If you thought Scottish craft brewery BrewDog's 55% ABV beer called "The End of History" that happened to be stuffed inside taxidermied squirrels was a simple stunt or internet linkbait, think again. In this month's issue of Hop Propaganda, their monthly trade newsletter, they explained in great detail their rationale. Calling their beer an adoption of the "anarchic, DIY, underground punk scene," they reference Dadaism and 1960s performance art, calling the true purpose "a meta commentary on the current state of brewing."
Describing the impact as "a perfect conceptual marriage between art, taxidermy and craft brewing," they seem to have achieved their goals: "we've torn up convention, blurred distinctions and pushed brewing and beer packaging to its absolute limits." The full article follows:
On the 22nd of July we released the End of History. The World’s strongest ever beer at 55% abv and packaged in road-kill. In true BrewDog fashion we’ve torn up convention, blurred distinctions and pushed brewing and beer packaging to its absolute limits. The beer is an audacious blend of eccentricity, artistry and rebellion; a meta commentary on the current state of brewing.
At BrewDog we want to push the boundaries and challenge people’s perceptions about what beer is and how it can be enjoyed. We ultimately want to show people that there is
an alternative to the mainstream, generic beers and make other people as passionate about craft beer as we are.
The impact of The End of History is a perfect conceptual marriage between art, taxidermy and craft brewing. The bottles are at once beautiful and disturbing – they disrupt conventions and break taboos, just like the beer they hold within them.
Adopting a Devil-may-care attitude and an aesthetic of the anarchic, DIY, underground punk scene, this beer is joyfully irreverent. The 12 animals we used were road-kill and we see this as a much better way to celebrate these than leaving them at the side of the road to rot. We are all animal lovers at BrewDog and we went to great lengths to secure a very talented taxidermist who could perfectly execute this artistic concept.
Using organic matter for modern art has been used before. The famous DaDa artist Piero Manzoni submitted his own canned faeces as an art piece. Joseph Beuys often incorporated animal pelts in his work. In 1965, he performed a piece called “How to Explain Pictures of a Dead Hare” in which he locked himself in an art gallery, covered his face with honey and cradled a dead hare. In 1974, he even donned animal skins and locked himself
in a room with a wild coyote. Unfortunately Martin was too scared of wild coyote’s and our attempt to recreate this for the video blog ultimately failed.
We want to put craft beer on the map and show people how rewarding and amazing proper beer actually is. We feel that by causing controversy, unsettling institutions and really pushing the boundaries we can raise awareness for craft beer in the UK and get more dispassionate consumers starting the journey to towards becoming bonafide craft beer aficionados.
· The End of History [BrewDog]
· BrewDog Unveils the World's Strongest, Squirreliest Beer Ever [-E-]
· All Beer coverage on Eater [-E-]