RSS Feeds

Advanced search

You are in:


BrewDog creates beer to fund raise for RNLI

BrewDog creates rare beer to raise money for RNLI

BrewDog, the globally successful craft beer company and makers of Punk IPA, has launched Zephy – a 12.5% Imperial Ale matured in1965 Invergordon whisky casks.

It is a limited release of only 100 bottles. At £25 for a 750ml bottle, all sale proceeds will be donated to the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) as the charity plays a crucial role in the Fraserburgh fishing community where BrewDog is based. The organisation rescued BrewDog co-founder and fisherman, James Watt, from a situation in the North Sea when his boat suffered engine failure in heavy seas.

Zephyr, an outlandish experiment, has spent 21 months ageing in 42 year-old whisky casks, stuffed with 30kgs of fresh strawberries from BrewDog co-founder, Martin Dickie’s, grandmother’s strawberry farm in Aberdeenshire.

Bottled with equipment used for filling champagne bottles at BrewDog’s microbrewery in Fraserburgh, Scotland, the result is a translucent pink burst where the tang of berries contradicts against the coconut, vanilla and toffee flavours from the Invergordon casks.

The bottles, whose labels are screen-printed by Scottish designer Johanna Basford,will only be available at two specialist retailers – Uto Beer, London and Cornelius Wines and Spirits, Edinburgh. Zephyr is also available to buy online at

BrewDog MD James Watt, said: “Zephyr has turned out to be a true masterpiece – it seeks to recreate the spirit, attitude and sovereignty of all that is lost in the otherwise flat beer world. We’ve composed the beer from the finest fusion around: old whisky casks, Martin’s grandmother’s strawberries and IPA – which when combined in our crafting process, gives Zephyr a distinction beyond all resemblance.”

Watt added: “As it's so rare, we could have set the price point ofZephyr much higher, but BrewDog is all about craftsmanship, quality andintroducing new audiences to great beer. We’re not a faceless corporate relying on marketing gimmicks by setting the price point too high – we want our beers to be accessible to everyone.

“Zephyr is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in a glass. It is a bright, translucent, fluorescent although almost transparent pink colour and creates an incredible explosion to wake up people’s taste buds and allow them to discover the joys of a real, proper beer.”

The hops of the India Pale Ale in Zephyr have died down in the aging process but still give it a reassuring bite. Thestrawberry flavours dominate the nose and the coconut, vanilla and oak flavours from the Invergordon whisky cask hold the whole thing together.

James Watt chose the RNLI to balance out a bit of fortune after the RNLI saved his life recently: “The RNLI is a fantastic charity which plays an invaluable role is saving numerous lives at sea. I was on a smaller 20ft inshore boat when they rescued me – our engine broke downin poor weather and extremely heavy seas. The wind was pushing us dangerously close to the rocks and the RNLI got to us just in time to save us and the boat.”

BrewDog, which has a microbrewery in Fraserburgh on Scotland’s north east rugged coastline, has taken the beer world by storm in just three years with controversial offerings like Dogma (formerly known as Speedball), Tokyo, Rip Tide, Hop Rocker and Trashy Blonde and its core product, Punk IPA, is a global success with the US and Sweden being two of the key international markets. Inthe UK, Brewdog beers can be found in Tesco, Asda, Oddbins and many other specialist beer and wine retailers.

Zephyr’s unperturbed attitude extends past that of the name and taste. The bottle’s unique look was created by young Scottish designer Johanna Basford.

Basford said: “Screen printing by hand means each piece is intrinsically individual, having its own unique DNA of inky impression, making each bottle a little piece of art in its own right. Screen printing the labels in this way is slow and labour intensive - BrewDog is the only brewery in the world to hand print its special edition labels.”

Zephyr has already been a hit online with beer writers and bloggers like Mark Dredge after lucky beer fans were given the chance to sample a 330ml pre-release bottle.

Dredge said at his Pencil and Spoon online blog: “Sentences are redundant with this beer. Unnecessary. Frivolously time consuming. It promises a zephyr and you get the cool breeze of elegance. Have I ever had a beer with so much going on? Will I ever again?...The finest champagne you’ve tasted. But better....Once is not enough.”

1 May 2009 - Felicity Murray