A BrewDog Review of 2013
2013: The good, the bad, and the frankly confusing...
2013 has been a big year for us. Once again we're the fastest growing food & drink company in the UK, and we've had our most successful year to date (again). There have been highs in the last year, but also lows, and at least one bizarre moment somewhere in the middle. Here are our best and worst bits from the last 12 months, and what we're excited about in the next 12.
What rocked in 2013:
1) Our new brewery
This year we moved into our awesome new brewery. Funded by Equity for Punks and manned by a constantly growing team of craft beer mavericks, our brewery is big enough for us to cope with the huge increase in demand for great beer. It also houses some cutting-edge new equipment, including our custom built hop cannon. We like it here.
2) Equity for Punks III
Great things come in threes. We didn't want you guys to be left hanging, like fans of Ghostbusters, for the second sequel that never arrived. Imagine if they hadn't made Return of the Jedi. This year, we launched Equity for Punks III, and the response was phenomenal. We broke loads of crowd-funding records, sold £1 million worth of shares in the first day and raised £4.25 million in total. Oh and we still closed a month early due to the demand. Thank you.
3) Brew Dogs (the TV show)
We brewed beer on a keg-raft on the Willamette river, on top of a mountain, and on an Independence Day parade. We used the hottest chillis in the world, meat smoked malt, lobsters, and encoded DNA, in the beers. We brewed fog into beer, then turned the beer back into fog. Need we say more?
You can find our more about the show here http://tv.esquire.com/shows/brew-dogs
4) Jack Hammer
If we needed proof that you guys are addicted to hop bitterness, we need look no further than Jack Hammer. More bitter than a pre-spectral-visitation Ebenezer Scrooge, Jack Hammer has been hugely popular. Perhaps it's to do with having more IBUs than the human tongue can detect.
You can buy some here: http://www.brewdog.com/product/jackhammer
5) Angela singing Christmas songs in the office.
Best Christmas Ever!
1) Teething issues at the new brewery
With so much new kit, and a huge demand to keep up with, the changeover to the new brewery was never going to be 100% problem free, and we had some problems over the course of the year. Our maintenance team put in a gargantuan effort to keep things running smoothly, and we expect it this to pay off in 2014.
January, February and March were tough months but we are now back on an even keel and ready to burn up 2014.
2) The ASA got a little bit worked up
The Advertising Standards Authority deemed our welcome message to be a tad rich for general consumption, and insisted we change it. Read more here. Frankly, we'd have thought they would have better spent their time trying to get adverts for loan sharks and sugar-pill peddlers taken off TV, but hey, who are we to decide?
3) Fake Lager - is it fake?
Maybe it's our fault for calling it Fake and launching it on April Fools Day, but we get the impression that quite a lot of people don't think our Bohemian style pilsner is actually a lager. What sucks about this is it's more traditional than most lagers on the market, and contains the same great natural ingredients that all of our brews do.
4) BrewDog China
At first we were pretty lost for words when we discovered that we were now on a list featuring the likes of Kalvin Clain boxers, McRonalds burgers, and Robert Cop or Star Knight action figures. We've heard of other people borrowing our name and branding, but when we saw that there was a full-on knock-off BrewDog bar in China, we decided that the best way to address it was an open letter from James. Read it here. We're still not sure this happened; we think it might have been a hop-induced lucid dream.
What's going to rock in 2014:
1) Our expanding brewery
The next part of our brewery is still under construction, but when it's finished we'll have new offices for our team, and a visitor centre and pilot brewery for everyone else. We can't wait.
2) 2014 AGM
We want our AGM to get better every year, and so far, this is going to plan. We've taken on your comments from previous years, and the 2014 AGM is going to be more amazing than ever. Think great beer, awesome bands, delicious food, and more, on a bigger scale. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible there!
3) New BrewDog Bars
With BrewDog Sao Paulo due to open next month, BrewDog Tokyo due in March, and Berlin following soon after, you'd be forgiven for thinking we might want to sit back a little next year and just enjoy the bars we have. That's not our style, so we'll be following with India, Brussels, Paris and more - start saving up for a real-life beer flight now!
We are also looking to open another 5 bars in the UK with Sheffield, Liverpool & Cardiff all planned for the first half of the year.
4) London Beer Academy
We can't wait to get our BrewDog Beer Academy up and running; a bottle shop, home brewing supply shop, 10 barrel craft brewery with interactive brewing sessions, home brewing classes and a BrewDog bar all rolled into one. We'll be aiming to go full steam ahead with this in 2014.
Well, that's about it from BrewDog for this year. We'd like to thank everyone who's been with us since the start, and extend a welcome hug to everyone who's just arrived. It's a big warm hug, and it smells faintly of hops and wort. Let us know you favourite moments of 2013, and what you're most looking forward to us doing next year.