It might sound like any other idiosyncratic craft brew: a 7.5% American brown ale loaded with New Zealand hops and aged with oak chips and hazelnuts, but no single brewmaster cooked up this recipe — thousands of people on social media networks did.
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Scotland-based craft brewery BrewDog came up with the novel idea to crowdsource a new beer recipe, giving its followers on Facebook, Twitter and its web blog the option to vote on everything from the alcohol and malt content to the type(s) of hops, style and label design, the aging bits — even the beer’s Twitter-inspired name: #MashTag.
“We handed the keys to the brewery over to our fans,” BrewDog spokesperson Sarah Warman told ABCNews.com. “Every single element of that beer was decided by the public.”
BrewDog ran its beer-making contest at the end of March, asking fans to vote on options in the categories above over the course of five days; each day, it revealed the winning selection from the previous one. In all, fans cast more than 5,000 votes in the lead up to the beer’s May 31 reveal.
On its website, Brewdog writes:
Inspired by the passion, knowledge and enthusiasm of craft beer drinkers, we set out to create a truly democratic craft beer. We entrusted all the important decisions to our fans, customers and anyone who wanted to learn more about the craft brewing process and cast their vote. We gave up complete control of every single decision which shaped the final beer that the #MashTag project produced.
What does the 95 IBU #MashTag taste like? “Very Christmas-y,” said Warman, referring to the more than 33 pounds of hazelnuts employed, which she says bring “a nuttiness to it.” On the hops side, you’ve got Nelson Sauvin, Motueka, Pacific Gem (New Zealand), while on the malts side you’re looking at Roasted Barley, Caramalt, Pale Malt and Amber Malt.
Want to try it? You can find #MashTag at participating U.K. establishments, or order it through the website (the U.S. is one of various selectable options) at £2.69 (US$4.09) for one 330 mL bottle, £7.99 (US$12.16) for three bottles or £14.99 (US$22.81) for six.