A sensible voice in the debate



Richard Dinwoodie of Borough Market's Utobeer & co-owner of the multi award-winning Rake bar says:

"As the only London stockist of BrewDog's Tokyo we would like to refute the claims made about BrewDog's Tokyo beer in the article dated July 28, 2009.

"As a responsible drinks retailer we are not focusing on the alcoholic strength of the beer but the artisan nature and quality of the product.


"For a third of a pint of Tokyo we will be charging in excess of £6 and there is no way that this encourages binge drinking, particularly when you can currently purchase a 100ml of 7.5%ABV White Lightning at Sainsbury's for 15.4p yet we are charging £3.17 for the same quantity of Tokyo beer at 18.5%, you do the maths!"

"The customers in our bar and at our market stall often buy one of these beers to treat it like a fine cognac or whisky and to put into brandy balloons to share, not to down in one.

"The focus on this one special beer is utterly spurious, BrewDog offers a range of beers starting 2.4%ABV, so to single this particular beer out is just a case of pandering to binge drinking mania.You don't ever see a story about ‘well done BrewDog for producing a great tasting low ABV beer', this is just sensationalism and scaremongering of the worst kind."

And in response to the comments that it exceeds the daily allowance for women, leading female beer writer Melissa Cole says: "This is not a beer to drink alone, it is to share as the ideal digestif to a good dinner; claims that this encourages binge drinking are nonsense, if nothing else the price point is utterly prohibitive."

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Comments (13)

Mark Whitefield 10th August, 2009 6:08pm
Tokyo - Simply, the most complex, delicious stout I, and my mates, have ever tasted!

Congratulations Brewdog!!
GC 2nd August, 2009 12:45am
It is just typical tabloid knee jerk exploitation to bolster a non story in the silly season. I really cant foresee an outbreak of people binge drinking a £10 a 330ml bottle brew.

Ive yet to try it but if its anything like the bottle of Hardcore IPA I just finished (in an hour and a half) then it has a flavour you want to savour, rather than some bland lager that you just knock back.

Also in simple maths terms - an average bottle of wine costs about £3-4 for 750ml at 13%. That comes to 9.75 alcoholic units. One bottle of tokyo costs over twice the price and is 330ml at 18.2% gravity. This comes to 6.006 alcoholic units. Which would you choose for a cheap binge?
Paul 1st August, 2009 12:48am
Just bought six bottles of Tokyo as well as quite a few other bits and pieces and can not wait, frankly.

BrewDog sells to a specialised, beersavvy audience. Most alcoholics have never even heard of BrewDog and would not drink their stuff even if they did.

24 cans of Stella or whatever for not much more than a tenner or one bottle of BrewDog Tokyo? For the average alcoholic its a nobrainer. They want their alcohol as cheap and as strong as possible.
Crunchie 30th July, 2009 2:31pm
Andrew - have had Paradox there before, willing to try the Tokyo, hopefully its better than Mikkeller Black ;) Love Smokehead whisky so I think Paradox Smokehead will have to be drunk soon.
G Dunbar 29th July, 2009 11:25pm
Well...same old sh*t different year. I’m not naïve enough to believe that any of these journalists/writers/whatever are in any way interested in ales/beers...perhaps if they were they may well think twice about publishing such inaccurate knee jerk tosh. On Monday I listened to my amusement on BBC radio News that Jack Law was “disgusted” by BrewDog’s irresponsible stance on high alcohol beers - followed by a pre-recorded clip of James’s response. Beers come in all shapes and strengths and sizes – Mr. Law is clearly just ill educated. As others in these comments have stated - Mr. Law, please have a look in the drinks aisles of your local supermarket and observe the cheap, strong, mass produced alcoholic much are they? Er...yeah. Don’t patronise me.
anthony wilson 29th July, 2009 9:03pm
i havent tasted any brewdog bears yet but i do intend to i am very intersted in making beer and have done so in the past but my wife hates all the cluter so havent made any for ten years.
i have read atrticles about how the 2 boys started off and well done for taking a big gamble on on starting the company on the 1st place. i will be purchasing some ot their beers and will be requesting a tokyo beer for Santa claus on christmas eve to go along with the shortbread and the carrot for the reindeier which will make a great reward for santa delivering the presents. i do not think it will be iresponsible drinking to consume one of these after a good nights work once a year.

an alcoholic will always consume alcohol no matter what price it is whether it is 50pence per unit of alcohol or 10 pence per unit and certainly wont purchase a tokyo beer the only way an alcoholic will consume a tokyo beer is if he robs me on the way out the shop which is likeley too happen if alcohol is capped at 50pence per unit in scotland.
a work with people with alcohol addiction and nothing will stop them drinking if the dont want to not even the price
andrew 29th July, 2009 6:42pm
Crunchie... does that mean will see some at the Queens?
Rory 29th July, 2009 5:04pm
I cant wait to get mine delivered - but it will be shared with friends - and i guess thats the whole point isnt it?
Crunchie 29th July, 2009 4:08pm
All the commentary in the press will only benefit BrewDog and expand their exposure. Well done to Alcohol Focus Scotland. All you have done is ensured that more people who are not the cause of "binge drinking" trouble continue to enjoy a larger range of craft, artisan products. Why dont they concentrate on reconnecting estranged families from their long lost taste buds while at the same time educating them about the source of their food and drink and hopefully ending up with something resembling respect and pride. I think after a good few thousand years of "binge drinking" tackling it with a "lets not look at the root cause of the problem (fuckwits with fuckwit parents)" mentality is just ridiculous.
Evis T 29th July, 2009 2:57pm
Brewdog is one of the few breweries left in the country that still produces top quality beers ranging from IPAs, to largers, to stouts. I am proud to be a brewdog customer and this knee jerk reaction to Tokyo is utterly ridiculous. If the governments wants to stop Binge drinking, why not try to find out why people feel the need to binge in the first place?

Still, you have got to laugh. Im sure this is great free publicity for you all! Keep fighting the good fight, I will crack open a bottle of punk in salute.
magicdave6 29th July, 2009 12:17pm
I just sent an email to the metro about this, saying how utterly stupid this whole affair has turned out. However i did have 2 different groups of people come in asking if we had abottles of that 18 persent beer!
JD 29th July, 2009 9:56am
Absolutely, do they realise that supermarkets sell basics vodka, gin et all for a couple of quid? Those drinks are 40%, not 18.2%.
craig garvie 29th July, 2009 6:21am
well said. I did (a not so well written peice) in my local Camra magazine when the first Tokyo came out. making much the same point. You can get so much more alcohol for you pound if your not interested in quality.