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Punk vs Punk X

Mon 2010-12-20 23:50

I think BrewDogs like change. But, in general, the UK doesn't seem to approve of change. If beer today tastes a little different from beer yesterday … there must be something wrong with it. But beers do change from time to time, depending on plant, hops, malt, economics (shudder), and a whole variety of other things. A huge amount of effort goes into flattening the curve of these changes, nobody must notice them! Consistency is key! It seems that breweries spend a lot of effort on maintaining this illusion of stasis.

On the other hand, some brewers won't accept this homogenised status quo, they see that things must change and they celebrate the changes. We could call them "punks", perhaps? They actively seek out change. Following the same old formulas every day is a bit dull in the end, after-all.

The guys at BrewDog celebrate and seek out change. To the point of toying with some of their core beers and infuriating fans. Recently they've tried different slants on two core beers: Trashy Blonde and Punk IPA. With the trashy they simply tried using a Belgian yeast, apparently everything else was identical – the two beers even looked identical. What they got, dubbed Eurotrash, was a beer that tastes Belgian and was quite unlike Trashy Blonde. Personally, I loved it. But there are people who love the Trashy just the way it is, and this monkeying with their beer upsets them.

I don't know all the technical differences between Punk and "Punk X" (there is some detail on the BrewDog blog: Battle of the Punks!) but, like Trashy Blonde versus Eurotrash, they're really quite different beers in the mouth.

Punk X

The beer is super-cloudy, like a witbier but with more of a golden hue. Fresh piney resinous hop notes in the nose and on the tongue, very effervescent, with a bit of grapefruit skin. Sloshing around the mouth is biscuity malt with a touch of orange juice and a squeeze of lemon.


Crystal clear and golden-yellow. After the Punk X the nose on the Punk seems a bit flat and "beery". In the mouth bitterness hits first, and the hop notes follow. The hop notes are more of the spicy/earthy kind. Malt notes are clean, honey-like, with just a little lemon tartness.

I Like Punk X

I'm afraid I must go against what seems to be the prevailing wind amongst Equity Punks on the forum and say: If I had to choose between the two beers then it's Punk X for me. To come up with a simple pair of words to compare the two beers I'm going to run with: Punk/PunkX => Rough/Smooth

That's a little amusing considering that it is the Punk X that is unfiltered! But there you go…

I think that there's some fundamental divide between people here. Some like to find a good thing and stick with it, others will always try something new in preference to going back to something trusted. I'm in the latter camp, so long as new and different things keep coming my way I'll be happy. Those favourites left behind I'll remember fondly, but there are other bunnies in these woods.

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