Flying Dog brewmaster Matt Brophy stops by to discuss International Arms Race, their zero IBU IPA collaboration with Brew Dog. We get into the challenges of brewing in a world without hops, how they hooked up with the extreme Scottish brewers for this unusual project, and some details about exciting upcoming beers coming out of Frederick.

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  1. There’s a lot of good information here that I hadn’t heard anything about, like the single-hop series, and the canning line. Will the single-hop stuff make it throughout the brewery’s general U.S. distribution area?

    I feel bad for the bottom 1/3 of the brewhouse staff who didn’t get their beer concepts used.

    As for the arms race: Brophy says at one point that “a lot of what we do is art,” but I can’t help but argue that a lot of what you do is economics and marketing. Slapping the word “IPA” on a beer is something we all know garners more attention than if it was just a generalized name or a listing as “zero IBU beer.”

    In general, I don’t really understand how this is different than any other brewer who has made a gruit beer. Is it just because you’re officially enforcing the zero IBU policy? If the herbs and spices and various things you’re using don’t impart IBUs to begin with (and how much of them could you really use, if they did), then wouldn’t pretty much all gruit beers be zero IBU brews? I don’t see what makes THIS one an “IPA.” I have a friend who brewed a gruit beer for his wedding, and I really don’t think anyone thought to themselves “this is like an IPA without the hops.”

    It also was not good. I hope the Flying Dog one is a lot better than his was. I’m sure it probably will be.

    1. Kid, we both know BrewDog would never be involved in something just for publicity. But I think Matt noted that the IPA designation was a “hook” and that it was all in fun. I’ve been interested in the commercial viability of gruits, looking forward to trying this one with an open mind.

      In related news, Gruit is officially the least appetizing sounding beer style, closely followed by Braggot.

      1. It really is. I’ve tried a handful, and I’ve yet to have one that I would ever really want to drink again. I will be curious how this one is received, but I don’t really trust reviews other than my own when it comes to something this far off the beaten path.

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