We know Punk IPA have been a little inconsistent of late. Here is why and here is what we are going to do about it.BrewDog has definitely spent more time than any brewery I know trying to get attention. They do just about whatever it takes to make sure you're thinking of BrewDog--except, apparently, keeping their eye on the important ball, their beer. I find what follows to be implausible: they blame the poor quality of their flagship Punk IPA on variations in malt quality and hop supply. But brewers deal with this ever year, and it's part of the business to make sure you have the recipe you want before the beer goes out the door. But leave that aside.
However before we get onto that, 2012 is going to see an evolution of BrewDog. We have definitely created loads of buzz over the last couple of years but the main aim this year is to get people speaking about what is in their glass as opposed to all the other stuff. No fighting with CAMRA, no falling out with Germans, no punishing animals with sticks and no legal battle with the Portman Group.
Craft breweries face tough times when they grow. There are certain moments in growth that seem particularly dangerous--from small to medium-sized or medium-sized to large. The systems strain and wheeze, and sometimes beer quality suffers. It's an incredibly dangerous moment, coming when the brewery is trying to solidify a larger customer base--exactly the wrong time to be putting out substandard beer.
Rarely does a brewery admits mistakes and (more or less) owns them, promising to do better. It will be interesting to see what happens with BrewDog. Like that ADHD kid in the back of the classroom who's willing to eat his own boogers to get attention, the brewery has definitely stayed in the spotlight. Now they promise they'll do their homework and turn in their assignments on time. Let's see what happens.
Errata. This is, incidentally, somewhat related to the recent kerfuffle over Sam Calagione's response to critical comments on BeerAdvocate--an issue I've assiduously avoided mentioning til now.