Dear (fake) BrewDog China

An open letter

Dear (fake) BrewDog China

Invest in BrewDog at

Recently, we were tipped off about a "new BrewDog bar" in China. Now, this naturally struck us as quite bizarre considering we don't have a bar in China, and upon further inspection it would seem that we've made it! Someone has opened a fake BrewDog bar! Our initial reaction was bemused, kinda happy, a bit flattered but simultaneously terrified; like a French foie gras goose. Here's an open letter to the Emperor of this new establishment:

Dear (fake) BrewDog China manager/owner/emperor,

Thank you. It’s not every day someone pays you the compliment of copying what you do. I mean, I’ll admit we were surprised when we saw a picture of the bar you’ve constructed in our image in Changzhou, and maybe a little terrified, but mainly we were peculiarly proud. There’s something that says ‘you’ve made it’ when a weird replica of your craft beer brand is peddling beers through counterfeit taps somewhere in the world’s biggest country. I honestly cannot wait to visit (fake) BrewDog China. Is there a fake James and Martin we can meet? Because that would be awesome.

I know that most organisations might reprimand you, condemn you and maybe even sue you for faking their logo and their bar concept, but speaking as the people normally being slapped on the wrists for rocking the apple cart in this industry, that would smack of hypocrisy. BrewDog exists to make everyone as passionate about beer as we are, and frankly your choice to build a fake BrewDog bar in Changzhou – rather than a fake McDonald’s, a fake Starbucks or a fake Nike Town – suggests to me that we are getting there.

You see, Mr Emperor, in 2007 we were just two humans and a dog. At that point, having a counterfeit bar carrying our logo in a part of China I can’t pronounce was just a pipe dream. We wanted to start a craft beer revolution, and we see your little bar as very much an ally in that revolution. As a nation, you’ve got form.

The fact that it is no longer the global mega brands alone that are being copied in China, but also the small craft beer producers, proves to me that there is not just a slight change in the world’s food and drink tastes, but a tectonic shift. Yes, your strange little bar exists on the fringes of legality, legitimacy and taste, but when the wheel spins, it’s on the edges that sparks fly – and we know all about that ourselves. We have over 12,000 investors that have all bought into the craft beer revolution, each of them a spark flying in the face of convention, and in a bizarre way you guys are joining them. We see you not as criminals, but compatriots. Not as competitors, but comrades.

Our BrewDog bars are mother-fucking cathedrals of craft beer, and although yours probably falls short of that standard, it does still fight the same fight, weirdly. Despite being a very small and artificial pin in the global craft beer revolution map, your bar (maybe even more than ours) proves the old empires are burning down. The rules are already broken.

So – thank you Mr Emperor. And good luck with your fake bar. I’ll be along to visit soon – I’m looking forward to trying the 6AM Saint and the Funk IPA. I do still nurture a small hope, though, that imitation is the starting point for imagination for you. If next time, rather than knocking up a do-it-yourself BrewDog bar with an odd red logo, you go one step further and have a stab at your own craft beer, then you will really be onto something. You’ll care more, and in turn you’ll be better. You’ll give more to the business, listen more to your customers and you’ll make a metric ton of mistakes before you’ve even had breakfast but most of all, Mr. emperor of fake shenanigans, you will have fun. It won’t be about the money, it will be about the beer. And maybe one day, someone will send you a low-resolution picture they found on the Internet of a tiny bar somewhere on the other side of the world, with a makeshift version of your logo slapped on the front of it, and you’ll feel exactly like we do. Like things will never be the same again.

Bye bye.

(real) James.

Only last week we opened a real BrewDog bar in Shepherd's Bush, London. You can invest in BrewDog and our 13 real bars at

We are not sure how you can invest in the Chinese one.


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Comments (73)

Blew dog 9th December, 2013 11:05pm
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Knock knock 9th December, 2013 2:42pm
Would the same attitude prevail if someone opened a fake Brew Dog bar in the UK? I doubt it.
dhughes77 9th December, 2013 10:26am
For this masters of free publicity you must have thought Xmas had come early :-)In all seriousness protecting your brand is no joke, so as long as everyone knows its a knock-off then theyll be no issues.Reminds me of the Apple shop where even the staff didnt know it was a fake!
Tress 7th December, 2013 10:12am
You should start sending them bottles of real BrewDog beer along with an invoice. You might get paid in Chinese Yuan but the hilarity of it will be priceless.
Grahamf4 6th December, 2013 4:05pm
@In Beijing. Read the article. Makes senses too. Brewdog should make visit out east. They spend enough time out wwest in USA. Eastern markets are probably ripe for product.Aslo have to agree with comment that said sarcasm doesnt exist in China. So is pointless in the Open Letter.
gibbiem 6th December, 2013 1:59pm
I think I know the people who opened this rogue bar. But I could be Wong
in Beijing 6th December, 2013 10:12am
I doubt they serve anything remotely like Brew Dog or craft beer pouring at that bar. More likely a bar in Changzhou has bottles of Bud Ice, Tsingtao, and Snow (all pleasantly served at room temperature), and the patrons have probably never experienced something like a real Brew Dog. Meanwhile, a great response to this letter has been posted on from the China Craft Brewers Association to (real) Brew Dog, which you should read here:
American Scotsman 6th December, 2013 1:29am
As always china copies off the Americans and the Brits.
Dobie Wan 6th December, 2013 1:04am
This is super-duper-uber-fantasticamso.Though I do think that when you said: I do still nurture a small hope, that you shouldve left the e off hope*snigger* Awww come on! Im a new Dad, Im allowed to make these jokes.
aichelej 6th December, 2013 12:52am
Translate that shit into Chinese.
tommy wright III 5th December, 2013 11:03pm
Hello My Name Is Mao
tommy wright III 5th December, 2013 11:01pm
I wonder what is on the taps in chinese bdog
chris the brewer. 5th December, 2013 10:14pm
What a great letter. Well put. The should have called it Blue Dog...
ACTAngler 5th December, 2013 9:58pm
Does that mean I can open a fake bar in Australia and all will be sweet too???
sun 5th December, 2013 9:28pm
Bien dit !
Lil Kim 5th December, 2013 8:05pm
I made this
c0axial 5th December, 2013 7:37pm
Fake Brews as well ?
Vattendelare 5th December, 2013 7:35pm
I love you!
Cselby 5th December, 2013 7:27pm
Funking awesome! Brewdog make the world go round.
Lewis 5th December, 2013 7:11pm
Very well put, but somehow I think alot will be lost in translation.
Kleff 5th December, 2013 7:00pm
BrewDoggie: Cpa?We already have that in sweden! beer
BartonAlan 5th December, 2013 6:50pm
Good response.This is what the Chinese do best - copy / steal others good ideas.
R2R 5th December, 2013 6:49pm
wonder if they institute a one beer policy?
Dr. Wily 5th December, 2013 5:52pm
Well done. Keep fighting the good fight craft for all!
jimmyseats 5th December, 2013 5:20pm
Can I come along?!
TattoodBrew 5th December, 2013 5:07pm
Nice. Well mother fucking put!!!
Gabbo 5th December, 2013 5:05pm
Fucken well said real James!
Ingramator 5th December, 2013 5:04pm
It looks so seedy, like a beery brothel...
BrewDoggie 5th December, 2013 5:04pm
Now you have to brew some CPA, China Pale Ale: A beer which tastes like Peking Duck or noodles :)
Adde 5th December, 2013 4:57pm
Hello, My name is Mr Emperor
mark popp 5th December, 2013 4:53pm
If you employed me I could go and sort them out !!! :/
John Lee 5th December, 2013 4:49pm
Fucking awesome
Beerpice Brewing 5th December, 2013 4:07pm
Ha Ha great reaction James
sunnrider 5th December, 2013 4:06pm
Nice one. Please film your visit.
TomHoward 5th December, 2013 4:03pm
Go over there, have loads of beer and dont pay. After all, its yours, youre the owner of brewdog...
Fanboy Puppy Lover 5th December, 2013 3:55pm
Its even got a stepladder, like the real BrewDog bars when under construction...
Lex 5th December, 2013 3:40pm
Im actually in China right now so I might go check this out. Chengzhou is only an hour away. I would love for there to be a legit on in Shanghai though, hell. Id even help you run it if it gets the Chinese onto some real beer
Akira 5th December, 2013 3:40pm
in China - Everything can copy,,,
bryank 5th December, 2013 3:25pm
Cracking letter. Looking forward to visiting and having myself a small Slackhammer.
koobs 5th December, 2013 3:07pm
Streekie 5th December, 2013 2:54pm
Close one down and two more will pop up. Maybe Hydra would be a suitable concoction in their honour?
Lillbet 5th December, 2013 2:48pm
This is great and frankly you have every right to be pissed off and should sue their asses into the ground for the greater good, but FYI- sarcasm doesnt translate in Asia. Really. Thats one reason I left.
elrambo 5th December, 2013 2:32pm
EXCELLENT! what a lol.
sea dog 5th December, 2013 2:32pm
Bad language in this article.
Act169 5th December, 2013 2:31pm
Pure comedy!!! What beer do they sell???
Relentlss 5th December, 2013 1:42pm
Is a Fake Fake Lager just Lager? If Fake Chinese Punks invested in Brew Dog would it be just another pub?
Ion 5th December, 2013 1:41pm
I now have a reason to visit my mother country... well, already had it, but now the urge is stronger!
M 5th December, 2013 1:40pm
You should send them a proper logo so they can replace the red one.
Old Susannah 5th December, 2013 1:37pm
Love the response (and the fois gras analogy too); classic BrewDog prose. Considering there is a decades-long feud between the (real) Czech Budveisser and the American (crap) Budweiser, your handling of this situation is good. But...If they start serving godawful beer, that just might dent the reputation. Then again all the counterfeiting going on in the world is hurting people. On balance, if I were you Id definitely come up with a beer to mark the occasion, pref with a Chairman Mao / little red book label. go for it.
aseftel 5th December, 2013 1:25pm
Send a case of FAKE lager
Si 5th December, 2013 1:24pm
Send him some fake lager! Then make a beer called china crisis and sell it here!
Lanc 5th December, 2013 1:18pm
Better not try their version of Tactical nuclear penquin.
Cosamon 5th December, 2013 1:16pm
True Lager, the chinese version of Fake Lager XD
Chrispar 5th December, 2013 1:15pm
Why not offer them a franchise and supply them with real Brewdog beer .... kegs travel well .... maybe a good way to open up and educate a very very large market in the art of real craft ales (:
DKirk79 5th December, 2013 1:03pm
Make a batch of fake labels and use them to brand a batch of your very own Funk IPA or a stronger Tactical Newcleer Pigeon to comemorate the occasion.Send him an envelope of Genuine Fake BrewDog Stickers,
Pete H., Nottm 5th December, 2013 12:53pm
Well, they say that Imitation Is The Greatest Form Of Flattery !What a hoot ! What an article !Please can I accompany you on your visit to China ?
The Jarv 5th December, 2013 12:51pm
mother-fucking cathedrals of craft beer ... epic, simply epic!
Ectherrien 5th December, 2013 12:48pm
Brewdogs does need to come state side.
billythekid 5th December, 2013 12:46pm
Excellent response!
GMebs 5th December, 2013 12:45pm
dont shout too hard, given what some counterfeiters there are using for ingredients in other copies, you might find a few dead punters round the back.
Spencey777 5th December, 2013 12:45pm
I quite like the red lol
markmark 5th December, 2013 12:45pm
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!! I do wonder what the beer tastes like though.
Featherstoned 5th December, 2013 12:44pm
do you think if we swing by for a pint theyll still give us a discount as shareholders? :-)
AntonPoggio 5th December, 2013 12:42pm
Next step, offer to go over and sort out their brew, for the publicity and a cut...Reverse franchising!
Silver 5th December, 2013 12:41pm
great way to go about it instead of acting like a corporate ban hammer, not like you were about to open one yourself in china so let them have there fun, i like it
Jarman13 5th December, 2013 12:37pm
Hopefully, when you DO visit, we can see some more pictures. Of the interior etc.
FknAwsm 5th December, 2013 12:36pm
Well played James, well played!
Chuckles 5th December, 2013 12:36pm
Chuckle chuckle
bennyboysmith 5th December, 2013 12:35pm
jeez - I bet they sell a lot of Nueclear Sake!
Jake K; London 5th December, 2013 12:27pm
So are you going to pay them a little visit? Or perhaps send a few heavies? ;)
Eloise Lautner 5th December, 2013 12:26pm
LOOOOOOOL Love this boys.
Brand new bros 5th December, 2013 12:26pm
Ha! Epic reaction
Samwise 5th December, 2013 12:25pm
Ha! Classic.