BrewDog is a multinational brewery and pub chain based in Ellon, Scotland. It was founded in 2007 by James Watt and Martin Dickie, who together own 46% of the company.[1]

BrewDog plc
Unlisted plc
Industrybrewing Edit this on Wikidata
Founded2007 (2007)
Production output
220,000 hectolitre capacity
OwnersJames Watt (25%), Martin Dickie (22%), TSG Consumer Partners (22%), other Board members (6%), members of the public (25%)[1] Edit this at Wikidata


BrewDog produces bottled and canned beers in a variety of styles such as ale, stout, India pale ale (IPA) and lager, some of which are also available in keg containers.

The bottled beers are distributed to British supermarkets and exported worldwide; kegs are available in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and in a selection of other countries around the world. In 2012, cask ale production was phased out. BrewDog produces about 2.2 million bottles and 400,000 cans per month in October 2015.


Hardcore India Pale Ale of BrewDog

BrewDog was founded in Fraserburgh in 2007 by James Watt and Martin Dickie.[2]

In 2009, BrewDog purchased their first bar, in nearby Aberdeen.[3] At the end of 2018, the company operated 78 bars worldwide.[4]

In 2011, BrewDog was described as "one of the prime movers"[5] behind the campaign which changed the law in 2011 to allow new beer measures in Britain.[6]

2011 also saw the company offered crowdfunding shares totalling £2 million, the equivalent of 8% of the capital of the company. The shares were sold at £23.75 and accompanied several benefits such as discounts in their bars and online purchase of their beers, and the opportunity to attend their annual shareholders meeting.[7]

The main brewing moved from Fraserburgh to nearby Ellon in 2012.

In February 2016, BrewDog open-sourced its beer recipes to the public, making them a form of Free Beer.[8][9]

Private equity firm, TSG Consumer Partners acquired a 22% stake in the company for approximately £213 million in April 2017.[10]

In February 2018, BrewDog announced that it plans to build a $30 million production brewery and tap room on an 11,000sqm greenfield site in the Metroplex complex at Murrarie, in Brisbane, Australia.[11]

In December 2019 BrewDog opened its first bar in Ireland, at the Capital Dock development in the upmarket Grand Canal Dock area of Dublin.[12]

As of December 2019, BrewDog has established 82 bars around the world, with 51 in the United Kingdom,[13] 5 in the United States of America[14] and 26 in the rest of the world.[15]


Squirrel container of BrewDog's The End of History beer in the BrewDog bar Camden, London

BrewDog's provocative marketing has been a key aspect of its business, and has gained them substantial international coverage.[16]

In 2008, BrewDog were challenged by UK drinks industry watchdog the Portman Group. Portman had claimed BrewDog to be in breach of their Code of Practice for the labelling of the Dead Pony IPA.[17][18] BrewDog denied these allegations and countered that Portman was impeding the development of smaller brewing companies.[19] In December 2008, after an 8-month long dispute and a preliminary adjudication which had ruled against the company, BrewDog were cleared of all breaches of the Code of Practice and were permitted to continue marketing their brands without making any changes to the packaging.[20] In protest to their targeting, BrewDog introduced "Speedball", saying "...we thought we would give them something worth banning us for...". Speedball was promptly banned by Portman[21] before being renamed as "Dogma".[22] BrewDog has produced progressively stronger beers of very high strength, and has laid claim to the title 'strongest beer ever brewed' on more than one occasion.

  • In 2009, its "Tokyo*" brew caused controversy when UK watchdog the Portman Group criticised the availability of a beer of that strength[which?] in 330 ml bottles with traditional crown caps.
  • Also in 2009, BrewDog launched a beer called "Tactical Nuclear Penguin", with 32% alcohol, which was claimed to be the strongest beer ever made.[23]
  • In 2010, BrewDog announced "Sink The Bismarck", an apparent 41% ABV[24][25] to reclaim the World's Strongest Beer title from Schorschbräu, who had produced a 40% ABV version of their Schorschbock.[26]
  • Also in 2010, BrewDog produced a 55% ABV freeze-distilled beer called "The End of History", with the bottles packaged in small stuffed animals, priced at £500 and £700 each.[27][28][29] Only 12 bottles were produced; 11 for retail sale, with the other one going to Internet video blog BeerTapTV.[30][31] BrewDog claimed that this set new records not only for alcoholic strength in a beer, but also for price. Advocates for Animals called the gimmick 'perverse'.[27]

The title "strongest beer of the world" then fell back to Mr Tscheuschner from the Schorschbräu brewery in Germany, whose Schorschbock 57 boasts an ABV of 57.5%.[32] The title for world's strongest beer has since changed again though, allegedly to Brewmeister's "Snake Venom" at a reputed 67.5%, although independent testing has yet to be published to confirm the ABV.[33]

In March 2017, BrewDog threatened legal action against an independent pub based in Birmingham, England called "Lone Wolf", a trademark owned by BrewDog. This led to accusations of hypocrisy and mockery of its 'punk' ethos.[34] A day later, after the story was reported in The Guardian, BrewDog director James Watt confirmed via Twitter that the company had no issue allowing the bar to use the name "Lone Wolf", despite it having already rebranded as "The Wolf".[35] The next day, further controversy arose over an alleged previous threat of legal action from BrewDog against a bar calling itself "Draft Punk" (in reference to the band Daft Punk).[36] BrewDog's Watt later released a blog statement citing the allegation as inaccurate, calling it an example of "opportunistic lies combined with inaccurate journalism", noting that BrewDog does also own the 'Punk' trademark for beer.[37]

In May 2019, Alex Myers, the CEO of PR agency Manifest London alleged on Twitter that BrewDog's new Alcohol free beer "Punk AF" used branding from a marketing brief they pitched while under retainer for PR services."[38] Alex Myers later went on to state that the issue had been amicably resolved after speaking with BrewDog.[39]

TV seriesEdit

James Watt and Martin Dickie also had a show in 2013 on American television network Esquire Network that lasted three seasons.[40] After the channel ceased operations, BrewDog decided to launch BrewDog Network, which features a selection of original content. [41]


BrewDog won the 2008 Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.[42]

Paradox Grain won a Gold Medal at the 2008 World Beer Cup in the Wood and Barrel-aged Strong Beer Category.[43]

BrewDog won the Tenon Entrepreneur of the Year Award for demonstrating exceptional vision and leadership at the 2008 National Business Awards for Scotland.[44]

The Physics won World's Best Strong Pale Ale (Sub Category Winner) and Rip Tide won World's Best Imperial Stout (Style Trophy Winner) at the 2007 World Beer Awards, an annual competition organised by Beers of the World magazine.[45]

Hardcore IPA won Gold at the 2010 World Beer Cup in the Imperial IPA category.[46]

In 2012, BrewDog revealed that Diageo had threatened to withdraw funding from BII Scotland's annual awards if BrewDog was named winner of the Best Bar Operator award.[47] Diageo later apologised to BrewDog for what they called a "serious misjudgement by Diageo staff".[48][49]

In 2018, it achieved a 2-star accreditation from Best Companies. In 2019, it achieved the lower 1-star accreditation, with a BCI score of 666.2.[50]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Equity for Punks Investment Prospectus": 32–35. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ "BrewDog founders collar MBE honours". 10 June 2016. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  3. ^ "BrewDog buys first pub". Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  4. ^ "BrewDog opens bar at Edinburgh airport". Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  5. ^ "Schooner or later it had to happen…" Archived 12 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine, 4 January 2011, Beer Today
  6. ^ Barnett, Laura (5 January 2011). "A schooner of lager? Or how about a jigger of whisky?". Retrieved 17 December 2016 – via The Guardian.
  7. ^ Moules, Jonathan; Correspondent, Enterprise (7 August 2013). "Crowdfunding draws angel investors". Financial Times. ISSN 0307-1766. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  8. ^ BrewDog "open-sources" its beer recipes on Scottish Business News Network (25 February 2016)
  9. ^ BrewDog’s open-source revolution is at the vanguard of postcapitalism by Paul Mason on The Guardian (29 February 2016)
  10. ^ "Beer firm BrewDog toasts US investment". 9 April 2017 – via
  11. ^ "Brewdog". Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Brewdog". Retrieved 12 December 2019.
  13. ^ "BrewDog". Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  14. ^ "BrewDog". Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  15. ^ "BrewDog". Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  16. ^ "BrewDog: A marketing lesson for everyone" Archived 16 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine,
  17. ^ "Dead Pony Club ale breaches alcohol marketing Code". Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  18. ^ Crighton, Ryan (14 November 2008). "BrewDog Vs Portman". Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  19. ^ "BrewDog calls for Portman to be scrapped". Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  20. ^ "BrewDog brands given all clear". Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  21. ^ Sweney, Mark (20 January 2009). "Speedball beer banned". Retrieved 17 December 2016 – via The Guardian.
  22. ^ "Pub News & Pub Property Search for the UK pub trade". Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  23. ^ 'World's strongest' beer with 32% strength launched, BBC News 26 November 2009.
  24. ^ Sterling, Colin (16 February 2010). "Sink the Bismarck!: Brewery Releases World's Strongest Beer At 41% ABV". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  25. ^ "Sink the Bismarck! by BrewDog". YouTube. 16 February 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  26. ^ "New world's strongest beer is 40 per cent lager".
  27. ^ a b "'Perverse' animal beer bottles sell out in hours". BBC News. 23 July 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
  28. ^ Stuart Patterson (23 July 2010). "Scottish brewery introduces world's costliest beer at £700 a bottle.. and it comes in a stuffed squirrel". Daily Record. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
  29. ^ Brian Lilley (22 July 2010). "Scottish brewer offers beer packed in roadkill". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
  30. ^ "@GirlsPintOut Drinks The "End Of History"". YouTube. 6 November 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  31. ^ "The End of History". 22 July 2010. Archived from the original on 29 October 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  32. ^ Andreas Benz (21 March 2006). "Willkommen beim Schorschbräu - Die handwerkliche Kleinbrauerei im Fränkischen Seenland". Archived from the original on 16 April 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  33. ^ "Brewmeister - 100% Scottish Craft Beer".
  34. ^ Davies, Rob (26 March 2017). "BrewDog accused of hypocrisy after forcing pub to change name" – via
  35. ^ Davies, Rob (27 March 2017). "BrewDog backs down over Lone Wolf pub trademark dispute" – via
  36. ^ Davies, Rob (28 March 2017). "BrewDog threatened lawsuit against plan for bar with 'punk' in name" – via
  38. ^ "BrewDog Punk AF launch sours: 'The idea is clearly derived from our pitch' says ex-agency". The Drum. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  39. ^ Myers, Alex (15 May 2019). "Just to update everyone on the @BrewDog tweet from last week: we have discussed the matter amicably with BrewDog, and there is no longer an issue". @AlexMyers. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  40. ^ "BREW DOGS IMDb page". IMDb. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  41. ^ Spangler, Todd; Spangler, Todd (27 August 2018). "Beer Company BrewDog Debuts Streaming-Video Service in Latest Niche SVOD Move". Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  42. ^ 2008 Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust Awards Archived 1 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  43. ^ "2008 World Beer Cup Winners". Retrieved 10 May 2012.[permanent dead link]
  44. ^ 2008 National Business Awards for Scotland Archived 2 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  45. ^ "2007 World Beer Awards". 20 June 2010. Archived from the original on 7 September 2009. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  46. ^ "Hardcore IPA wins Gold at the 2010 World Beer Cup". Archived from the original on 13 December 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  47. ^ "Diageo Screw BrewDog". BrewDog. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  48. ^ "Statement regarding the 2012 BII Scotland Annual Awards". Diageo. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  49. ^ "Scottish beer company BrewDog forces Diageo to apologise over 'dirty tricks' at awards". The Telegraph. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  50. ^ "Brewdog: BCI". best companies.

External linksEdit