Anoraks with Nae Knickers
I was recently contacted by a business journalist from a major national newspaper. This is nothing out of the ordinary in itself. However, it was not the usual deal of them wanting to visit our brewery or chat about our innovative beers. It was something far darker and much more sinister.
The journalist was investigating an anonymous dossier, put together by other Scottish brewers – and he was intending running a story on it. The document stated that BrewDog was a much smaller business than it claimed to be and furthermore we had been falsifying our sales figures and other information on our brewery. Being a public company, I was able to show him our independently audited accounts and that everything stacked up. Consequently he pulled the story, binned the dossier and curse however sent it in and wasted his time.
Here are a couple of gems from dossier which the journalist email to me:
“BrewDog have become a laughing stock in the brewing industry, where it is widely known their sales are not as they claim yet they have gone out of their way to falsify and mislead the press.”
“At least five Scottish breweries are bigger than BrewDog: Broughton, Innis & Gunn, Orkney and Inveralmond,” said an anonymous industry source.
Russell Sharp, the chairman of Edinburgh-based Innes & Gunn, who said he was not the author of the anonymous dossier, said: “It does upset me when people make spurious claims. They are seen as a bit of joke in the brewing industry, like anoraks with nae knickers.”
It is sad for craft beer just how difficult some of the incumbent beer industry firms are making it for us. Their utter contempt and resentment for what we have achieved in just over two and a half years is pretty shocking. We are a couple of young guys doing our best to make world class craft beers and forging ahead in a stuffy UK beer industry. It is our goal to increase awareness and understanding of all craft beers. We are primarily interested in developing the craft beer category, we want to show people that there is an alternative to the mass-market industrial beers. We feel that the more momentum the craft beer revolution gathers, the better all the independent breweries will do. We love the spirit of collaboration, collective belonging and camaraderie of the US independent craft brewers. It is deeply saddening that some of our fellow Scottish brewers do not feel the same way.
You would also think that these people would have the sense to realise that as a plc, our accounts and numbers are audited. Consequently, it would not only be very foolish for us to give false figures and information to anyone but also highly illegal. We have never given any false information, what is the point? Our sales were £1.8m last year and we are on track to more than double that this year.
We also loved Russell Sharp’s quote, despite the inherent ambiguity. His enthusiasm to criticise us seems to have prevented him from using any type of comprehensible English. Bless. We may not wear knickers with our anoraks Russell, but at least we have a brewery.
Posted in - news
- Real ale and craft brewing represents a shocking 3% of the UK beer market.
Some might not like your aggressive advertising and image. Some will try and bad mouth you and put you down. That's business!
Who cares......no publicity is bad publicity! Craft brewing is on the up. The more publicity it gets, the more new converts we'll get and suddenly......3% becomes 50% and every craft brewer's a winner!Fallen12.04.2010
- I'm also going to jump on the campaign for a collaborative scottish beer project.
Could be a great publicity spin as long as the other breweries don't drag you down :)David06.04.2010
- Shocking! He clearly doesnt even respect you enough to give you the right quote; an anorak instead of a fur coat? Clearly I & G take irony very seriously. Besides how are we to know if there were knickers underneath that penguin suit? Robbie06.04.2010
- Respect to the journalist for fact-checking prior to running it.
Personally, I think you do a great job, but some of your antics could be misconstrued as damaging to a beer industry already under fire (Nanny State, Sink the Bismarck?).
Reminds me of the BA slur tactics against Virgin Atlantic, where they tried to seed enough doubt in the airline industry so that Virgin couldnt get lines of credit for fuel and the likes, forcing them to run on cash and strangling their cash-flow. Chick05.04.2010
- Reminds me of Ayn Rands "Atlas Shrugged". Matt Davies04.04.2010
- anoraks with nae knickers, what a brill name for your next innovative beer!! geoff smyth04.04.2010
- Innis and Gunn is crap. Ive tried most of their beers, thankfully i didnt pay for them. They all taste the same. Sickly sweet aftertaste. Doesnt surprise me they would make immature comments about another brewery. Their sales people are just suits with no patience, persuading pubs to buy their overpriced fizzy water, bought by people with no clue, thinking they are having something special. Dave P03.04.2010
- Hey, if you are the punk rude boys isnt the whole point to make the establishment dislike you? Id have thought it would have been a branding nightmare had they said good on you boys! Sam Wydymus03.04.2010
- Wow its clear they are very threatened by you. Keep up the great work! Caitlin03.04.2010
- Whether taken out of context or not. The industry should be sticking together. Innis & Gunn make an entirely different style of beer and everyone should be pushing each other.
A real shame. Francis02.04.2010
- Barm - you lack of knowledge is your downfall. Innis and Gunn do not put beer in WHISKY casks. Oak cask maybe, definately not Scotch Whisky ones. If you paid attention to their materials you would realise it is all just a con. Agent Smith02.04.2010
- who gives a sh*t? just ignore them and carry on doing what your doing. Youve made a bigger impression in the UK brewing market in a short time than these guys have done in years... Jim02.04.2010
- The thing i love about Innis & Gunn is the skunky character you get from the clear glass bottles, and the stale beer character you get from putting beer that shouldnt be aged into barrels and aging it, and the lack of flavour because of its so heavily filtered and pasturised, and the unnatural mouthfeel you get from the force carbonation, and brand thats been created by a massive company that tries to make itself out to be small and independant. Dave02.04.2010
- First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. - Ghandi
Whenever any conservative industry gets a shake up by innovators there are always gonna be sulkers that are getting left behind. Cant wait to see what you do with the bar Mike Duguid02.04.2010
- I do not think Russell Sharp should be painted as the villain here. His relatively innocuous comments look much worse than they are in the context of a generally nasty article. Who know what positive things he might have said that the journo has chosen not to quote? Let us also not forget that Russell was putting beer into whisky casks before BrewDog were, so is not exactly representative of the stuffy brewing establishment. Barm02.04.2010
- Whoever is responsible for this defamatory document looks very childish. By publishing these accusations anonymously, no one can surely take them seriously.
Whether or not Mr Sharp is responsible for these libelous writings or not I will say this of Innis & Gunns outputs:
Every one of their beers I have tasted was rank, with the rum cask being the one exception, that was mediocre and not worth half the price I bought it for. Josh02.04.2010
- I have never been impressed with Innes and Gunn and today cements this. Never drinking the godawful stuff again.
- Innis & Gunn = god awful contract brewed beer by sickly smug people. BrewDog is lightyears ahead of them and this slur makes them look even more pathetic. Maybe if they foccussed on brewing and not annonymous dossiers! Matt02.04.2010
- Nobody likes a whining loser. Meanwhile, the rest of the beer drinking world loves what you do. You are making a difference, unlike others... Tomas02.04.2010
- This is a disgraceful slur written by a cowardly hand, hence the anonymous nature of it. I organise the Ipswich Beer Festival and last year, we had all the beers that you could supply (via wavrtley) They were amongst the first to sell out! That speaks for itself really. Keep on being one of the most exciting and innovative craft breweries in ... Paul02.04.2010
- can you sue them? David02.04.2010
- I like the anoraks with nae knickers! (I&G is not a brewery) Timo02.04.2010
- I will never drink an I & g again.... Stewart02.04.2010
- I think that this affair goes to show that you chaps are doing what you are doing very well. Youve got the atrophied establishment glancing over their shoulders. Damn shame it cant be proven where this dossier originates, elsewise thered be another story for our journalist friend about how -insert name here- is trying to conduct corporate espionage by means of bismirchment.
I do hope to see a collaborative effort between yourselves and another Scottish company at some point though. Douglas MacIntyre02.04.2010
- Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. - Albert Einstein Andy02.04.2010
- with the taste of basha still in my mouth... screw them Michael Richardson02.04.2010
- You do hear things on the grapevine so to speak about other breweries being unimpressed by the Brewdog approach. The scale of the marketing, the style of the marketing, the bitter contempt for a brewery who have decided not only to do something different, but to have the audacity to succeed in doing it.
I find it a little odd that Innis and Gunn of all people would find the Brewdog success an issue. Simple economics, if you have one ice cream seller on a beach and you want to set up another ice cream stall, where do you put it? Right next to the other one of course. Competition creates a marketplace, and by doing that all parties benefit.
Instead of trying to undermine the achievements of Brewdog may be a few of these breweries, many of whom brew excellent beer, could learn something....in fact if there were a little more cohesion and solidarity then there could be significant benefits for all concerned....Silly puppys Chris Mair02.04.2010
- Do not worry if you drink two or three of your beers with there overal high abv and good taste and then you stand up really quick you will know brewdog is no joke!!! Dave morrow02.04.2010