A timeline: how BrewDog became what it is today

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Partnership: Martin Dickie (left) and James Watt created BrewDog 10 years ago
Partnership: Martin Dickie (left) and James Watt created BrewDog 10 years ago

Related tags: James watt, Beer

From its conception with two employees and a dog in 2007 to its global success of today, The Morning Advertiser sets out the history of BrewDog – warts and all.

Health campaigners in Scotland slammed the release of BrewDog’s 12% ABV stout.

However, the Scottish brewer claimed the beer was for connoisseurs and to be savoured, not drunk irresponsibly.

BrewDog in numbers

  • 27: number of UK pubs
  • 14: number of European sites
  • 3: number of international sites
  • 28: number of beers
  • 1: number of spirits

BrewDog acquired its first pub – the Marischal in Aberdeen.

The microbrewer bought the freehold of the pub, which only served BrewDog beers for an undisclosed fee. The site had been closed for two years prior to BrewDog.

BrewDog revealed plans to launch a pub chain by the end of 2010.

Owners James Watt and Martin Dickie wanted to build on the growth of the business and continue to ‘tackle’ a culture of mass-produced cheap drinks.

An eight-month battle against the industry watchdog the Portman Group left BrewDog baying for the organisation's blood and called for it to be scrapped.

Three of the brewer’s beer brands came under fire following an audit of drinks packaging by the Portman’s Independent Complaints Panel.

However, after a lengthy discussion lasting most of 2008, the drinks were cleared.

BrewDog announced a 250% growth in sales for the first quarter of 2010.

The brewer was producing more than 400,000 bottles of its Beer for Punks each month across 17 different countries.

BrewDog claimed it had created the most alcoholic and expensive beer is the world.

End of History was 55% ABV and cost £500 for a 330ml bottle.

Just 12 bottles were brewed and encased in seven dead stoats, four squirrels and a hare, which were created by a taxidermist, according to the Scottish brewer.

Expansion plans for 2012 including the possibility of a site abroad were unveiled by BrewDog.

The Scottish brewer and pub operator revealed it was looking to open 10 pubs in 2012 with Europe as the main focus, but there had been talks about Tokyo too.

Original plans were to open five bars throughout the year, but due to the company’s success, this increases to 10.

After securing £551,000 in funding from the Scottish Government, BrewDog told The Morning Advertiser ​it would move into soft drinks.

The Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation scheme provided the funding to expand brewery operations and develop a range of 'malt-based soft drinks'.

BrewDog reported a fifth consecutive year of record growth and said it was on track to turnover £20m, up from £12m in 2012.

It also planned to create more than 50 new jobs in the following six months, including key management positions.

The pub operator and brewer opened its first craft beer bottle shop near King’s Cross, London.

BottleDog stocked more than 250 different bottled beers, including its own range and craft beers from other UK and international breweries.

Co-founder James Watt claimed the shop would have the “most extensive craft beer selection you could get your hands on in London” with beers from across the world.

BrewDog broke the world record for the most amount of money made through crowdfunding, raising £10m through its Equity for Punks campaign.

This was the Scottish brewer's fourth wave of fundraising, and investors were also given the chance to buy bonds as well as equity.

Coffee roasters Dear Green and BrewDog joined forces to offer a bespoke coffee from the brewer’s UK bars with takeaway and packs of pre-ground beans also available.

The group stated brewers felt “a natural synergy” with coffee as the roasting process was similar to beer production.

The launch of a new distillery meant BrewDog made its mark in the spirits market.The move followed the brewer's first dabbling in the spirits sector in 2013 where it launched a 35% ABV distilled beer named WattDickie.

BrewDog founders Martin Dickie and James Watt were awarded MBEs in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Watt hailed the accolade as “amazing to have been awarded something so prestigious”.

Five years after BrewDog failed to attend the Great British Beer Festival, the brewer announced the launch of a new, 'live' key-keg version of its popular Dead Pony Club ale.

The beer was compatible with the Campaign for Real Ale’s guidelines on what constitutes a real ale, thanks to its key-keg process and a final fermentation in the keg.

The Scottish brewer announced it would open its first US pub and headquarters Stateside.

DogTap opened its doors on 20 February and included a 10,000sq ft taproom alongside a restaurant.

A crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the ‘world’s first’ craft beer hotel was launched by BrewDog.

DogHouse will be attached to the brewer’s new US sour beer facility in Columbus, Ohio.

CEO and co-founder James Watt lauded the design of the new site “the new happiest place on earth”.

Related news

Show more

Related products

Growing Your Business By Going Multiple

Growing Your Business By Going Multiple

William Reed Business Media | 11-Apr-2018 | Product Brochure

The Morning Advertiser’s comprehensive Growing Your Business By Going Multiple guide aims to help you build on the success of your first pub by growing...

Bar Essentials Guide

Bar Essentials Guide

Information not available | 23-Oct-2017 | Insight Guide

Spirits continue to be the fuel for growth of alcoholic drinks in the on-trade, tapping into consumer trends for premiumisation, choice and experience.

Related suppliers