Brewcats Aito Black IPA

Some thoughts about gypsy and brand brewing on the example Brewcats

Brewcats Aito Black IPA

Some weeks ago Lumia went to Tampere for a business event. She brought me back a special bottle: an „Aito IPA“, which was brewed by Brewcats in conjunction with Hopping Brewsters. Hopping Brewsters seems to be very popular among nostalgia loving folks, mostly at those that like the 1920s. Hopping Brewsters concept, all their imageries and designs are made to attract them. They are also kind of creative when it comes to naming their beers. One of their beers is called „Porco Bianco“, while the label shows a pig as a captain of an airplane. The similarity with „Porco Rosso“, a figure from the famous anime from Studio Ghibli can‘t be denied. „Porco Rosso“ is a pig that flies with old airplanes fighting off criminals.

It is a brand

As I mentioned earlier the beer was brewed in conjunction with Brewcats. Brewcats is what I like to call a marketing company that doesn't own any large scale brewing equipment or storage facility. They formulate the recipes and run a small scale test brew and then brew a batch at an actual brewery. If they come up with a new beer it can be bought in advance. Once they have sold the batch they start brewing on a brewerys premises, like for example the „Aito IPA“ was brewed by Hopping Brewsters. What they basically do is creating a brand. A brand that emphasis the value of equality, that woman (girls) of course can brew beer too. They have a lot of photos created that appeal to certain customers. It‘s an interesting concept from a marketing companys perspective. It is the 2010s - let‘s face it. Companies don‘t need to own anything. Airbnb is the largest hospitality company and owns no real-estate. Facebook is the largest media company and creates no content. Uber is the largest taxi service but owns no taxis.

The question is just: On whose back is all this done? On ours of course. We do the work and pay the price – later.

An interesting book on the topic brand is Naomi Klein's „No Logo“.

Making just wort is only a part of brewing

From my point of view brewing doesn't end with creating the wort. Brewing is fermentation, maturation and even filtration and bottling. I‘m currently in doubt that Brewcats do all this stuff on their own. I guess that brewing is reduced to the actual wort creation process and the rest is done by the actual brewery. It is basically BaaS – Beer as a Service. But of course I welcome you to prove me wrong in the comments.

Me and the brewery and the marketing company

To be honest I‘m not very fond of this extra layer that stands between me, the consumer, and the brewery. When a beer from one of the breweries I have tasted is pretty bad or odd the brewery needs to take the blame. With those extra layer first off all the marketing brand takes the blame and if they market too many shitty beers they don‘t need to fight for their reputation. Today they sell you beer the next day you can buy clothes from them. They come and go while the actual brewery stays. At one point also the reputation of the actual brewery is on the line, because when they put their name on the bottle it is also their beer and their responsibility. Here at Lautering only the actual brewery that is brewing the beer is in the database, means at Lautering the actually breweries reputation is on the line straight form the beginning. Only the title of the beer reflects which brand issued the beer. That makes it possible to distinguish between brands and breweries.

Sometimes the numbers don‘t add up

When I thought about the „Aito IPA“ I also thought about the amount brewed. As far as I understood it the beer was especially produced for that particular event in Tampere, which had about 500 visitors. Let‘s guesstimate and say they had about 1000 bottles. With 0.3l per bottle this makes 300 liters ~ 3hl that were needed to be brewed. That is nothing even in the world of micro brewing. An IBC (intermediate bulk container) can hold 1000 liter and that thing is pretty small. If you look at the brew kettles of for example Pyynikkin Brewery you will very fast understand that no one is brewing that low amounts per batch in a real brewing facility (brewing such amounts at home is different of course). My best guess is that they also sell the same beer under a different brand or they have produced a lot more.

Don‘t forget about the beer – Aito IPA

But enough about brand brewing. The „Aito IPA“ was pretty dark, I mean really dark, like a Porter or Stout. It came with a sweat bitterness, had a good mouthfullness, some nice little citric flavor, nice brown foam. But let‘s face it: Nothing special. Another IPA.  

The beer was poured from a bottle
Purity of Taste:
/ 10 | 1 = many off flavours ; 10 = sheer
Purity of Smell:
/ 10 | 1 = many off-flavours ; 10 = sheer
Intensity of Bitterness:
/ 5 | 1 = no bitterness ; 5 = bitter
Quality of Bitterness:
/ 10 | 1 = no quality ; 10 = high quality
/ 10 | 1 = no quality ; 10 = high quality
/ 5 | 1 = water ; 5 = masty
/ 5 | 1 = flat ; 5 = too tangy

Lautered: 4.00 out of 10
About the reviewer:
Dominik Jais's picture Dipl.-Braumeister (VLB Berlin) Dominik Jais is beer enthusiast writing beer reviews since 2001.
check Dominik Jaiss profile
Alc: 4.70% Vol.
Type: India Pale Ale (IPA)
Brewed by: Hopping Brewsters
Brewed in: Finland