Last night Monk’s Kettle in San Francisco hosted a little meet and greet with co-founder James Watt of BrewDog in Scotland. Having just enjoyed a cheesesteak together at Jim’s Steaks with James (and Greg Koch and Bill Covaleski) in Philadelphia the week before, I felt duty-bound to find out how he enjoyed the state sandwich of Pennsylvania.
Dana Blum, from Anchor Brewing, James Watt, from BrewDog, and me at Monk’s Kettle.
I was handed a 5 a.m. Saint when I walked in joined the conversation already in progress. Apparently, cheesesteaks don’t compare favorably to haggis, but I think it’s all about what you grew up with, so I take no offense. We talked World Cup, Philly and beer, of course. John Dannerbeck and Dana Blum, both from Anchor Brewing, added golf to the discussion, and it turns out James is a big fan. I then moved on to the Hardcore IPA, brewed with American hops like Simcoe. At 9.2% a.b.v. and the Simcoe, it’s more like an American version, which is what they were going for.
James pouring samples of Sink the Bismarck.
I was going to leave early, but James opened bottles of both Sink the Bismarck and Tactical Nuclear Penguin so I stuck around, not wanting to miss another opportunity to try them both. This version of Bismarck had far more peaty aromas than the last one I had — a plus, I think — and the Penguin had a thinner mouthfeel and more spirity flavors, with less roasted malt character.