BrewDog unveils ambitious 12 month ‘Blueprint’

James Watt and Martin Dickie
James Watt and Martin Dickie

BrewDog has unveiled ‘The BrewDog Blueprint’; an ambitious business manifesto packed with more than 30 initiatives that will see it evolve its beers and business, as well as how it collaborates with and supports its global community and industry over the next 12 months and beyond.

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The content and the project scope within the document were generated in collaboration with the brewers’ 90,000-strong community of shareholders, who contributed to the themes and focus areas via BrewDog’s Equity Punk Forum.

As part of its commitment to contributing positively the UK craft brewing scene, BrewDog will be hosting an open day at its brewery in Aberdeenshire, inviting anyone who works for a UK independent craft brewer to visit the facility, attend seminars on subjects from sales to brewing, to export and quality.

The Blueprint also reveals a number of new product and distribution innovations the brewery has been working on. First of these is The Hop Hub, its new distribution centre near Glasgow which is set to be Europe’s first fully refrigerated beer warehouse.

The launch of Hop Hub will mean BrewDog will establish Europe’s first fully chilled supply chain. This investment is a testament to BrewDog’s commitment to beer quality, as it looks to keep beer cold for as long as possible in the supply chain. Hop Hub should launch with refrigeration from November.

The Blueprint also unveils the BrewDog Foundation, a £1million annual fund that will be donated to charitable causes chosen by the brewery’s team and Equity Punks.

This is an evolution of its Unicorn Fund that launched in 2016, and saw BrewDog share 10% of its profits amongst its team, which was extended to include a further 10% of profits being shared to charities.

To help smaller breweries flourish, the Blueprint also reveals that the BrewDog’s Development Fund is relaunching, bigger and better than before. BrewDog will be making up to £200,000 available each year to help small craft breweries and start-ups get established.

In addition to financial support, BrewDog will also be providing material support to brewers such as help with sourcing ingredients and brewing materials, offering its state-of-the-art laboratory for beer analysis, supporting them to grow sales by introducing recipients to its international sales network, and much more.

The Blueprint also included BrewDog’s revived barrel-ageing programme, The Hinterlands, as it looks to reignite its established heritage for barrel aged stouts. Furthermore, BrewDog announced its commitment to reducing its environmental impact by removing plastic from its packaging (reducing at least 129 tonnes of plastic from its supply chain per annum).

For the first time, BrewDog will be offering its Equity Punks the chance to set up their very own craft beer outpost, with the introduction of the BrewDog bar franchise programme. The initiative will be trialled in 10 UK locations, allowing Equity Punks to establish their own BrewDog bar in their hometown.

The Blueprint builds on what has been a record year for BrewDog. In August, the brewery announced its half-year trading update, showing total revenue at £78 million, up by 55% versus the same time last year.

Revenue of the brewery’s bar division was up by 92% and its UK retail sales had grown by 83%. BrewDog’s flagship beer, Punk IPA is now the number 1 on-trade craft beer in the UK with a market growth of 9.8% and a value growth of over 28.8%.

In the off-trade, Punk IPA remains the best-selling craft beer, as it has been for the last three years. Currently, five of the top ten best-selling craft beers in the UK off-trade are BrewDog products.

BrewDog now employs more than 1,000 people worldwide with 70 craft beer bars across the globe. BrewDog’s growth has been fuelled by its record-breaking Equity for Punks crowdfunding initiative, which has seen the brewery raise £64million since 2009.

In October last year, the brewery launched its fifth round of Equity for Punks, looking to raise a target £10 million to fuel its global expansion. After reaching the initial target in under 90 days, the brewer announced that Equity for Punks V would remain open until 15th October 2018.

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