The Best, and Worst BrewDog Innovations
As we said on Facebook earlier this week, ‘Marketing now taints every field of our existence; one has little choice but to play the game, bitterly, and with a firm a shield of irony.’
Sometimes though, it’s difficult to tell where ‘marketing’ and the process of simply telling people about you beer stop, start and collide. What we are sure of, however, is that along the way there’s been about as many sure fire misses as there have been winning strikes.
Sound like a good time to look back over five of the most top dog campaigns we’ve had as well as those that are bottom of the pack? We think so too…
Top 5 winning campaigns and launches:
1. Equity for Punks: An innovative shareholder initiative that launched in 2009, Equity for Punks was a European first that saw us recruit 1,300 craft beer passionate people who wanted to become part of BrewDog and own a slice of our brewery. Equity for Punks wasn’t just about attending our legendary craft AGM or creating brews like By Shareholders, For Shareholders, it was also about creating a completely new way to raise equity which will be put towards our new eco-brewery – an entirely self-sustainable and eco-friendly craft beer hub just outside of Aberdeen. This month, we’ll be releasing more shares as part of Equity for Punks II, stayed tuned for more information. It will be announced right here on the blog first.
2. The End of History: Challenge perceptions about high strength beers. Check. Challenge perceptions about drinking anything other than fizzy yellow lagers. Check. Challenge perceptions about drinking beer out of a stoat. Check. End of History may have been one of our most ‘controversial’ concepts but it was certainly a means of pushing craft beer into the spotlight as the idea of packaging beer in a format other than the traditional can or bottle topped the BBC News website’s ‘most read’ articles and snatched column space in numerous broadsheets. One day it may no longer be the world’s strongest beer but still the only beer to have been served from the orifice of a taxidermied stoat.
3. Beer Golf: The video speaks for itself. What better way to spend a sunny Sunday in Fraserburgh than smashing bottles of mainstream swill with a golf club or a baseball bat? Darth Vader has pledged his allegiance and rumour has it that the committee behind the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games are even considering inclusion of the sport as well…what’s stopping you?
4. Abstrakt: Undeniably one of the most experimental series of craft beers around, our Abstrakt series sees traditional beer styles given the customary BrewDog shake-up – whether it’s brewing a Belgian Quad with fresh vanilla pods or aging a stout on cocoa and chillies, we’ll try it. Brewed in small, limited edition batches, Abstrakt blurs the line between art and beer and, so far, seems to be going down well.
5. BrewDog Craft Beer Bars: A huge leap into the unknown that’s be one of the most successful gambles we’ve ever made, viva la BrewDog craft beer bar! Now open in Edinburgh and Aberdeen with a further two venues to follow in Glasgow and London, BrewDog bars are an unpretentious place to savour, explore and share craft beer in an environment that’s devoid of any soulless mainstream brand that’s responsible for bringing the UK drinks industry to its knees. Our bars are also equipped with Pop Up Pirate and lovely bar staff who make very good homemade pizzas. Come and say hi.
Top 5 loosing campaigns and launches:
1. Zeitgeist blog: Ever had an amazing, world-changing late night idea that – when put into practice – doesn’t really work? So have we and it was called the Zeitgeist blog. A concept that invited artists, musicians and anyone who was living and breathing the ‘spirit of the moment’ to blog about their work and their experiences, Zeitgeist failed to capture the imaginations of the people. A great idea that didn’t work, we’re still keen to hear your thoughts on how Zeitgeist can find its place.
2. Beer leaks: A website that was set to dispel the smoke and mirrors that surround the UK beer industry and expose the myths perpetuated by advertising, Beer Leaks aimed to unmask the drinks industry for what it truly is. Instead, we were met with massive indifference – maybe people were busy, maybe they didn’t care but our Beer Leaks campaign managed to disappear from the craft beer community’s conversation faster than Julian Assange after a night out in Sweden. For now, it seems, the truth about mainstream brewing will remain under wraps...
3. Boxes of 48: Who likes loads of craft beer delivered directly to their door? We do! Who likes loads of craft beer delivered directly to their door only to find the box is too heavy to carry indoors, is full of smashed bottles and soaked in beer? We don't! Originally we put our beers in boxes of 48, simply because there was the demand and it allowed us to sell more in one go – especially useful for our friends across Europe and the states who wanted to take advantage of ordering more in one go. Sadly 48 bottles of beer makes for a heavy box, so much so that even the beers themselves cracked under the strain before they hit your glass. Now we’ve found that packaging our beers in smaller amounts makes them A) Easier to handle B) Less likely to get smashed along the way C) Less stressed in transit. Problem solved.
4. Bad Pixie: Simply put, Bad Pixie was a disaster of a lemon peel and juniper beery infused wheat prototype beer that we’d quite frankly never like to talk about again. Some of the highlights from Rate Beer include ‘pretty uneventful’, ‘strange, unbalanced and unclean’, ‘not overwhelming’ and ‘weird’. Enough said and never again.
5. Royal Virility Performance: Surprisingly, Prince William has never thanked us for the bottle we sent in the post to Buckingham Palace.
We also want to hear from you. What are your top (and bottom) BrewDog ideas.
- great idea: sending me beer.
not so great: the grief I get from the postmaster about the BrewDog box it's in.chuston06.07.2011
- Next Abstrakt may just be the Imperial Scotch Ale which is currently ageing in oak. James, BrewDog04.07.2011
- hear hear with the below! Also any news on next Abstrakt? Stephanos04.07.2011
- The Leeds bar is a win all around..as is equity for punks..but when is this going live for part 2? The reason I ask is that I'm out of town with no internet access for a fair part of July and don't want to miss the party!! GXJ71004.07.2011
- Bad quality merch: t-shirts with strange dimensions (would fit obese dwarves) and a glass that balance on any surface because of a poor finition of the base. Éric Michaud04.07.2011
- I think the hopinator and short measures campaign were also excellent. Also like the sound of the Atlantic IPA. Stephanos04.07.2011
- Best one. Selling to bars in Manresa and Barcelona in Spain. At one point it was even on tap! Made life in the sun that little bit more tolerable Chris04.07.2011
- The best idea is to bring the BrewDog Beers to germany :)
And i also liked the fight against Schorschbock.. In Germany the press write a lot about this "fight", how have the strongest beer..Felix04.07.2011
- Good to see a company that admits their mistakes/not best ideas rather than try to brush them under the carpet. Pride in achievements is also a good thing.
The concept of royal virility was v good. From what I've read of the bars think they may be one of the bests innovations (I (again) think a bet in Norwich would be a brilliant innovation), but surely the top one has to be starting the company in the first place?
- Can't imagine any other brewery (or company for that matter) posting such a frank and honest blog. Really encouraging to see a business not only having the guts to try something different, but to then hold their hands up and admit when things perhaps don't go to plan. John04.07.2011
- the worst thing about the Royal Virility Performance was the price. £10 a bottle for what was basically a blend of 2 core beers with a little herbs added cgarvie04.07.2011
- Beerleaks was a flop because it was nonsense, not because people were indifferent.
It accused mainstream brewers of doing things that just about every craft producer does, but it was BAD because mainstream brewers were doing it.
It's also interesting to see that its been claimed as a Brewdog campaign when James washed his hands of it on this very blog very recently.Richard E Allele04.07.2011
- the worst one is the launch of pasteurized cans!!! prince charles04.07.2011
- The top one is the plan to open a bar in Leeds! Stewart04.07.2011