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The History of BrewDog

BrewDog might seem like an overnight success story but how did one of the UK’s largest independent breweries grow so popular? Well while it might seem like it, it didn’t happen overnight let’s chronicle the history of BrewDog and see how they became so popular.

The BrewDog story started in 2007 when the company was founded by Martin and James. At only 24 years old was a passion brocket because they were bored with the prevalence of industrially brewed lagers.

The First 4 Years

BrewDog originally started out with only small batches and was sold at markets and locally around Fraserburgh. In 2008 BrewDog began making inroads to expansion and produced what was at the time the UK’s strongest beer Tokyo.

The beer received significant attention in the press which wasn’t always positive. However, during 2008 BrewDog started to export to other countries like America and Japan. After a successful year by the end of 2008 BrewDog was already Scotland’s largest independent brewery. 

2009 was the time of the credit crisis but BrewDog continued to grow and dethroned Tokyo with Tactical Nuclear Penguin whish was 32% alcohol! They also allowed people to buy shares in the company online. Their beers began to grow significantly more popular overseas as well.

The end of the decade was a little quieter for BrewDog, but they did open their first craft beer bar in Aberdeen during this time. They also received the Gold Medal for Hardcore IPA at the World Beer Cup as well! Overall, in just four years BrewDog had grown to be one of the most recognised breweries in the UK and overseas. 

A New Decade

2011 and 2012 showed that BrewDog was ready to start this new decade with a bang! During these two years, they opened up numerous new craft beer bars including one in the capital city of London and moved to a new start of the art brewery and HQ in Ellon.

The awards kept coming for BrewDog as they were awarded the Fastest Growing Company in Scotland and listed in The Sunday Times Fast Track 100. They also opened their share program once more which so investments of over 2 million pounds.

2013 so the launch on the BrewDogs TV show on US television which offered a closer look and the countries craft brewers. The first international BrewDog bar open in Stockholm which was quickly joined by international bars in Japan and Brazil only a year later in 2014!

This growth continued in 2015 with 17 new bards opening globally. New beers where being introduced all the time as well with the BrewDog range growing significantly and the BrewDogs Tv show receiving both a second and third season.

Breaking Records

In 2016 alone BrewDog broke more records for one thing they held the record for the most years on the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 and continued to raise more money. Their range of beers had also grown to a huge 82 which included alcohol-free beers as well. For 2017 BrewDog celebrated a decade of business with the Unicorn Fund.

Unlike the mythical animal, it’s named after this was a very real pledge that BrewDog called “a new blueprint for 21st-century business”. The Unicorn Fund pledged to give away 20% of profits every year with 10% going to charity and the other half going to their crew.

2018 was a little quieter in some respects but it did see the introduction of the world’s first craft beer hotel! Named the Dog House this hotel was opened new to the main BrewDog brewery in Columbus.

Over the next few years, BrewDog continued to go from strength to strength and is now one of the most recognisable names in craft beer all around the world. In 2020 they also opened the world’s first non-alcoholic beer bar in London.

The BrewDog AF bar was launched alongside the “Drink All You Can” campaign. The campaign offered free refills for any BrewDog alcohol-free beer in a BrewDog establishment. BrewDog has quite a few impressive alcohol-free beers in their range and they are often credited as one of the breweries responsible for making alcohol-free beverages more popular.

They can be quoted as saying they felt craft beer had the power to “remove the stigma” around alcohol-free beer. Explaining that “alcohol-free didn’t mean taste-free” so if you are keen to try some high-quality alcohol-free beer why not give BrewDog a try?

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