew times and recipe to make it work with their new kit. So, I was a tad nervous if this was going to be shit as well. Drunk while listening to a bit of “Hate In The Box” – nice kind of electric punk goth mash up in feel.