The brewer and pubco’s head of international sales Gerry Tosh talked through the company’s plans for world craft beer domination at The Morning Advertiser’s Future Trends: Beer and Cider event in London yesterday (26 June).
In just four years, starting with just two staff on its international sales team, BrewDog had developed a global business from nothing.
Around 30 new bars will be added to the pubco’s international estate – a mix of managed and franchised – while plans to build breweries in China and Australia are being discussed, said Tosh.
“In the UK, we have done nothing but be the biggest craft brewer,” said Tosh. “Focusing on the UK was the right thing to do for the past 18 months, it’s helped us grow in places that we didn’t deserve to be in."
‘Triple sales in France’
Tosh continued: “France is our next UK and we will triple sales in France this year or even quadruple it to 70,000 hectolitres.”
A focus on China would also prove lucrative for BrewDog, as Tosh predicted the craft beer market there was soon set to explode.
“China is amazing, the Asian market for craft beer has rocketed and the beer industry there is going to take off and if you’re not there now then phone somebody and get in there,” he added.
Tosh put some of BrewDog’s success down to never compromising quality and revealed £500,000 worth of beer had been “flushed” because it was not good enough to be sold.
“Don’t ever skimp on the quality of the product that you make,” he said. “Make the best one you can, we flushed half-a-million-pounds worth of beer last year because it wasn’t good enough.”
That said, the biggest contributor to the business’s success was the fact owners James Watt and Martin Dickie took risks, he believed.
However, the risks taken by the founding duo could lead to the downfall of the company, Tosh conceded.
“James and Martin say they built the company yesterday, but they could shut it down tomorrow because they may have broken it.
“I asked James what he wanted to achieve and he wants to dominate the global market and be the biggest craft beer producer.”
The Future Trends: Beer and Cider event would like to thank sponsors and bar partners Aston Manor, Hop House 13, Kegstar, Smirnoff Cider, Vianet, Willis Publicity, The Brewers Association, BrewDog, Kentish Pip, HopStuff, Saxbys and the Society of Independent Brewers for making the event possible.