BrewDog is said to be Scotland’s largest independent brewery, producing more than 120,000 bottles per month for export all over the world. It was founded in 2007 by James Watt and Martin Dickie, a duo known not only for their entrepreneurial instincts but also for their independent and audacious spirits. These guys are natural born post-punk showmen and we think it’s fair to say that with BrewDog, they have single-handedly revitalized the UK’s moribund beer scene. James Watt and Martin Dickie exemplify everything that makes the craft beer movement so cutting-edge and exciting – not bad for a couple of Scotsmen who may soon become America’s newest TV stars.
Okay, you guys are the founders of the fastest growing brewery in the UK, and you’ve just completed a new craft beer television series, Brew Dogs, that’s debuting nationally tonight (9/24) on the Esquire Network. You could be spending your time with any number of “credible” journalists. Why in world would you ever have agreed to be profiled by us? For God sakes, what were you thinking?
JW – Sorry, who are you again?
MD -Hi this is Nadine, Martin’s PA, on behalf of the great man.
You both have a reputation for being passionate about your beer and just about everything that you’re doing. You’ve been referred to by some as anarchists and troublemakers. Couldn’t you have been content to have kept things safely “across the pond?” Why a craft beer show filmed in America? You didn’t just come over here to make fun of us, did you?
JW – No one was stupid enough to give us a show in the UK.
MD – Everything is bigger and better in America. Do you know anyone who could get me a Green Card? I’d love to live here permanently.
So in each Brew Dogs episode, you both travel to a different American city and brew up a beer using that region’s local ingredients and your own “damaged” sensibilities. What were your favorite cities? Think any of them will have you back?
JW -We loved all the cities. My favorite was Portland.
MD -Denver – the rest not so much. I’d love to live on a ranch there.
Brew Dogs is obviously not a “normal” craft beer television series and the beers that you brew on it sound wild. What was your most inspired creation? What was your most misguided?
JW – Misguided – using the world’s hottest chili perhaps. Inspired – a Berliner Weisse brewed while floating down the Willamette River on a raft made of kegs.
MD – Most dangerous was brewing a sour clambake scotch ale on a schooner in the Boston Bay under full sail. The most memorable was brewing a beer at the summit of Mt. Evans in Colorado using only the power of the sun. I’m not talking solar panels and electric heaters. Oh no. I’m talking about parabolic mirrors and Fresnel lenses.
What’s your take on today’s American craft beer scene? How is it like what’s going on over in the UK? How is it different?
JW – It is amazing…So many killer craft breweries, the ever-increasing awareness and availability of craft beer and a massive stylistic diversity among the beers being made. The UK is still a bit behind in terms of the new wave of craft brewing, but we are determined to help it catch up.
MD – See above. Very eloquently put, James. Well done.
While filming Brew Dogs, you guys must have come across an American craft beer or brewery that you might not have known about… C’mon, give it up – got any new favorites?
JW – I got to visit Hair of the Dog. I did know about them before but I am a huge (HUGE) fan. They rock.
MD – Bale Breaker – Yakima. Their little brewery is in a hop field!