I first saw James Watt just a few months after they had started BrewDog. They brought along some unlabeled bottles to a ratebeer gathering in Glasgow, and, thanks to their present London sales rep Tom, they had some of their beers on cask at the Blackfriars for the event.
The rest is, of course, history. Cunning marketing, strong salesmanship, supernatural ability to make newspaper headlines – and a long line of great beers.
Which leads to sell out houses at beer tastings, a phenomenon we’ve never seen around here before.
James visited Håndverkerstuene earlier this week, which was only one of the stops on a tour of Norway. And James delivers. He has developed his presentation to an hour of excellent entertainment. A representative range of their beers with tasting notes, a number of anecdotes and jokes, ending up with samples of Sink the Bismarck!, their latest freeze distilled super strength beer, which was the world’s strongest the last time I checked.
The last time he was in Oslo, the audience was mostly people from the restaurant industry, some of which seemed fairly bored. Now it’s getting to be more like a religious revival, or, perhaps a better cliché, a rock star on tour.
I think there are more Meet the Brewer events to come here in Norway. Another sign that the market has mutated into something bigger and more sophisticated.
And how was the Bismarck!? I think you should find out for yourself. Rumour is there will be a few bottles for sale at Vinmonopolet. At 600 kroner or so.
Thanks to Lars Marius for the photos.