Today the Portman Group has officially banned BrewDog's Dead Pony Club 3.8% ale. See http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Drinks-Brands-News/3.8-ABV-BrewDog-beer-falls-foul-of-the-Portman-Group

On behalf of BrewDog PLC and its 14,691 individual shareholders, I would like to issue a formal apology to the Portman Group for not giving a shit about today’s ruling. Indeed, we are sorry for never giving a shit about anything the Portman Group has to say, and treating all of its statements with callous indifference and nonchalance.

Unfortunately, the Portman Group is a gloomy gaggle of killjoy jobsworths, funded by navel-gazing international drinks giants. Their raison d’être is to provide a diversion for the true evils of this industry, perpetrated by the gigantic faceless brands that pay their wages. Blinkered by this soulless mission, they treat beer drinkers like brain dead zombies and vilify creativity and competition. Therefore, we have never given a second thought to any of the grubby newspeak they disseminate periodically.


While the Portman Group lives out its days deliberating whether a joke on a bottle of beer is responsible or irresponsible use of humour, at BrewDog we will just get on with brewing awesome beer and treating our customers like adults. I’m sure that makes Henry Ashworth cry a salty tear into his shatterproof tankard of Directors as he tries to enforce his futile and toothless little marketing code, but we couldn’t give a shit about that, either.

The Portman Group took objection to the phrase "rip it up down empty streets"? Mr Portman, you seem to like taking things literally. Can you please explain how something can be ‘anti-social’ if the streets are empty? Anti-social is defined as ‘contrary to the laws and customs of society, in a way that causes annoyance and disapproval in others.’ If the streets are empty, there are no ‘others’ to annoy.  


As for not agreeing with "we believe faster is better", well I think the archaic existence of the Portman Group proves just how bad "slow" can really be. Maybe they should try and catch up with the rest of the world instead of insulting the intelligence of consumers with such a thin veneer of impartiality. It is an embarrassing condemnation of the mega brewers who provide their funding, the same mega brewers whose pricing wreaks havoc on society.  

Mr Portman, we'd be appreciative if you could now kindly save some trees and stop sending us meaningless letters.

We sincerely hope that the sarcasm of this message fits the Portman Group criteria of responsible use of humour.

Posted in - brewdog-news


  • I fucking love you guys :)
  • Can I get this on a T-Shirt?
    Sam D02.05.2014
  • I love your beers and I love this response. Keep at it, you legends.
  • as a shareholder and regular consumer I fully support your action.
    I absolutely adore Dead Pony Club (getting on in years so like the ABV starting with a 3 to go with the stunning flavour).
    Would still drink it if you called it Portman piss or even Bloated Brewers Lobbyists Talk Shite IPA

    (hey, a rose by any other name etc
    Good luck
  • Ace response!
  • The proof is in the beer and how good it tastes, and that is why I mainly drink Brew Dog beer....it is simply AWESOME!!! Keep up the good work everyone.
    Steve H01.05.2014
  • Time for a new Brewdog t-shirt eg I drink Dead Pony Club to forget the Portman ruling
  • Hard to believe (not) there are still fuddyduddy directors/management, trying to grapple with independent brewers, because theres nothing they can do about it . The number of small brewers/micro breweries in the country now speaks for itself. People want beer/ale thats flavoursome, with substance and body to it . Not Not the crap the big breweries churn out in their pubs .
  • Not keen on your ales but absolutely delighted by your erudite response to the rancid turnips of the Portman neo-con industry lackeys.
    May even buy myself a token bottle of Dead Pony Club.
  • As a very large man I am going to launch the self-proclaimed Porkman Group. This will involve me drinking large amounts of beer and Pork Scratchings before banning any beers that do not meet my high standards. Signatories to my code of practice will be banned from stocking these beers and the brewers will be written to explaining why their beers are sh*t together with my comments about how they could improve their recipe.
    Porkman Group30.04.2014
  • Sold! Im buying Brewdog wherever its sold from now on!
    Andrew W30.04.2014
  • The Portman Group were set up by the likes of Diaego and Inbev - some of the biggest players in the UK drinks industry who manufacture most of the well known brands. No surprise that a start up company comes along and starts threatening their market share so they issue absurd guidance like this. Just as well that they are as toothless as they are biased and that the brewdog chaps can just ignore them. Its not like they need other bars to stock their beers, given how many of their own pubs they have. Useless posturing from Portman Group. Glad they got told to fuck right off
  • Suggest you market a pale yellow weak beer called Portman Piss, or similar.
    Richard G30.04.2014
  • Up the brewdog
  • Have never tried your beer; only because hard it in Bulgaria. However will be in Britain in August and will try to get some in; even if only to see what all the fuss is about :) Empiricism rules! And as to your jokey labels: glad to see that someone still has a sense of humour in politically correct, po-faced Britain :)
  • Portman Group have no understanding of PR. Only thing I can see will happen now is that more people will buy it because of the extra publicity. Good luck guys, dont let the b**t***s grind you down!
  • Just about the best blog post of all time! Good for you!
  • Tried brewdog last month for the first time, awesome beers and service place was jumpin and no riots afterwards.
  • HA HA HA
    briliant work
    Kev Whelan30.04.2014
  • Yours is definitely the best beer in the world. Now could you please export some to the UAE so I can taste it for the first time.

    Keep on brewing, keep on telling it like it is.
    TimA (Dubai)30.04.2014
  • Fuck em if they cant take a joke.
    Ratskelar Brewery 38104 <Memphis, TN>30.04.2014
  • Go for it and btw, Paradox is sublime, what youre doing is what beers all about.
  • Ive just got a lovely bottle of clown king out of the fridge to celebrate how much this story has made me smile. Keep up the good work guys :)
  • Theres a body out there guiding the market what to buy on the basis of someones opinion on label taste?!?!?! We cant let consumers decide for themselves? Must we take the nanny state this far? 1984 is here!?!
    Quench seeker29.04.2014
  • Portman

    Acrostics 'R Us29.04.2014
  • As one of the 14,691, I further approve this message.
    She Bu29.04.2014
  • I spose they are just bitter that people are increasingly ditching their crappy tasting lagers and moving to the delights of craft beer!
    Stephen L29.04.2014
  • Fantastic response!
    Could I also suggest a new beer to celebrate the Portman group - a weak, tasteless lowest common denominator beer similar to Fosters or Carling - maybe calling in a Portman approved unit shifter?
    Just keep the good stuff behind your bars! ;-)
  • Sales of DPC are going to rocket. I hope.
  • You speak words of wisdom. And common sense. Keep it up guys, beer drinkers worldwide want more of this.
  • We LOVE your beer and sense of fun in Norway. Send it all to us!
  • Outstanding !! Its you guys that shine a light on a world of dark, tasteless shite beers. Ive always drunk and always will drink your sensational creations. Long May you rule the world of taste and creativity in the world of awesome beers. Yaaay !!
    Brew Speed Triple Dog29.04.2014
  • I too will drink more of your beautiful beers - especially the Punk IPA which is superb anyway.
    Ian G29.04.2014
  • Does the portman group have a sister organisation that governs food? Can only imagine what they would have said about findus actually using dead ponies!!!
    Keep it up guys we need to fight the nanny state and observe some kind of self responsibility for our actions
  • Make the strongest beer you possibly can and call it Mr Portman. Stuff that would take his head off if he was to sip it!
  • Surely it should be renamed the Dead Portman Group in their honour?
    Rich P29.04.2014
  • Im now going to but some of your beer. Hurrah!
  • I havent tried your beer, but I will now!
    Are fans of BrewDog called Brew Doggers? Do they go Brew Dogging?
  • I am finding it rather hard to even take the Portman Group seriously. I have been in Holland for the last 2 months working, and whilst I do partake in the occasional glass of Heinekein, I do also sample the available artisan beers that are on offer.

    None of these even taste remotely as bad as that chemically enhanced crap that those esteemed distributors produce. Generally speaking at home, as soon as I see the produced under licence on the label it goes back on the shelf.
    Bomb Jack29.04.2014
  • From the photos on their website Id say at least 3 of them have beer bottle permanently inserted up their a£$e! Keep up the good work boys and cheers for treating us like people not idiots.
    Neil F29.04.2014
  • Dear Sirs,
    I think a second open letter to The Portman Group thanking them for the free advertising may be in order.
  • Suggest change the name to Doric Clydesdale--- !!
    Laurie T29.04.2014
  • Would you be willing to recreate carling under the name Portsman and sell it at rock bottom prices?
  • never heard of Brewdog before this, but i will now be seeking out their products in support!
  • Complaint made to the ASA:

    They call this beer The worlds most refreshing beer but upon trying it I was rather disappointed to discover that it is not really any more refreshing than many other mass produced beers, and a good deal less refreshing than several beers I am familiar with, even if we exclude ales almost all of which are more refreshing than this Coors stuff, I can give one example right away. Brew dogs very refreshing Dead Pony Club.
  • next brew...

    My name is Portman

    Paul A29.04.2014
  • I love your beer and have never heard of the Portman group until now...kinda says it all!
    Your beers kick was and are refreshingly different!
  • Im an ancient old man an have enjoyed many good strong beers. 3.8% beer aint strong and presents no threat to anyone with half a brain.
    The portman group seem to me to be deranged.
    mike the human29.04.2014
  • I have reported the Portman Groups twitter announcement on the subject for being misleading or deceptive.
  • Good point well made, keep up the good work :)
  • Well done for saying what the rest of us think and for making such quality brews!
    Neil C29.04.2014
  • Keep it up Brewdog. I have never rioted after a pint of your beer. The last time I got given a pint of Fosters I wanted to assault the barman for taking £3.50 off me for a glass of eggy vomit.
    I am not sure what is more of an incitement to violence.
  • Keep Calm - and carry on Brewing!
    Malc H29.04.2014
  • You should make a beer called Portmans which is just incredibly bland.
  • You guys are funny!
  • Good for you guys stick it to The Portman Group, well said. I loved your statement and chuckled my socks off.
    Perhaps if these idiots spent more time minding their own business and less time drawing a over paid salary for being knobs the world would be a much better place. Keep up the good work.
  • Shame on you for assuming we are not all mindless nomarks who cant differentiate between a marketing slogan and a direct command we must obey.
  • You should make an ale called Portman. and market it as the beer for people who have no sense of humour.
  • Can I get an Amen!
    Adam B29.04.2014
  • I will now drink so much more of your beer.
    You guys are awesome, Never change
  • http://www.portmangroup.org.uk/about/member-companies

    So. WHO is surprised?
    Jey el Ehm29.04.2014
  • Fantastically put. Nice one.
    Rob Delaney29.04.2014
  • please open in Cardiff I am off to find what these Portmanc people make so I can be sure to boycott it.
  • Wonderful, keep on rockin youg guys.Punk IPA rules OK,
  • So to all those asking what the Portman Group ban means, nothing .... sort of.

    The Portman Group advisory has no legal standing and all retailers can ignore it.

    However many retailers have voluntarily chosen to abide by the Portman Group rulings and for larger chains they are unlikely to make any sort of exception. Given that a lot of the big retailers have signed up to the code (e.g. Tesco) it may be fairly significant loss of trade of brewdog decide not to adjust the packaging (although its only dead pony club so these same retailers will still be able to stock other products from brewdog). I suspect the packaging may be updated to remove what was being complained about and replaced with some kind of the f*&^ you to the portman group instead.

    In additional some licenses will have been granted with stipulations of following the advisories and so ignoring these could cause them legal trouble or at least loss of license.

    Anyway thats the way I understand it.

    I find the language used in the Retailer alert (http://www.portmangroup.co.uk/docs/default-source/complaint-decisions/dead-pony-club-retailer-alert-bulletin.pdf?sfvrsn=0) to be deliberately misleading in advising retailers to stop stocking without stipulating that they only need do this to remain in compliance with the code.
  • Dear Sirs,

    After reading your open letter to the Portman Group, I will proceed directly to my nearest super market in order to enjoy a few cold Ponies later this evening.

    Stuart Thomson29.04.2014
  • Well all I can say is thank god for The Portman Group.

    If it wasnt for their stoic, sombre guidance I would have immediately bankrupted myself buying all the Dead Pony Club in existence, dug myself a shallow grave, then stood at the end of it drinking until I fell in.

    Oh wait no I wouldnt, because Im not a bloody idiot.
  • I would like to applaud you for not only making an important statement about the unfair treatment of small businesses but also for making my entire office giggle heartily. If you ever need some machinery I would love to try to sell it to you.
  • Directors is a really good pint btw even if Portman Group are a bunch of nitwits
  • Hah ! You guys rock !
    The Morning Advertiser link makes reference to Dread Pony Club !!! Has your beer been re-branded to appease the Portman Group ??
    Pete H., Nottm.29.04.2014
  • The Portman Group Board’s unstated (but nevertheless agreed) aim is to “manipulate the alcohol industry in order to stifle independent breweries and to maintain their vice like control over the industry”! I am surprised, therefore, that the Portman Group don’t lay a Health and Safety claim against you for “making their blood boil” by saying that you don’t give a shit about what they say!
  • well said.
  • I dont even drink beer.. but youre now approximately my favourite company ever. Dont ever change.
    El Tee29.04.2014
  • Does a Portman Group ban actually mean anything?
    Jim G29.04.2014
  • I dont drink beer, but if I did, Id drink Brewdog - well done for making a stand!
    Mark C29.04.2014
  • Love the reply ! Who are these tosspots anyway?
  • Id be worried if you produced oversweetened drinks to appeal to children, but I guess that is the market owned by Portmans paymasters.
    Mrs Trelex29.04.2014
  • Reading the ruling, it suggests we have until July to continue to enjoy the packaging. I say we get the pitch forks out and you all meet me at the lake and we go looking for some DPC in its natural plumage. Are you with me men?!
  • Portman Group! self appointed Mary Whitehouses! wont stop me from rapidly drinking in your Brum bar or tearing it up on the way back to get my train home! ha ha ha! #portmangroupnumpties
    The Grim Weeder29.04.2014
  • I havent even tried your beer down under but this statement of non-bulshittiness and actual regard for your customer makes it my new favourite beer label. Now if youll please excuse me I need to find myself some bottle shops to stock up on BrewDog from.
  • Dont stop doing what youre doing! The world supports you for supporting us with tasty brews. Cheers!
    Chuck in the USA29.04.2014
  • Why not rename it to Dead Portman Club?
    Jon Lambert28.04.2014
  • I love you bastards !
  • When can we get a bar down here in Australia
    We too need to show our dislike for these Portman fouls
  • I would refer them to Arkell vs Pressdram
  • I drank a Punk IPA, a 5am Saint and a Dead Pony Club today and I didnt drink DPC any faster than the other 2. The blurb on the label doesnt make people drink any faster.
  • Nice. Please ship any spare inventory you cant sell over to Canada!
  • As one of the 14,691, I approve this message.
  • I love an overly officious non-government regulatory body telling me Im too stupid to understand humour. Thanks, Portman Group, for protecting me from my own innate stupidity. Without you Id be shot-gunning bottles of Dead Pony and terrorising empty streets.
  • Snigger..them drink Beer 👍😄
  • I also have an issue with the Dead Pony Club label. The last few bottles Ive had have had a darker green / blue label, I prefered the original turquoise labels....
  • What does them banning it actually mean?
  • So what does the Portman Group banning one of our beers mean? Does it have any impact at all? I dont understand how it does.
    dannyboy 28.04.2014
  • You almost had me worried you were issuing a genuine apology then. Silly me! :)
  • Hurrah!
  • Gaaaawd, guys... like, youre like... SOOOOOOOOO irresponsible.
    Ukulele Kris28.04.2014
  • Good work as usual. They are uselss. Beer is fir adults treat us as adults. Cant wait for you guys to open Cardiff.
  • Well said
    icouldbehidden 28.04.2014
  • lol
  • Other than that, fair play to ye all! Thank fook for Brewdog!
    good lord28.04.2014
  • Its wreaks havoc.
    good lord28.04.2014
  • Fair play lads. Stick it to em and keep producing your wonderful beer.
    Noel Kelleher28.04.2014
  • Im about the enjoy some ale in Brewdog Aberdeen. See you soon...
    Mike G28.04.2014

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