The Democratic Republic of Beer

Summary:Ale crafted by the people, for the people. A British brew pub crowdsources its recipe.

Beer by the people, for the people. BrewDog staff flash the crowdsourced ingredients.


British brew pub chain BrewDog makes some great ales. When its owners wanted to create another, they asked the public to mix up the recipe. Thirsty beer drinkers promptly took to Twitter, Facebook and the BrewDog blog, sending their impassioned suggestions to co-founder and brew master Martin Dickie at headquarters near Aberdeen.

Get ready for their creation: #Mashtag.

Popular choice? This is one of several labels in public contention to slap onto #Mashtag.

Available next month, #Mashtag will be an "American brown ale" full of New Zealand hops, infused with hazelnuts and aged on oak chips (if a few weeks counts as "aged").

"Mashtag was an epic experiment in crowdsourcing, which handed the keys to the brewery over to craft beer drinkers for a week," the brewery says on its website. "The beer is currently fermenting away nicely in tank."

You might have missed the five-day chance to weigh in with your favorite malt and hops suggestion in late March. Don't fret. Through today you can help design the #Mashtag label by clicking on the link in the previous paragraph and voting on the choices. I like the one pictured to the right above, but don't let me influence you.

One other point about #Mashtag. It will have a 7.5 percent alcohol content. That's staggering for a beer. If you're not careful it could have you slurring your tweets in no time. So you might want to crowdsource a designated driver.

Mash Appeal. The photo that advertised BrewDog's appeal for an ale recipe


Photos from BrewDog

This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Mark Halper has written for TIME, Fortune, Financial Times, the UK's Independent on Sunday, Forbes, New York Times, Wired, Variety and The Guardian. He is based in Bristol, U.K. Follow him on Twitter.

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