At BrewDog we are pretty relaxed about our intellectual property, in fact we have given away all our recipes with DIY Dog. No other brewery has ever taken such an open approach with it’s intellectual property. Ever. You can download all our recipes here.

But our trademarks are still important - as they are for any independent company. Of course we try to protect them from misuse by others if it will negatively affect our business, because we have jobs to keep, Equity for Punks shareholders to protect and a mission to achieve.

By protecting our trademarks, when we have to, we are just looking after our business and our team. We own trademarks just like we own our buildings, our brewing equipment, and our dogs. If someone stole our dog or our bottling machine we would not be happy, intellectual property is no different.

In terms of the Lone Wolf Bar in Birmingham, we paid for and trademarked Lone Wolf in 2015. The Lone Wolf Bar in Birmingham opened in January of 2017. Our wider team and legal partners, acting entirely in our best interests informed them that we owned the name and they would have to stop using it. Just as we'd do if someone opened a bar called BrewDog.

However, hands up, we made a mistake here in how we acted. Almost all companies always look to enforce trademarks, whereas at BrewDog we should take the view to only enforce if something really detrimental to our business is happening. And here, I do not think that was the case. As soon as I found out, I reversed the decision and offered to cover all of the costs of the bar. I also invited them up to Ellon to make their own gin with us. This is a mistake that hurt a lot; but like all mistakes, it made us better. This will not happen again.

All companies make mistakes, and we fixed this one quickly, openly and honestly.

In terms of the apparent ‘Draft Punk’ bar in Leeds, this is just opportunistic lies combined with inaccurate journalism. There was no bar here, and no ‘cease and desist’ from our side. The other party tried to register ‘Draft Punk’ as a trademark, but we own the ‘Punk’ trademark for beer, so naturally we objected as that is one of our trademarks. The Guardian article in question quotes Tony Green as saying “They can’t own punk, that’s the whole point” – this is pretty ironic given that they were trying to register Punk.

If we did not object they could have registered Punk and sold it to AB-InBev the next day, and then we could have been driven out of business.

Any company, anywhere in the world, in always going to protect the trademark of its flagship product. If you do not protect your trademarks then you risk forfeiting them entirely. People criticising us for defending our trademark is like people criticising us for not letting someone walk into our offices and steal our computers.

We won’t apologise for protecting our flagship brands, our business and the livelihoods of our amazing employees who all work really hard to make our beers fantastic and our business what it is. Just because we are a living wage employer, just because we share our profits with our teams, just because we are part owned by our Equity Punk community does not mean we should not protect our trademarks. Every company does.

So please don’t steal our trademarks. Or our dogs.

Love BrewDog xxxxx

Share This
Mark Hanson 29.03.2017 @ 3:59pm
Thank for clearing this up. I have 5 gals of Peroxide Punk in the fermenter, (from DIY Dog) and can't wait for it too be done. Thanks for the recipe!
Michael Cottle 29.03.2017 @ 2:41pm
Well done gentlemen. IP and patent law is sometimes unreasonably applied. In your case you've applied common sense to these issues.
Ben 29.03.2017 @ 1:53pm
It's good to have a company that has such honesty and communication with it's customers. A lot of companies not just breweries would have just brushed this under the rug and gone about their day. Hats off to you guys and keep up the good work on the beer side of things!
Ian Prise 29.03.2017 @ 1:46pm
Can I borrow Simcoe for an afternoon sometime?
Simon D 29.03.2017 @ 12:22pm
Perfect reasonable response and impressed by the back story - good guys!!
Hope you continue to prosper -and hopefully open up in Durham ????
Duncan 29.03.2017 @ 12:10pm
Brewdog is one of original craft brewers you have every right to protect your future.
Marty McFly 29.03.2017 @ 12:08pm
Thanks for clarifying, your right to defend a business you built, the future of your employees and your share holders.
When opening a business you should follow due diligence and check the naming you want to use. Its clear in both cases this wasn't done.
As an EFP I would be be concerned for my long term investment if they had continued
Jim Housden 29.03.2017 @ 11:38am
Everyone makes mistakes, the key is being able to hold your hands up, admit it, learn from it and move on.

Thank you for the honest response and the awesome beer!
Bob Smith 29.03.2017 @ 11:38am
Thank you for the explanation. Welcome to the real world!
Alec Hyde 29.03.2017 @ 11:35am
There's only one Brew Dog and may punk be yours forever ????
Mike 29.03.2017 @ 11:34am
My opinion is that you can not trademark 'Punk' in anyway... nobody should do that.
Chris McConnell 29.03.2017 @ 11:33am
What about "Brewery Dug" - that would rankle me a bit...
Jon 29.03.2017 @ 11:33am
If you keep on creating many new and beautiful flagship trademarks as you ahve done so far, the problem will repeat and amplify, isnt it? Anyway, your points are clear and fair, and will certainly raise more discussions at the coming AGM. See you next week guys, so excited about it!
GRANT 29.03.2017 @ 11:33am
Thanks Brewdog. Keep growing, stay independent. Be proud!
Olly 29.03.2017 @ 11:31am
Many will take any chance to bash you guys. It's getting tedious. Credit to you for dealing with this in a open, honest and decent way. For those who say this isn't 'punk' (yawn), half the job of 'sticking it to the man' is to make sure he doesn't steal your hard earned property for a quick profit. Keep doing what you are doing BD! x
Tom 29.03.2017 @ 11:27am
This article was ripe for that picture of the fake brewdog bar in China.
Paul S 29.03.2017 @ 11:12am
Business is Business ...
David 29.03.2017 @ 10:59am
Good ethics, good beer, good on you.
Spaceflan 29.03.2017 @ 10:54am
Haters gonna hate. But good for you for standing up and apologising
Dave Higgins 29.03.2017 @ 10:52am
A fair, considered and measured response. Well done, as ever.
Ryan 29.03.2017 @ 10:48am
Thanks for clearing that up guys. I like the honesty as ever!