Laurence Andrews

🔄2020: BrewDog AF At the beginning of Jan @geekyjames and I went to visit BrewDog’s new alcohol-free (AF) bar in Old Street. They claimed that it was the worlds first AF pub, which is probably disputable, but certainly possible. The concept is that instead of offering the normal line-up of beers and spirits they only offer drinks below 0.5% ABV.

I met James close by and we walked into the large, white-washed unit. When I think of the word pub, I think cosy. This place certainly wasn’t cosy it was concrete. That said, it was in keeping with Brewdog’s industrialist modern design concepts and while clearly a bit different, you’d know it was a BrewDog bar. There were seats suspended from the ceiling, lots of greenery and some funky lighting too. All super, but it was cold and lacked soul.

I’m all for supporting AF beers, but when the bar is cold and lacking in soul, the beer is the only other thing that’s going to you me there. And if you ignore all the marketing AF beer is ultimately boring, it’s expensive, hoppy flavoured water. There was a good selection of hoppy water, probably the best selection I’ve seen in one place, so that’s quite commendable, but to be expected for the first AF bar in the world. I picked up a Stiegl-Freibier, a Lucky Saint and something from Mikeller too, which I was pretty happy with.

In the end, we’re glad we went but we walked to BrewDog’s normal bar in Shoreditch and had a proper drink! I’d go back, I think the concept is great and I admire them for being novel. More AF beers in normal bars is probably the answer though, if this helps make that happen, rock on.