Local Council steal BrewDog's storage building!
BrewDog have recently been completely crippled by Aberdeenshire Council, our local authority.
We have a lease for our 3 units in our Estate and we also have an entitlement to use the common areas. Until 2 weeks ago we also had an external storage unit we used for cases, empty casks and other supplies.
Over the past few months the council have been trying to bully us into giving up our rights to the common areas, rights which we they formally granted us only 8 months ago. They want us to give up our rights to the common area so they can build there. However this would have a huge detrimental effect on our business, we would lose our car-parking, we would lose our lorry loading area and it would make our business operations much more difficult. Also in making a food product such as beer sterility and cleanliness at every stage of the process is vital, this would be very difficult right next to a building site. They also want to demolish a building where there is a very high asbestos content and this building is immediately next to ours. Any contamination from the asbestos into our product would finish our business and is far too big a risk for us to take.
However the council, in an attempt to punish us for not being prepared to give up areas we pay to use and have a lease for, have taken our external storage unit from away from us. The level of pettiness is almost unbelievable. The storage facility they have taken away is a store in an unused and unoccupied building and is now sitting empty.
The loss of this storage facility is having a huge detrimental effect on our business. We have had to completely stop expanding and may not be able to fulfil some important upcoming contracts. It will result in us having to lay off some of our workforce and completely halts our growth at a time when we had good momentum on our side. Our brewery is now choc-a-bloc full and it makes daily operations difficult and further expansion impossible.
The fact that the local council is punishing a quick growing local business in the way is remarkable. From a standing start 2 years ago we now employ 18 local people, the council should be doing all they can so we can continue our strong growth as opposed to punishing us and making growing our company impossible. Our beers are now in Tesco, Sainsbury, ASDA and Oddbins and we export to 13 different countries. Because of the council's actions, all this is now in jeopardy.
In a recent meeting with the council I offered them 2 clear options (I have since offered these in email) these were:
Option 1 - give BrewDog back their storage facilities (which are now completely empty)
- We guaranteed 3 extra full time local jobs being created within 3 months.
- BrewDog would guarantee 6 additional jobs within 18month time-frame
- BrewDog could continue its rapid growth providing jobs, income and a focal point for the local community.
- The council would earn income off an otherwise dormant unit meaning more income for the local council and economy
- BrewDog guaranteed giving up its rights to the common area within a 2 year timeframe.
- So the council would earn money off an empty unit, we could employ more people and continue generating income, employment and revenue for the local area.
Option 2 - do not give BrewDog back their storage facilities
- No extra jobs for local economy, it will result in us cutting our workforce
- No extra income for council as our storage unit will be sitting empty
- BrewDog not giving up its rights to the common area for 4 years, which is when our lease runs out
- BrewDog not being able to grow its company any further.
Now you would think this should be a pretty straight forward decision for people looking after the interests of the local community and economy. However, they refused to give us our storage back. They still seek to bully us into giving up space we have signed a lease for and in doing so have completely crippled our business.
The council's crazy stance has completely killed our growth prospects and may end up killing our business.
I wish we could just focus on making hardcore beers!
*Update - if you guys have any suggestions as to how you can help of what we should do we would love to hear them. Thanks* James, BrewDog
Posted in - news
- Wee Eck, get a grip!!! its not about whether you like the beer or not, its about a successful local business that will probably be forced out of our area by insane bureaucracy!!! I wish you all the best guys, keep fighting and GET AN ONLINE PETITION! Also, have a word with Alex Salmond, he might be able to intervene (it worked for Donald Trump!!). David21.07.2009
- This is just another whine from these guys with little basis in reality. From day one they have moaned about everything from large brewers to the Portman group,now this. Their beers are crap and only appeal to a few misguided punters with anaesthetised taste buds.They are so much up their own arses they need to get out more often and face facts. wee eck17.07.2009
- Urgh. Brewdog is pretty much the only significant new business Fraserburgh has managed to produce over the last 5 years, against a background of economic decline as the Fishing industries slowly sinks to insignificance and the town centre shrivels with the loss of Woolworths. The council should be going out of their way to support their growth for the sake of the town’s economy as it shows there are folk with the skills, means and determination to create new businesses in the area. Disgruntled16.07.2009
- hi get on the radio /tv/local paper embarrass them rob16.07.2009
- An online petition could be a start... G Dunbar15.07.2009
- haha ye I can see it now, Brewdog team up with BNP to become brewbulldog, now brewing even more extreme brews kev15.07.2009
- Your beer is a fantastic product which has gone down badly with the larger brewers.There will be a plan to put you out of business which is sad,most of the mass produced beers are rubbish and full of chemicals.My sincerest advice would be is inform your problem to the British National Party, they will help, they are the only people to help British business against the bullying you describe. H.GREEN15.07.2009
- Alex Salmond, the first minister, only lives at Strichen, and would probably be interested in a issue concerning jobs in the Broch, perhaps you should contact him elaine15.07.2009
- If the council wish to build or demolish that will have to apply for planning and warrants, as a neighbour you must be notified and can object with your very valid reasons. This would then have to be fully explored and in some cases go to a public hearing. Local authoritys have to be very careful not to favour their own developments and must go through the same labourous procedures as anyone else. I would be suprised if a development which has such a major detremental effect to an existing business would get planning. Maxed to the max14.07.2009
- Talking of making hardcore beers, I`ve just finished a Hardcore IPA and am starting on my Paradox Springbank.
I have little doubt that you have the skills to get them to change their mind - you`ve some through tougher fights than this in your time I`m sure. Take them out. boosy14.07.2009
- How can we help? C14.07.2009
- Legal action and maximum publicity are the only avenues left if the council refuses to listen to reason. Or stand against them at the next election. I would vote BrewDog. Barm14.07.2009
- Is there not a solution where the council can pay to proof you against tainting while the work is carried out?
- This is a serious matter.You need to contact your local MP and also arrange a meeting with whoever deals with this in the council to discuss the options. This is the kindof thing that is completly distroying the british economy.Men in suits in offices who aint got a clue. magicdave614.07.2009
- I see Aberdeen City are not the only useless bunch of halfwits in the area then! Good luck and keep fighting the good fight! billythekid14.07.2009
- Post a link to the councils contact us form and a pre-made letter for your sites visitors to use to avail the council of yours and our displeasure of there behavior.
Also I would also contact the local MP explaining the situation, Seeing if you can get on the radio and in the papers too to let people know of the silly behavior of the council. dan cave14.07.2009
- That is sickening, but given the usual performances of the Shire council, wholly unsurprising (I also live in the Shire).
I hope that you can find a way around this so that the business does not die, as you make some damn fine beers, which I frequently enjoy a pint (or three) of in my local.
All the best. Kynon14.07.2009
- How pathetic of them! I wish you all the best of luck...hopefully they will see sense. Aaron14.07.2009