The boys behind Esquire’s new show Brew Dogs have been on the media circus for hours; they’ve been doing interviews, schmoozing for cameras, answering mundane questions about really liking beer since 9:30 a.m., and by 5 p.m. they’re bored. By 5 p.m., James Watt and Martin Dickie are stationed at Cannibal, drinking a couple of beers, and judging me on my reporting gear. Audio recorder? Minus two points. Ripped steno page? Minus one. Frazzled juggling of camera, steno, recorder, pen — minus five.
Watt and Dickie, the owners behind brewery BrewDog, are guys who use the term DMS (dimethyl sulfide) regularly, guys who name their dogs after hops (i.e. Simcoe), and guys who expect you to know what they’re talking about when they say things like Belgian Quad. (Not going to lie, I had to look that up). They’re also guys who will steal things from the bar (your regular bar, at that), and give them to you as a "gift," just to trip you up, guys who crack jokes with dead serious faces so it’s hard to tell if they’re really joking. This is what I, a novice beer drinker with low alcohol tolerance, had to walk into.
I’m here to get schooled by the pros. Let’s be clear: I’m someone who knows next to nothing about beers (other than the fact that IPAs are pretty damn bitter), someone who orders Stella at bars because that’s what I’ve started with. I watch as they browse the bar’s well-stocked fridge, pulling out a Rolling Rock (that I understand), another can of a black IPA, and three bottles of impressive and intimidating-looking beers. "One of these is not like the others," a bartender notes. Click through to see what they had me try — and why.
Brew Dogs premieres Sept. 24 at 10/9 p.m. CT on the new Esquire network.