Bold Street has gone to shit hasn’t it? It used to be the drinker’s first choice for independent bars with unpronounceable foreign beers and narky staff with interesting facial hair who will tell you that Gluggensteiner is the shit in Berlin this winter so that will be five pounds please. Now though, Bold Street is finished and Off Bold Street is the place to be. You idiot. Nobody goes to Bold Street anymore. You can’t sit with us, get lost.
Colquitt St and environs is probably best known for wandering vagrants and Alma de Cuba, but its newest resident is Brewdog, the latest in a chain of pubs opened by the independent Scottish brewery who prides itself on brewing quality ales with funny names and eye-watering prices.
The place was packed last night for its opening, but luckily Liverpool is one of the bigger Brewdogs. Alongside the standard brand fixtures – for example the big old blackboard showing you how beer is brewed that you will definitely read properly one day – Liverpool has been given something of a seafaring theme, with a giant neon anchor on the wall and on the uniforms, and a load of grizzled old sea captains propping up the bar. If you’ve wandered down Colquitt Street and felt a little intimidated by the big glass fronted behemoth, (beer-moth?) I have compiled a list of facts which will ease you into the Brewdog brand.
- Beards must be worn by all male customers, and this may put the less hirsute gentleman off. However the bar issues a limited number of ‘Beard Passes’ per evening for the clean shaven, and there is a bin full of false beards which you can borrow for the duration of your visit.
2. The bar staff are all former models and this can be distracting when you’re trying to pick one of the forty plus beers on offer. There you’ll be, weighing up the relative merits of a black lager over a standard porter, when the barman will flutter his sizeable eyelashes and suddenly you’re thinking of rainbows and sunsets and you’ve missed your turn at the bar.
3.You need to have a working knowledge of craft beers to order properly, because even though they will give you a free sample of any beer you like, you still have to react to it, and you don’t want to look like a tit. Here is a quick guide to blagging to Jimmy Handsome, the dreamy barman.
Beer is yellowy colour – “Quite hoppy isn’t it?”
Beer is browny colour – “Not that hoppy is it?”
Beer is black – “Would you call that a porter?”
4. The beers are between 2.3% and whiskey. Some of them are so strong that they will only serve them to you in a ⅔ pint glass, so don’t go looking a biff by saying “Eh pal, I don’t want a bird’s glass, what are you tryina say eh? Sayin’ I’m gay? Well I’ve never had feelings about a man that way before but you really are quite attractive so maybe we could have a drink and see where it goes?”
5. The ‘ironic’ stuff is there so we don’t all feel like alcoholics, so just go with it. Don’t tut at the Connect 4 on the tables or the bearded teenagers playing cards, just be glad that the beer is so expensive that no beauts can come in and skit you for playing a child’s game with other grown men.
6. Brewdog is a bit like the Queen Vic in that brands don’t exist there. It’s a sort of tied house so you can’t have a coke, because that’s too corporate and obvious. You can have a Professor Wiffle’s Olde Tyme Cola in a glass bottle and like it. Don’t be confused by some of the names of the beers, that’s not the line-up for All Tomorrow’s Parties you’re seeing on the wall, that’s the beer list. If in doubt just string three random words together and ask for that. I once asked for a pint of Tortoise Rake Syndicate and ended up with a refreshing saison.
Now you’re prepped and ready for the Brewdog experience so bin that razor and dust off the lumberjack shirt – I’ll see you at the bar for a nice pint of Simon Cowell’s Rusty Paperclip.