Budget-friendly serviced apartments above beer on tap
When James Watt and Martin Dickie brewed their first beer for their fledgling company BrewDog, it can only have been in their wildest dreams that at some point their creation would be enjoyed in... a shower. But that’s exactly what’s on offer at the newly opened BrewDog Kennels located above one of their three bars in Aberdeen.
Opened in November 2019, the serviced apartments give a glimpse into BrewDog hospitality, which can be fully experienced in their DogHouse Hotel in Ohio. With only six rooms available – each named after a BrewDog beer and stuffed full of branded products plus cool extras – the Kennels have a very exclusive pedigree.
Located on Union Street, next to a blink and you’ll miss it sign, the Kennels are part of the Royal Athenaeum apart-hotel suites, but couldn’t look more different. After winding our way around the maze of doors we found ourselves stepping from a standard hotel corridor to pure BrewDog style – with industrial light fittings, fold-up bikes on the walls and the familiar graffiti by Craig Fisher.
Budget or boutique?
Rooms, all of which have kitchen and living areas, are from £75 a night, making this a cool, budget-friendly way to explore Aberdeen.
My room, Punk IPA, opened up into a bedroom with a galley style kitchen, bathroom and cosy living room beyond. Dark grey walls are the backdrop for beer-themed artwork and the pièce de résistance – a red neon Good Ship BrewDog sign above the bed. Accessories include tweed cushions and more industrial lights, and in the living room, there’s a vintage vibe with a tile-topped coffee table, guitar hung on the wall and a record player.
The shower room could do with better lighting, but the Elvis Juice toiletries, BrewDog branded dressing gown and beer fridge make up for slightly smudged makeup.
Wining and dining
In the Castlegate bar downstairs you’ll find posh pub grub of burgers, pizza, wings and hot dogs with a good veggie and vegan selection. Plus a changing array of IPA, lager and sour beers. For something a bit more upmarket, Esslemont – a former department store turned restaurant – is just up the street. Celebrated restaurant Moonfish cafe, run by MasterChef’s Brian McLeish is a five-minute walk. Breakfast is only served in the bar at weekends but guests are more than welcome to pop into the Union Square BrewDog for brunch-style dishes such as waffles and eggs Benedict.
Worth getting out of bed for
BrewDog’s brewery is located about a 20-minute drive away in Ellon and visitors can enjoy a tour of the brewery, offices and distillery before tucking into lunch at the DogTap bar.
Aberdeen’s art scene is also flourishing thanks to the re-opening of the newly redeveloped Aberdeen Art Gallery, which is well worth a visit.
The Nuart (free) Walking Tour is an excellent way to see some of Aberdeen’s street art as well as a chance to explore the city.
Further afield you’ll find Glen Garioch Distillery, Fyvie Castle and Pitmedden Gardens. Craft beer fans can embark on a city pub crawl starting at BrewDog Castlegate before heading to Fierce Beer (just around the corner), then the two other BrewDog bars.
Guests wanting to embrace the full BrewDog experience should download the Hop Drop app and order food and drinks from the bar, which will be brought to the room by the friendly staff. Cans can be stored in the beer fridge in the bathroom and enjoyed in the shower thanks to the handy holder.
Coffee beans and a grinder, tea bags and milk are all provided, as are handy recipe cards and a guide of nearby bars and restaurants.
Being BrewDog, the rooms are all dog-friendly and have K9 stations with a bowl for water or food.
The BrewDog Kennels are a cool, memorable place to stay in an ideal location for visiting Aberdeen. The team has brought the style and spirit of the DogHouse Hotel and its reverence for great beer to these apartments.
BrewDog Kennels, 15 Union Street, Aberdeen AB11 5BU (01224 586650, www.brewdog.com/uk/locations/hotels/brewdog-kennels/aberdeen)