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Brewdog siktar på USA och hotell – har nu 35 000 investerare
Brewdog är på väg mot nästa utmaning, ett bryggeri USA. Kolla in intervjun om allt om Brewdogs framtida planer.
Skotska bryggeriet Brewdog är ett fenomen, deras tillväxttakt har varit fantastisk sedan starten 2007 och det verkar som den fortsätter i samma tempo. Med nya ”punks” som investerare så ska de starta bryggeri i USA, starta hotell och dra igång sprit-tillverkning – allt på samma gång! Det är så som Martin Dickie och James Watt jobbar liksom….
Lika bra att kolla vad deras ambitioner är och hur de har lyckats med allt de lyckats med – jag tog och intervjuade dem helt enkelt…
Only 8 years down the road and you have a fantastic set-up with brewery, bars and an international reputation that are worth a lot – did you ever think you would come this far?
– We hoped that we would, but we never envisaged what we have today – I don’t think anyone could have predicted what we are now compared to where we started. We’ve grown from two men and a dog to 365 staff, exporting to 55 countries and opening 35 bars since 2010. We’ve been the Sunday Times’ fastest growing food and drinks brand for the last three years, and we have an insane 35,000 shareholders across the planet – it’s mental.
– It’s a phenomenal place to be, and it’s thanks to our incredible team, without our people we never would have got half as far as we have. And of course our army of Equity Punks who have enabled us to scale up without needing to turn to the faceless suits at banks who know nothing about hops.
When did you have to pinch your arm the first time not believing this development could occur?
– We’re always pinching our arms, but we’ve come this far, and we won’t settle for anything less than world domination! We love the fact that behind us we have thousands of craft beer-obsessed comrades, who have all taken our beer and our company to heart – it’s humbling. We’re selfish and we make the beers we want to drink, but we owe our success to our team and the awesome army of shareholders we have embracing and shaping everything we do.
What are your explanation to this immense success? Apart from brewing a great beer that is.
– Everything we do is driven by our dedication to make the world a better place through great beer, and this is evident across everything we create. Being alternative in our thinking, challenging convention and pushing boundaries in brewing was pretty rare at the time we launched and we feel it is these beliefs that have driven us to where we are today. We are uncompromising in our approach; we make the beers we want to drink. Luckily, it seems other people want to drink them too…
– We’d rather spend time developing a beer that’s a little more difficult to create than quickly throwing together something bland for the sake of a sale.
When was the tipping point when you decided to make it big? Already when starting your first brewery or later than that?
– We’ve always just wanted to make great beer. Our beer is the ultimate goal and “making it big” will never be something we’re setting in our crosshairs – ultimately, it;s all about the beer.
Provocation has been one of your trademarks, using a tank when ”invading” London and having a funeral when opening your first bar in Sweden – is that still as important as it was in the beginning?
– We’re not going to change our personality as we grow. We recently created a #TaxidermyTaxi service in Brighton, where we gave people rides up from the pier to our new bar on a dead donkey. We’re proud of our irreverence, it’s what makes us, us.
You emphazise the craft beer spirit in your communication – what would you say is the perfect definition of craft beer?
– Craft beer is beer made with passion and skill by people who give a shit about beer.
– It’s an amazing scene to be a part of right now, and it’s unrecognizable compared to the landscape of the industry when we started out in 2007 – the craft beer sector in the UK is fierce and rapidly acquiring an array of brilliant new breweries. With the amount of beers now on offer, your product needs to be outstanding to rise above the rest. If you’re starting out as a brewer, the beer you make should be the reason, not the sales potential. You won’t get far on the bandwagon with so much incredible beer already out there.
What do you think of the craft beer breweries that are being sold to bigger players on the beer market? Do you think we will see more of those transactions in the future?
– Faceless conglomerates who don’t care about the quality of beer will unfortunately continue to make obscene deals to fatten their wallets, but that fate will never become our brewery. We will not allow fat cats to ruin our beer, we will always provide a haven for craft beer fans, and we’ll never sell out to a monolithic corporation.
Your success in Sweden have been very big and I think I’ve read somewhere that Sweden is your second biggest market? Why do you think the Swedish beer drinkers have liked you so much?
– Scandinavia is in fact the biggest export market for BrewDog’s craft offerings and since opening our initial Stockholm location in 2013, the community of craft beer lovers across Sweden has grown immensely every day. When we started out, Sweden was one of the first countries to want our beer, and we have an awesome relationship with our distributor as well as all the people who drink our beer in Sweden, including all three of our bar venues in Stockholm & Gothenburg.
– We’re incredibly excited to be developing our very close relationship with that kickass country all the time – Sweden, we love you.
Foto: Joel Linderoth
You have made the Hello-series with the Ingrid-version that was something in the horseway as we say in Sweden and now comes the Holy Moose, what can you say about that beer? And what can you say about the filming of the impressive movie?
– In the lands of the long, low light, there dwells a mysterious, seldom-seen creature. The Holy Moose. On his broad, furred shoulders, the weight of craft beer in those lands is supported. Behind his fearsome antlers, the defence of this modern way of life is waged. But even today, he is a threatened species. The forces of bland, industrial beer have gripped the Nordic region with fingers as strong as iron – Our mission to provide a banner around which the Holy Moose can rally has arrived!
– Holy Moose is a eulogy to the Nordic region in beer form.
You now have around 35 000 share holders and asking for some more, how many do you want to become? Is there even a limit?
We’re in the middle of a massive crowdfunding campaign selling even more equity, so that number is set to continue growing! Our shareholders are our friends, our community and the heart and soul of our business. Equity for Punks IV launched in April this year and since then we have already doubled the number of shareholders we have worldwide.
You have brewed beers together with the brewery CAP here in Sweden, are there any more collab plans for the future?
– Hell yeah – we’re always on the look out for awesome new breweries to partner with and create new beers with. We’ve collaborated with loads of breweries worldwide and we’re always keen coming up with some new creations with like-minded brewers from all over the planet.
When trying to get in more shareholders you are announcing that you are looking for more bars to open – where are your dream locations? Will we get some more Brewdog bars in Sweden?
– Our network of bars and BottleDogs is never static – we want as many people as possible to enjoy amazing beer in the ideal environment, staffed by craft beer obsessed hop heads who are trained on all aspects of beer, history, serve, styles and everything in between. And our bars are just the place. – As such, we will always have irons in the fire. At any one time, potential BrewDog bars and projects are in the works across the globe, and our current hit list includes spots in Oxford, Plymouth, Thailand, Austria, Greece, New Zealand and Russia. We’re more than a little bit busy…
New brewery in Columbus, Ohio, USA
You will also start a brewery in the States – what are the most important reason to do that? Have you already found the location? Where?
– Columbus Ohio! It’s so so exciting and we’re psyched to be launching a brewery Stateside in Summer 2016. We have started work on the site already and its looking awesome!
– We’ll be constructing a full-scale 100,000 square foot kick ass craft brewery there, giving our legion of North American friends access to the freshest BrewDog beer imaginable.
– It’s been a long time in coming, but we are proud to declare that we are heading to the land of Independence! It makes more sense for us to brew our beer in America than ship it over as we cannot control the environment it’s housed in when it’s shipped, and the quality of the beer is everything. We’d rather not ship it at all than ship it and have it show up tasting anything less than perfect.
Of all the beers you’ve brewed, are there any that you’d say are more important than the others? Some that you’ve brewed that you wouldn’t brew again?
– Punk IPA is the beer that started the revolution – our scene-splitting flagship brew that has become BrewDog’s most popular offering. New world hops throw the doors open to an explosion of tropical fruit with a slightly bitter finish. This Pale Ale is the byword for craft beer; nothing will ever be the same!
Building a beer hotel in Scotland
Considering your massive growth, where do you think you will be in 5 years – in 2020?How many bars? How many breweries? How many people involved?
– Producing amazing craft beer will always be our main goal and our mission is, and always has been, to make other people as passionate about craft beer as we are. We’re always working hard to find new ways to get amazing beer into people’s paws, and being able to put projects in place like the beer hotel – which will feature Punk IPA on tap in every room – allows us to bring our passion to new people.
– In addition to the hotel, we are also working on plans to bring a craft distillery to life, where our craft beer will form the basis of a range of innovative BrewDog-based gins, vodkas and whiskys. Funds raised from Equity for Punks IV will also go toward new bar openings across Europe and the UK, launching a sour beer facility, work on our USA brewing site, expanding our range of canned beers and loads more.
– We’re doing loads of cool stuff and we have a huge amount more in the pipeline, but in five years time it’s probably a fair guess that we’ll be way beyond the realms of whatever we try and imagine right now.
At last, there are some people talking about fear of a craft beer bubble – what’s your thoughts on that kind of theories?
– The craft beer sector in the UK is growing rapidly. It’s a very collaborative industry and we love the fact that there are so many passionate people that care as much about beer as we do. We love to inspire, work with and learn from other beer makers and BrewDog also promotes a collaborative effort.
– A bubble? No way. Craft beer will, like us, continue to grow and tackle taste buds world over. BrewDog have a beer for everyone and we’re making it our mission to find you. The breweries only in it for a quick buck will fall by the wayside and the amazing, artisanal beer craftspeople will come out on top to trump a dystopian landscape of mediocre beer.