BrewDog v Portman Group: it's back on

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Tokyo creators James Watt (L) and Martin Dickie (R) face a Portman investigation
Tokyo creators James Watt (L) and Martin Dickie (R) face a Portman investigation
Hostilities between BrewDog and Portman Group are set to resume following two complaints against Britain's strongest beer.

Hostilities between controversial Scottish brewer BrewDog and drinks watchdog Portman Group are set to resume following two complaints against Britain's strongest beer — the 18.2%abv Tokyo stout.

BrewDog has been involved in a long running spat with Portman after it investigated, but later cleared, its three best selling beers — Riptide, Punk IPA and Hop Rocker — of breaching Portman's responsible marketing code earlier this year.

In response, BrewDog launched Speedball to deliberately provoke Portman into further action.

The Scottish brewer threatened legal action for defamation before dropping the threat in February.

BrewDog launched Britain's strongest beer Tokyo two weeks ago — sparking a furore from the health lobbyists.

The new complaints to the Portman Group were made by Alcohol Focus Scotland and one member of the public on the basis that:

• Brewdog had claimed it was Britain's strongest beer

• It had not promoted a positive message of safe and responsible drinking

• It does not promote a positive message of safe and responsible drinking

• Use of the phrase "intergalactic fantastic imperial stout" in marketing points to hallucinogenic qualities

• Use of the following statement on BrewDog's website: "It is all about moderation. Everything in moderation, including moderation itself. What logically follows is that you must, from time, have excess. This beer is for those times."

BrewDog founder James Watt said: "Interestingly, we have not been told which sections of the Code of Practice we have specifically violated this time.

"We eagerly await to be updated on this, having reviewed the code we have struggled to see what we have done wrong."

He added: "Tokyo is priced responsibly at £9.99 per 330ml bottle. For less money you can buy 700ml of a cheap whisky or vodka and 2 liters of 14% wine.

"The fact that they are so quick to jump to the conclusion that a high-end, limited edition beer like Tokyo is at the route of the country's alcohol problems is evidence that they are looking for scapegoats and we are an easy target for them.

"Responsible drinking is at the core of what we do because the types of beers we brew actually encourages responsible consumption and a better understanding of beer."

A Portman Group spokesman said: "We can confirm two complaints were received under three sections of the code. The Independent Complaints Panel will now look into the complaints further."

Related topics: Beer

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