BrewDog is a multinational brewery and pub chain founded by James Watt and Martin Dickie in 2007 in Fraserburgh, Scotland. They produce a variety of bottle and canned beers, some of which they also sell by the keg. With over 45 bar locations around they world, they are always looking for new and innovative recipes and ideas to keep attracting beer connoisseurs. At the end of 2016 the company released Casino Rye Ale as a special one-time limited-edition to mark its entrance to the United States.
Look: Pale gold with a thin off-white/yellowed head and slight carbonation.
Nose: Rye, dried apricot, pepper, brown bread, light caramel, citrus.
Body: Bready, pepper, paprika, slightly creamy, a little earthy, with a hint of apricot. A moderate sweetness and light to moderate bitterness with a long duration. A watery and slightly oily texture.
Finish: A tad milky, still bready, earthy, peppery, and nutty with a bit more bitterness at the end.
Surprisingly light color for a rye ale, it makes a decent change from pale ales such as BrewDog’s Dead Pony Club, Small Screen Hero, and Nanny State. Drinkable and basic, a few extra high and fresh notes would add to the pleasure.
All About The Beer
Although the Casino Rye Ale was only produced once, you can still taste it! In February 2016, BrewDog began open-sourcing its recipes to the public. This so-called “free beer” license allows people to try out and tweak the recipes to see what they can come up with.
Coming in with an ABV of 5.1%, an IBU of 40.0, and an OG of 1049.0, this rye ale combines barley and rye for double the malt. Equinox hops are the single hops used, adding notes of sharp pine, dry orange, fresh grass, and prickly resin.
The ingredients to make 20L are:
- 2.80 kg of Extra Pale
- 0.50 kg of Rye
- 0.15 kg of Pale Crystal 60
Hops = Equinox added at strategic moments:
- 10.0 g at the start to add a bitterness
- 40.0 g at the middle to add flavour
- 150.0 g at the end to add aroma
- 150.0 g of dry hop to add even more aroma
Yeast = Wyeast 1056 – American Ale
The mash is at 65C for 75 minutes and the fermentation at 21C.
The Casino Rye Ale goes perfectly with crab cakes, spicy bean burritos, and your favorite video slots.
The Marketing Campaign
BrewDog is well-known for its provocative marketing campaigns throughout their history. From edgy name choices to increasing strengths (55% ABV for “The End of History” in 2010) to catchy gimmicks, this is one brewery not afraid to push the limits.
In 2016 when the company was preparing to launch its first US brewpub in Columbus, Ohio, it put together a risky crowdfunding initiative. Already well known in the UK, its Equity for Punks USA allowed a way for any and everyone to invest in the company. But this BrewDog’s Big Bet would see up to US$50 million dollars risked at a Las Vegas roulette table with an attempt to double down.
Although the roulette game itself would be played by Watt and Dickie, investors chose red or black when purchasing their gamble shares (US$47.50 each, two minimum). The majority chosen would be the color the chips went on in February 20. A share of the profits of the Casino Rye Ale sold during this time would be added to the betting total.
They announced that a winning spin would mean that the investors would also have their stakes in the business doubled, while a losing one meant the investors would lose their shares but keep their membership in Equity Punks. Ultimately, however, the Big Bet was abandoned not even a month after its launch due to varying legislation in the US.