5 things we learned visiting BrewDog in Scotland and staying in a 'kennel'
BrewDog's branching out into hotel rooms - shower beer optional.
BrewDog is a brewery with more than beer on its mind. Ever since it set up shop in Ellon, Aberdeenshire, in 2007 it has been finding inventive ways for the world to talk about its brand.
We've seen this recently with its diversion into cryptocurrency and it's not just beers it sells anymore. In 2016 it opened up its own distillery in its Ellon brewery which was mapped out on a napkin and built to spec, according to our tour guide.
Formerly the LoneWolf Distillery, it's now been brought into the fold as the BrewDog Distillery and it makes vodka, gin and rum - and there's talk of a new whisky range too. BrewDog has also found time to launch the world's first alcohol-free bar, packing it with its latest range of AF beers.
If that wasn't enough to keep the Scottish beer makers busy, they've also come up with the BrewDog Kennels, a range of branded apartments (it's calling them mini hotels) that have opened up in Aberdeen, Scotland, and Columbus, Ohio. The latter's bigger brother, the Columbus DogHouse Hotel, was recently voted one of the greatest places to stay by Time magazine, so there is a lot to live up to.
We recently stayed in the Aberdeen BrewDog Kennel and this is what you need to know...
1. The rooms are a hotel within a hotel
The BrewDog Kennels aren't immediately noticeable when you arrive in Aberdeen but they are easy to find, as they are right above BrewDog's CastleGate bar. Once you arrive, a BrewDog person from the bar directs you past the reception and up the stairs to the BrewDog Kennel area. You will know you are there right away as they have got Craig Fisher, BrewDog's resident artist, to paint the hall walls with his signature tentacles. It's a great look and a nice introduction into what to expect next.
2. There are only six rooms available
There is very much a boutique feel to the BrewDog Kennels. On the floor, there are six spacious rooms available. Each of them (and we had a look at most of them) have a separate bedroom (with a Simba mattress on the bed which we very much approved of), kitchen, living room as well as a shower room, where there is something waiting for you...
3. There's a fridge in the bathroom for shower beers
That's right, if you are feeling like you need a beer while washing your hair, there is a fridge in the bathroom, all ready to be stocked up with beers. That's a key part here - don't go expecting the fridge to be full with BrewDog when you arrive but you do get a free craft beer at check-in. You also get coffee, discounted vouchers for breakfast at the various BrewDog bars in town, and can order food and drink from the bar below and it will be delivered to your room.
4. The rooms are kitted out with music
In the living room of the apartment we stayed in, there was a record player and guitar hanging on the wall - basically it was like staying in your cool mate's flat. There was a selection of records, too (we put on The Doors and cried to The End while having a shower beer), the only downside being that you had to play them on a Crosley record player. We're hoping the folks at BrewDog read our best record player guide and get that sorted soon. The guitar, however, was in tune!
5. It's close-ish to the Ellon brewery
You'll have to get a taxi, but if you are to stay in Aberdeen then a visit to the BrewDog brewery is a must. We took the tour and the guide was great, although he had a thick Irish accent which confused the hell out of us as we had just arrived from London expecting to hear a Scottish accent and not an Irish brogue. The brewery is expanding with the aforementioned distillery, as well as a completely separate sour brewing area, where the workers have to be completely shut off from the rest of the brewery due to the brewing process.
A stay in the Aberdeen BrewDog Kennels starts from £75 and all the rooms are dog friendly. While we were at the Kennels and the brewery tour, we drank to the following: Punk IPA, Quench Quake, Vagabond, Hazy Jane and a new beer called Duopolis.