What's The First Vegan Brewdog Like?
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Veganism's conquest of London, especially east London, marches forwards at an impressive pace. The most recent victory? London — and the world's — first vegan BrewDog.
Ok this might not sound like such a big deal. There are already vegan pubs in London, so why does a BrewDog going vegan matter? Well, it's because big brands adopting veganism is important — and although BrewDog claims it's an independent, with over 80 venues globally, it's unquestionably a large one.
To go vegan, BrewDog has handed the kitchen over to Biff's Jack Shack, a London-vegan-fast-food stalwart. It's a safe bet that pays dividends. Biff's does Jackfruit Wingz, but we've always favoured the burgers. The Buffalo Biff makes an instant impression, thanks to its incredible hot sauce flavouring, tingling the tongue in all the right places. However, towards the end of the burger, things start to fall apart slightly, the bun having soaked up to much sauce and become a limp soggy mess in my hand. Maybe I just need to eat faster next time.
As a longtime vegetarian, ever so slowly edging towards veganism, I know I'm considered 'biased' on vegan burgers, so I took along a fully-fledged meat-eating buddy to offer his verdict. He went for the Canadian Dip, and his only issue with the burger wasn't with the jackfruit meat substitute, but with the decision to put chips in the burger. He made a quick edit, pulled them out, and went back to enjoying his food.
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As for the drinks, the vegan shift hasn't really had an impact. Brewdog's beers have always been vegan, so the list is as bountiful as ever. Along with Brewdog's own abundant selection, guest breweries get a look in too — we were particularly wowed by a 9.3% New England IPA, excellently titled Boss Tweed.
At the end of the night, what struck me most about BrewDog Dalston was how low-key the whole affair feels. Sure, everything the place serves is vegan, but does that really matter? It felt like plenty of other pubs/bars/restaurants on Kingsland Road on a Friday night. People unwinding drink in hand, the air thick with chatter and choons. A vegan BrewDog slots in perfectly to Dalston's evening ecosystem, and it doesn't make that big a song and dance about being plant-based. All that really matters, is the quality food and drink.
BrewDog Dalston, 33-35 Stoke Newington Road, N16 8BJ
Last Updated 01 November 2019