Beer Review: ALD IPA // Punk IPA // Anti Establishment – BrewDog & Aldi

Happy New Year folks! Thank you to everyone who has read a post of mine over the last year. It’s been incredibly fun to do and has helped get me through some of these lockdown woes. To ring in 2021 I’ve got a special first post of the year: A Tale of Three Tinnies!

A few months back there was some social media banter going on with Aldi (the supermarket chain) and craft beer giants BrewDog. Aldi had released an own brand IPA titled ‘Anti Establishment’ whose can design bore a striking resemblance to that of BrewDog’s original ‘Punk IPA’ cans. After a lighthearted back and forth between the two social media teams, an idea was born to create ‘ALD IPA’ a 4.7% ABV ‘Own Brand IPA’. As such I thought I’d do a comparative review of all three beers and see how they match up.

It’s only appropriate to start with the original. Not only the original of this trio but a beer that some might argue help kick off the craft beer craze. ‘Punk IPA’ pours a amber gold almost marmalade like colour. Quite clear with a rising carbonation. Has a punchy tropical nose full of pineapple while also having that classic citrus grapefruit mixed in as well. It’s got a great hop to the body while still being crisp and fresh to drink. A nice bite to the finish helps round it off.

Next up is the imitation, ‘Anti Establishment’. Pours similar in colour to Punk, perhaps a few shades darker overall, with a large, fluffy white head. It has quite a nice aroma to it with a heavy dose of citrus. The citrus hop flavours are there but it is astringently bitter, almost to the point of being unpleasant. Bitterness is there from start to finish and the overall body lacks complexity.

Lastly the beer the review is really about: ‘ALD IPA’. As is evident from the photos it is visually distinct from the other two beers. A more straw gold to the beer with carbonation rising up to the head. Pineapple heavy on the nose with grapefruit coming through on the aroma as well, very similar to Punk. Good clean flavour to the beer. Lighter on the hop but still has a punchy tropical taste on the body. A good level of carbonation pushes those flavours around the mouth. The finish has a classic hop bitterness but with a touch of malty sweetness too.

A quick note on the can art: Focusing on the ALD IPA only, I think they’ve done a hilariously clever design. Used all the Aldi colours while going for a well named beer too.

What are my overall thoughts on the three beers? Well ‘Punk IPA’ has been done to death, but in short it’s the ideal fridge filler. It’s not doing anything wild and groundbreaking but it’s tasty and refreshing while providing a change from the standard macro lagers you might stick in the fridge. ‘Anti Establishment’ on the other hand is not my cup of tea. I’ve done a variety of own brand reviews from both Aldi and Lidl and while many have been good and cracking value for money this one is unfortunately indicative of it’s price. Lacking the flavour of Punk while also being overbearingly bitter at times. It’s a passable beer but not one I’d personally pick up again.

For a beer that was constructed from some social media banter (and I imagine brewed with a quick turnaround) ALD IPA a solid brew. Different enough from Punk IPA to be noticeable but realistically a very similar brew. It is a great alternative to the original at a lighter more sessionable ABV. Importantly, however, it managed to taste good while also being a good laugh in these tougher times.

Punk IPA – Score: 7/10

Anti Establishment – Score: 4.5/10

ALD IPA – Score: 7/10

Thanks for reading! Cheers!

If you’d like a snappier version of my reviews check out my Instagram!

Additional Information (Punk IPA)

  • Hops: Chinook, Simcoe, Ahtanum, Nelson Sauvin
  • Malt: Marris Otter, Extra Pale
  • IBU: 35
  • ABV: 5.2%
  • Gluten Free: No
  • Vegan: Yes!
  • Purchase Location: BrewDog Web-Shop

Additional Information (Anti Establishment)

  • Hops: Not Available
  • Malt: Not Available
  • IBU: Not Available
  • ABV: 5.6%
  • Gluten Free: No
  • Vegan: No
  • Purchase Location: Aldi

Additional Information (ALD IPA)

  • Hops: Not Available
  • Malt: Not Available
  • IBU: Not Available
  • ABV: 4.7%
  • Gluten Free: No
  • Vegan: Yes!
  • Purchase Location: BrewDog Web-Shop

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