Burning Sky pulls beers from BrewDog over punk ideology

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

No thank you: brewery pulls beer from BrewDog bars
No thank you: brewery pulls beer from BrewDog bars
BrewDog’s ‘punk’ attitude and swagger has led Sussex-based brewer Burning Sky to pull its full range of beers from the Scottish company’s 29 UK and 17 international pubs.

The move was “a long time coming”, Burning Sky founder and head brewer Mark Tranter told The Morning Advertiser​.

BrewDog’s attitude towards the rest of the beer industry and its drive to become the world’s largest craft brewer struck a negative chord with Tranter.

He said: “There have been certain cases where they think they can take ownership of words where they think have a claim to it.

“When they started and came out with this beer [Punk], I doubt neither one of them [James Watt and Martin Dickie] were into punk rock, they just did it because it’s a name that is rebellious.

‘Wield the axe’

“And then they wield the axe towards this massive corporation, the Presley estate with Elvis Juice. We just don’t buy into it any more, but it’s not going to affect what we do.”

It was ironic that BrewDog, which has trademarked the word ‘punk’, had an issue with another organisation preventing them from using their trademarked brand, he added.

Not only was Tranter unhappy about the Scottish brewer and pub organisation’s general attitude in business, he claimed the company was also messing with the basis of craft and what it stands for.

He said: “They seem to be continuously shifting the goalposts on what is and is not craft to suit their own agenda.

“I keep hearing that when a small brewer, such as Camden, sells to a big brewer they [BrewDog] pull them out of their bars, but the thing is BrewDog wants to be like major brewers such as ABI.”

According to Tranter, he had full support from his team to make the decision and emphasised it had been a well-thought-out process.

‘The final nail in the coffin’

“Just their whole ‘I am punk’ marketing was the final nail in the coffin, so I put it to all of the staff here and there’s 100% support. If there was any doubt, I wouldn’t have done it,” he added.

“We don’t expect them to agree with us, but we don’t want BrewDog to be part of our reputation, especially since we feel we don’t have any common ground with those people.”

The Sussex brewer claimed the move would not leave his business out of pocket, as BrewDog was not a significant customer.

MA ​contacted BrewDog for comment but is still awaiting a response. However, the brewer’s MD of bars, David McDowall, told TotalAles.co.uk:​ “It’s sad to hear that Burning Sky has decided to stop supplying beer to BrewDog bars, as we have always championed the UK’s best craft breweries, and constantly strive to curate epic UK craft beer ranges for our bars.

“It’s a shame that our customers won't get the chance to enjoy their beers in our bars any more, but we’ll be making space in our fridges for even more amazing beer from new, up-and-coming breweries from across the UK and beyond.”

Meanwhile, BrewDog lost its battle with Elvis's estate and is no longer allowed to use the dead rock and roll singer's name​ on its beer.

Related topics: Beer, Ale & Stout, Lager

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