BrewDog Bites Back at The Portman Group

BrewDog Bites Back at The Portman Group

Here is the Letter that has been sent:

ATTN: Mr D Poley

The Portman Group 

Dear Sirs,

James Watt,Martin Dickie and Brewdog limited

We have been instructed by BrewDog Limited, James Watt, the company's Managing Director and Martin Dickie, Head brewer. BrewDog Limited runs a small brewery in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire producing premium priced specialist beers for connoisseurs.

This letter is written in accordance with the Pre-Action protocol on Defamation of the Civil Procedure Rules. We refer to words attributed to David Poley, your Chief Executive, in a press release published on your website and also we assume to the media. Mr Poley is quoted as saying "Brewdog is profiteering from the scourge of illegal drugs, mocking the misery caused by misuse." Our clients complain of these words. As was reasonably foreseeable, these words have been repeated in media reports, including for example, in the Financial Times on 21 January 2009 (copy enclosed).

The allegations that our profit from illegal drugs and mock the misery caused by the misuse (or use) of illegal drugs are untrue and factually inaccurate. Our clients sell legal beers and take the misery of illegal drug use seriously. If,which is not accepted, these words are claimed to be merely an expression of opinion which can be supported by facts, the this is disputed by our clients. Mr Poley appears to seek to justify his statement on the basis that " the blurring of alcohol and illicit drugs fosters unhealthy attitudes to drinking and triviakises drug misuses." This is not a justification for, or legal defence to, these serious allegations against our clients which have and will continue to cause them distress, hurt feelings and damage their personal and business reputations.

Our Clients require your written confirmation as soon as possible and in any event, within the next 14 days, that you agree to take the following steps in order to remedy your unlawful actions:

•1.       Provide our client witha letter signed by Mr Poley on behalf of the Portman Group apologising for and retracting the words complained of;

•2.       Remove the words complained of from the press release on your website:

•3.       Undertake not to repeat the words complained of either by Mr Poley or any other officer, employee or agent of Portmans Group in future;

•4.       Pay a reasonable proportion of our clients legal costs of this matter;

•5.       Make a donation to an alcohol abuse charity of our clients choice of £500 as a mark of sincerity of the apolopy.

If we do not receive a satisfactory response to this letter within this time period we anticipate advising our clients to commence legal proceedings for defamation.

Your Faithfully




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RINGO 20.02.2009 @ 5:34pm
kay starrs pallete is a piece of wood artists put their paints on. Palate may be the word she is searching for,but you never know. She is obviously confused about what constitutes niche marketing and stupidity, perhaps some Fosters could improve her IQ.
Robbie 20.02.2009 @ 8:17am
Well G Dunbar I imagine you know what Speedball is in drug terms. Then you have the brewdog clowns calling it a class A beer and openly admitting they named it Speedball to get at the Portman group.Of course they dropped their legal action like a hot potato when the commercial implications of their action became clear to them.A couple of wee laddies out of their depth.
G Dunbar 19.02.2009 @ 11:18pm
Robbie – as you seem to be addressing my comment below perhaps I should elaborate as maybe you haven’t been following the Portman case as closely as some others round these parts. I wasn’t specifically referring to Speedball - Poley’s quote is bogus because for 8 months last year the Portman Group targeted the wording on the labels of Rip Tide, Hop Rocker & Punk IPA and today (bar Hop Rocker which I believe is retired) these products sit on our shelves bearing exactly the same unchanged wording - hence my comment. I hope I’ve cleared that up for you. Happy trolling!
KAY_STAR 19.02.2009 @ 8:03pm
Love these drinks, love that they are brewed by and for people with some sort of fucking palette.

If you dont understand the niche marketing and naming policy, get an IQ over 40 and get back to your Fosters.

That is all.
robbie 19.02.2009 @ 7:41pm
Speedball was never a responsibly marketed product just a cynical exercise in self promotion by 2 guys more intent on media attention than brewing drinkable beers.Their overinflated claims do not stand up to scrutiny and they are heading down the tube.
G Dunbar 16.02.2009 @ 4:20pm
From The Drum: David Poley, Portman Group chief executive, said: “They’ve informed us that they want to draw a line under this dispute...We’re pleased that the company has decided to concentrate on selling responsibly marketed products.” Erm, David - aren’t these “responsibly marketed products” the exact same products that you spent the best part of last year needlessly persecuting over their marketing?! BrewDog 1...Portman Group 0
Tom Baird 15.02.2009 @ 5:44pm
Has anyone tried a herring speedball-it is herring and mayonnaise wrapped in clingfilm. Half an hour after swallowing it delivers a healthy dose of omega 3 and a pleasingly fishy burp-and it is legal-Rock!
magicdave6 13.02.2009 @ 7:49pm
Its dam annoying they did drop the case, the next time it comes up as it will since inbuv, S&N Coorsmiller.. so on think they may be threatened in any way by making shite products and marketing them illigally by selling them at a loss, the fuckin portman group get fucked real fuckin good.
Robbie 12.02.2009 @ 5:28pm
It now appears that Messrs Dickie and Watt have dropped their action against the PortmanGroup.This comes as no surprise, these 2 self promoting idiots would have been wiped out in a court case,Speedball was nothing more than a cynical exercise by them in gaining media attention.
A Lawyer 10.02.2009 @ 1:47pm
He was likely under the influence of Speedball. This is just another self promoting nonsense by these nutters,who seem to have delusions of adequacy.
Steve H 10.02.2009 @ 10:43am
Was your lawyer under the influence when he typed that up, or was he just wearing boxing gloves?
Andy M 09.02.2009 @ 9:12am
Go for it guys!