Brewdog: Punk versus Monk

Now, I like Brewdog beers. One the one hand, Punk IPA is chock full of enticing hops. And Punk Monk IPA has the allure of Belgian yeast. But which is better? There's only one way to find out.... FIGHT!

Looks: Punk has a hophaze about it, Monk positively breathes out light. Both have been in the fridge for weeks. Monk looks incredibly appealing, so it delivers an uppercut to Punk's frosty jaw. 0-1 to Monk.

Aroma: Punk explodes with fat, juicy citrics. Monk sees those citrics and raises with ground spice, wafting brine and a sustained sugary goosegog tang. Spices to the solar plexus make it 0-2 to Monk.

Flavour: Punk rides a crescendo; those fat hops deliver gorgeous tropical fruit flavours, a smear of caramel and biscuit lifts the balance. Monk takes the fruits and yeasts them up a bit; spices itch away around the edges but the esters fall away too soon. A slightly thin feel there means that Punk punches back to the midriff: 1-2.

Palate: Punk pulls off the kind of trick that the very Devil couldn't do; drying hops vie with warming alcohol to turn out a well balanced finish. It seems too good to beat... but Monk responds with that late surge of spicy, yeasty, fiendishly moreish-ness. 1-3 to the Monk. And, laydeez en geentelmeen, we have got ourselves a winner!

Punk folds, albeit not like a 'cheap hooker who got punched in the stomach by a fat guy with sores on his face'. Monk triumphs; if only it could sustain those full-fat estery notes in mid-bout, it could be a contender for a world crown.

Put it this way; in jazz terms, Punk is indeed John Zorn (off the wall, transatlantic influence) but Monk is pure Theo (tight, unorthodox, idiosyncratic). If you gottem, crack open the bottles, listen up and decide for yourself:


  1. Punk (wiggles fingers down); Monk (wiggles fingers up) -- you've got to have a system.

  2. simon, i never thought i'd say this, but you've inspired me... so here i am with punk and monk

    appearance: very very veeeery slight haze on punk, so slight it took a powerful light to detect it (and that could be the glass). strangely, punk slightly darker, monk looks more like a, ahem, sample - though as a pale ale fan i won't hold that against it. result: score draw, 1-1


    punk is there with the citrus hop nose we all (well me at least) know and love. in monk, it's numbed by spicy aromas more befitting a dark beer or a stout. just doesn't quite mesh with the citrus hops, would probably work better with spicier english hops. result: punk 2:1


    monk again kills off the hops with spicy overtones and, sadly, sweetness. of course, some like balance, but to me punk was never meant to be balanced, it's for us hopheads (opinionated or otherwise!). punk meanwhile kicks into real action with big lemon, tangerine and grapefruit flavours. i've eaten oranges that taste less citrussy. result: a big win for punk, 3:1


    a much tighter round. monk had long-lasting dry finish that came as a surprise after the sugar and spice taste, and with a pleasant tingle on the sides of the tongue. with the war already won, will punk deliver in the final battle? oh yes! same tingle on the tongue, accompanied by bitterness at the back, and yet more citrus that seems to last forever. punk 4:1

    so, monk is defeated, though not as massively as one would expect a punk to beat a monk if for some reason they were to meet. monk can hold its head up in the knowledge it lost to a national leader. punk has it's metaphorical arm raised, in the knowledge it has faced down a worthy adversary.

    so, opposite verdicts. guess it's true we all like different things...

  3. Nice one, Dave. But which jazz video di you prefer ;-)

    And - Bailey - watch out for those damn badgers.

  4. well, as we all know, jazz sucks. to put it in the lingo of proper music:

    monk tries too hard, tries to be too many different things at once. it tries to merge styles that just don't fit, and therefore can be musically represented by Guns n Roses

    punk on the other hand is one-sided and proud of it. it doesn't set out to please everyone, it is what it is, take it or leave it (for me), therefore i assign it as the Amon Amarth of beers

  5. Nice. I'm with you and Monk wins. I had a couple of cask Monks and they were knockouts.