The Portman Group strikes again. Yawn.


Today the Portman Group has officially banned BrewDog's Dead Pony Club 3.8% ale. See http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Drinks-Brands-News/3.8-ABV-BrewDog-beer-falls-foul-of-the-Portman-Group

On behalf of BrewDog PLC and its 14,691 individual shareholders, I would like to issue a formal apology to the Portman Group for not giving a shit about today’s ruling. Indeed, we are sorry for never giving a shit about anything the Portman Group has to say, and treating all of its statements with callous indifference and nonchalance.

Unfortunately, the Portman Group is a gloomy gaggle of killjoy jobsworths, funded by navel-gazing international drinks giants. Their raison d’être is to provide a diversion for the true evils of this industry, perpetrated by the gigantic faceless brands that pay their wages. Blinkered by this soulless mission, they treat beer drinkers like brain dead zombies and vilify creativity and competition. Therefore, we have never given a second thought to any of the grubby newspeak they disseminate periodically.


While the Portman Group lives out its days deliberating whether a joke on a bottle of beer is responsible or irresponsible use of humour, at BrewDog we will just get on with brewing awesome beer and treating our customers like adults. I’m sure that makes Henry Ashworth cry a salty tear into his shatterproof tankard of Directors as he tries to enforce his futile and toothless little marketing code, but we couldn’t give a shit about that, either.

The Portman Group took objection to the phrase "rip it up down empty streets"? Mr Portman, you seem to like taking things literally. Can you please explain how something can be ‘anti-social’ if the streets are empty? Anti-social is defined as ‘contrary to the laws and customs of society, in a way that causes annoyance and disapproval in others.’ If the streets are empty, there are no ‘others’ to annoy.  


As for not agreeing with "we believe faster is better", well I think the archaic existence of the Portman Group proves just how bad "slow" can really be. Maybe they should try and catch up with the rest of the world instead of insulting the intelligence of consumers with such a thin veneer of impartiality. It is an embarrassing condemnation of the mega brewers who provide their funding, the same mega brewers whose pricing wreaks havoc on society.  

Mr Portman, we'd be appreciative if you could now kindly save some trees and stop sending us meaningless letters.

We sincerely hope that the sarcasm of this message fits the Portman Group criteria of responsible use of humour.

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Comments (103)

Meli:) 2nd May, 2014 11:28pm
I fucking love you guys :)
Sam D 2nd May, 2014 5:30pm
Can I get this on a T-Shirt?
BrewDoge 2nd May, 2014 10:56am
I love your beers and I love this response. Keep at it, you legends.
Peter C 1st May, 2014 8:12pm
as a shareholder and regular consumer I fully support your action. I absolutely adore Dead Pony Club (getting on in years so like the ABV starting with a 3 to go with the stunning flavour).Would still drink it if you called it Portman piss or even Bloated Brewers Lobbyists Talk Shite IPA(hey, a rose by any other name etcGood luck
rollover 1st May, 2014 7:56pm
Ace response!
Steve H 1st May, 2014 3:53pm
The proof is in the beer and how good it tastes, and that is why I mainly drink Brew Dog beer....it is simply AWESOME!!! Keep up the good work everyone.
martinegreen 1st May, 2014 3:43pm
Time for a new Brewdog t-shirt eg I drink Dead Pony Club to forget the Portman ruling
Papajoe 1st May, 2014 2:33pm
Hard to believe (not) there are still fuddyduddy directors/management, trying to grapple with independent brewers, because theres nothing they can do about it . The number of small brewers/micro breweries in the country now speaks for itself. People want beer/ale thats flavoursome, with substance and body to it . Not Not the crap the big breweries churn out in their pubs .
HuwDog 1st May, 2014 12:37am
Not keen on your ales but absolutely delighted by your erudite response to the rancid turnips of the Portman neo-con industry lackeys.May even buy myself a token bottle of Dead Pony Club.Huw.
Porkman Group 30th April, 2014 8:01pm
As a very large man I am going to launch the self-proclaimed Porkman Group. This will involve me drinking large amounts of beer and Pork Scratchings before banning any beers that do not meet my high standards. Signatories to my code of practice will be banned from stocking these beers and the brewers will be written to explaining why their beers are sh*t together with my comments about how they could improve their recipe.
Andrew W 30th April, 2014 7:18pm
Sold! Im buying Brewdog wherever its sold from now on!
Spio 30th April, 2014 2:04pm
The Portman Group were set up by the likes of Diaego and Inbev - some of the biggest players in the UK drinks industry who manufacture most of the well known brands. No surprise that a start up company comes along and starts threatening their market share so they issue absurd guidance like this. Just as well that they are as toothless as they are biased and that the brewdog chaps can just ignore them. Its not like they need other bars to stock their beers, given how many of their own pubs they have. Useless posturing from Portman Group. Glad they got told to fuck right off
Richard G 30th April, 2014 1:21pm
Suggest you market a pale yellow weak beer called Portman Piss, or similar.
Bloc 30th April, 2014 11:14am
Up the brewdog
Richmond 30th April, 2014 11:02am
Have never tried your beer; only because hard it in Bulgaria. However will be in Britain in August and will try to get some in; even if only to see what all the fuss is about :) Empiricism rules! And as to your jokey labels: glad to see that someone still has a sense of humour in politically correct, po-faced Britain :)
PA 30th April, 2014 10:21am
Portman Group have no understanding of PR. Only thing I can see will happen now is that more people will buy it because of the extra publicity. Good luck guys, dont let the b**t***s grind you down!
DeerBrinker 30th April, 2014 10:18am
Just about the best blog post of all time! Good for you!
beeerygutnot 30th April, 2014 8:17am
Tried brewdog last month for the first time, awesome beers and service place was jumpin and no riots afterwards.
Kev Whelan 30th April, 2014 8:13am
HA HA HA briliant work
TimA (Dubai) 30th April, 2014 5:57am
Yours is definitely the best beer in the world. Now could you please export some to the UAE so I can taste it for the first time. Keep on brewing, keep on telling it like it is.
Ratskelar Brewery 38104 <Memphis, TN> 30th April, 2014 3:20am
Fuck em if they cant take a joke.
Panda2013 29th April, 2014 11:19pm
Go for it and btw, Paradox is sublime, what youre doing is what beers all about.
Greg 29th April, 2014 10:36pm
Ive just got a lovely bottle of clown king out of the fridge to celebrate how much this story has made me smile. Keep up the good work guys :)
Quench seeker 29th April, 2014 10:29pm
Theres a body out there guiding the market what to buy on the basis of someones opinion on label taste?!?!?! We cant let consumers decide for themselves? Must we take the nanny state this far? 1984 is here!?!
Acrostics 'R Us 29th April, 2014 10:26pm
She Bu 29th April, 2014 9:55pm
As one of the 14,691, I further approve this message.
Stephen L 29th April, 2014 9:45pm
I spose they are just bitter that people are increasingly ditching their crappy tasting lagers and moving to the delights of craft beer!
Oli 29th April, 2014 9:18pm
Fantastic response!Could I also suggest a new beer to celebrate the Portman group - a weak, tasteless lowest common denominator beer similar to Fosters or Carling - maybe calling in a Portman approved unit shifter? Just keep the good stuff behind your bars! ;-)
ioanparry 29th April, 2014 9:08pm
Sales of DPC are going to rocket. I hope.
ioanparry 29th April, 2014 9:05pm
You speak words of wisdom. And common sense. Keep it up guys, beer drinkers worldwide want more of this.
Nordic 29th April, 2014 9:03pm
We LOVE your beer and sense of fun in Norway. Send it all to us!
Brew Speed Triple Dog 29th April, 2014 8:43pm
Outstanding !! Its you guys that shine a light on a world of dark, tasteless shite beers. Ive always drunk and always will drink your sensational creations. Long May you rule the world of taste and creativity in the world of awesome beers. Yaaay !!
Ian G 29th April, 2014 8:41pm
I too will drink more of your beautiful beers - especially the Punk IPA which is superb anyway.
NBrown 29th April, 2014 7:54pm
Does the portman group have a sister organisation that governs food? Can only imagine what they would have said about findus actually using dead ponies!!!Keep it up guys we need to fight the nanny state and observe some kind of self responsibility for our actions
Pablo 29th April, 2014 7:05pm
Make the strongest beer you possibly can and call it Mr Portman. Stuff that would take his head off if he was to sip it!
Rich P 29th April, 2014 7:00pm
Surely it should be renamed the Dead Portman Group in their honour?
bramleyborn 29th April, 2014 6:51pm
Im now going to but some of your beer. Hurrah!
Nemaliner 29th April, 2014 6:32pm
I havent tried your beer, but I will now!Are fans of BrewDog called Brew Doggers? Do they go Brew Dogging?
Bomb J 29th April, 2014 6:31pm
I am finding it rather hard to even take the Portman Group seriously. I have been in Holland for the last 2 months working, and whilst I do partake in the occasional glass of Heinekein, I do also sample the available artisan beers that are on offer. None of these even taste remotely as bad as that chemically enhanced crap that those esteemed distributors produce. Generally speaking at home, as soon as I see the produced under licence on the label it goes back on the shelf.
Neil F 29th April, 2014 6:13pm
From the photos on their website Id say at least 3 of them have beer bottle permanently inserted up their a£$e! Keep up the good work boys and cheers for treating us like people not idiots.
abomb 29th April, 2014 6:10pm
Dear Sirs, I think a second open letter to The Portman Group thanking them for the free advertising may be in order.
Laurie T 29th April, 2014 5:49pm
Suggest change the name to Doric Clydesdale--- !!
Jamie 29th April, 2014 5:39pm
Would you be willing to recreate carling under the name Portsman and sell it at rock bottom prices?
steveo 29th April, 2014 5:35pm
never heard of Brewdog before this, but i will now be seeking out their products in support!
Chris W 29th April, 2014 5:31pm
Complaint made to the ASA:They call this beer The worlds most refreshing beer but upon trying it I was rather disappointed to discover that it is not really any more refreshing than many other mass produced beers, and a good deal less refreshing than several beers I am familiar with, even if we exclude ales almost all of which are more refreshing than this Coors stuff, I can give one example right away. Brew dogs very refreshing Dead Pony Club.
Paul A 29th April, 2014 5:30pm
next brew...My name is Portman....anyone?
DrTashy 29th April, 2014 5:22pm
I love your beer and have never heard of the Portman group until now...kinda says it all! Your beers kick was and are refreshingly different!
mike the human 29th April, 2014 5:19pm
Im an ancient old man an have enjoyed many good strong beers. 3.8% beer aint strong and presents no threat to anyone with half a brain.The portman group seem to me to be deranged.
mog505 29th April, 2014 5:13pm
I have reported the Portman Groups twitter announcement on the subject for being misleading or deceptive.
RSC 29th April, 2014 5:08pm
Good point well made, keep up the good work :)
Neil C 29th April, 2014 5:07pm
Well done for saying what the rest of us think and for making such quality brews!
mog505 29th April, 2014 4:57pm
Keep it up Brewdog. I have never rioted after a pint of your beer. The last time I got given a pint of Fosters I wanted to assault the barman for taking £3.50 off me for a glass of eggy vomit.I am not sure what is more of an incitement to violence.
Malc H 29th April, 2014 4:42pm
Keep Calm - and carry on Brewing!
FB 29th April, 2014 4:36pm
You should make a beer called Portmans which is just incredibly bland.
Jon A 29th April, 2014 4:30pm
You guys are funny!
Kat65 29th April, 2014 4:13pm
Good for you guys stick it to The Portman Group, well said. I loved your statement and chuckled my socks off.Perhaps if these idiots spent more time minding their own business and less time drawing a over paid salary for being knobs the world would be a much better place. Keep up the good work.
SixFootTwo 29th April, 2014 3:33pm
Shame on you for assuming we are not all mindless nomarks who cant differentiate between a marketing slogan and a direct command we must obey.
david1885 29th April, 2014 3:17pm
You should make an ale called Portman. and market it as the beer for people who have no sense of humour.
Adam B 29th April, 2014 3:03pm
Can I get an Amen!
higmire 29th April, 2014 3:03pm
I will now drink so much more of your beer. You guys are awesome, Never change
Jey el Ehm 29th April, 2014 2:59pm
http://www.portmangroup.org.uk/about/member-companiesSo. WHO is surprised?
Rob Delaney 29th April, 2014 2:56pm
Fantastically put. Nice one.
cardiffian 29th April, 2014 2:52pm
please open in Cardiff I am off to find what these Portmanc people make so I can be sure to boycott it.
dunchan 29th April, 2014 2:42pm
Wonderful, keep on rockin youg guys.Punk IPA rules OK,
DaveEL 29th April, 2014 2:37pm
So to all those asking what the Portman Group ban means, nothing .... sort of.The Portman Group advisory has no legal standing and all retailers can ignore it.However many retailers have voluntarily chosen to abide by the Portman Group rulings and for larger chains they are unlikely to make any sort of exception. Given that a lot of the big retailers have signed up to the code (e.g. Tesco) it may be fairly significant loss of trade of brewdog decide not to adjust the packaging (although its only dead pony club so these same retailers will still be able to stock other products from brewdog). I suspect the packaging may be updated to remove what was being complained about and replaced with some kind of the f*&^ you to the portman group instead.In additional some licenses will have been granted with stipulations of following the advisories and so ignoring these could cause them legal trouble or at least loss of license.Anyway thats the way I understand it. I find the language used in the Retailer alert (http://www.portmangroup.co.uk/docs/default-source/complaint-decisions/dead-pony-club-retailer-alert-bulletin.pdf?sfvrsn=0) to be deliberately misleading in advising retailers to stop stocking without stipulating that they only need do this to remain in compliance with the code.
Stuart Thomson 29th April, 2014 2:29pm
Dear Sirs,After reading your open letter to the Portman Group, I will proceed directly to my nearest super market in order to enjoy a few cold Ponies later this evening. Regards,Stuart.
TE 29th April, 2014 2:28pm
Well all I can say is thank god for The Portman Group. If it wasnt for their stoic, sombre guidance I would have immediately bankrupted myself buying all the Dead Pony Club in existence, dug myself a shallow grave, then stood at the end of it drinking until I fell in.Oh wait no I wouldnt, because Im not a bloody idiot.
Chris@Codeology 29th April, 2014 1:23pm
I would like to applaud you for not only making an important statement about the unfair treatment of small businesses but also for making my entire office giggle heartily. If you ever need some machinery I would love to try to sell it to you.
GG 29th April, 2014 1:20pm
Directors is a really good pint btw even if Portman Group are a bunch of nitwits
Pete H., Nottm. 29th April, 2014 12:46pm
Hah ! You guys rock !The Morning Advertiser link makes reference to Dread Pony Club !!! Has your beer been re-branded to appease the Portman Group ??
Stingray 29th April, 2014 12:40pm
The Portman Group Board’s unstated (but nevertheless agreed) aim is to “manipulate the alcohol industry in order to stifle independent breweries and to maintain their vice like control over the industry”! I am surprised, therefore, that the Portman Group don’t lay a Health and Safety claim against you for “making their blood boil” by saying that you don’t give a shit about what they say!
willbiggs 29th April, 2014 12:04pm
well said.
El Tee 29th April, 2014 11:32am
I dont even drink beer.. but youre now approximately my favourite company ever. Dont ever change.
Jim G 29th April, 2014 11:27am
Does a Portman Group ban actually mean anything?
Mark C 29th April, 2014 11:06am
I dont drink beer, but if I did, Id drink Brewdog - well done for making a stand!
Hogiebear 29th April, 2014 10:56am
Love the reply ! Who are these tosspots anyway?
Mrs Trelex 29th April, 2014 8:44am
Id be worried if you produced oversweetened drinks to appeal to children, but I guess that is the market owned by Portmans paymasters.
Flashywhiskers 29th April, 2014 7:29am
Reading the ruling, it suggests we have until July to continue to enjoy the packaging. I say we get the pitch forks out and you all meet me at the lake and we go looking for some DPC in its natural plumage. Are you with me men?!
The Grim Weeder 29th April, 2014 4:08am
Portman Group! self appointed Mary Whitehouses! wont stop me from rapidly drinking in your Brum bar or tearing it up on the way back to get my train home! ha ha ha! #portmangroupnumpties
h.sekhon 29th April, 2014 3:11am
I havent even tried your beer down under but this statement of non-bulshittiness and actual regard for your customer makes it my new favourite beer label. Now if youll please excuse me I need to find myself some bottle shops to stock up on BrewDog from.
Chuck in the USA 29th April, 2014 1:07am
Dont stop doing what youre doing! The world supports you for supporting us with tasty brews. Cheers!
Jon Lambert 28th April, 2014 11:43pm
Why not rename it to Dead Portman Club?
Tonym 28th April, 2014 11:30pm
I love you bastards !
concernedaustralian 28th April, 2014 11:25pm
When can we get a bar down here in AustraliaWe too need to show our dislike for these Portman fouls
labradorofperceptiom 28th April, 2014 11:16pm
I would refer them to Arkell vs Pressdram
BrewRich 28th April, 2014 10:20pm
I drank a Punk IPA, a 5am Saint and a Dead Pony Club today and I didnt drink DPC any faster than the other 2. The blurb on the label doesnt make people drink any faster.
redheadednomad 28th April, 2014 10:01pm
Nice. Please ship any spare inventory you cant sell over to Canada!
andyhawkes 28th April, 2014 9:38pm
As one of the 14,691, I approve this message.
PMack 28th April, 2014 8:49pm
I love an overly officious non-government regulatory body telling me Im too stupid to understand humour. Thanks, Portman Group, for protecting me from my own innate stupidity. Without you Id be shot-gunning bottles of Dead Pony and terrorising empty streets.
An52may 28th April, 2014 8:21pm
Snigger..them drink Beer 👍😄
Alasdair M 28th April, 2014 8:21pm
I also have an issue with the Dead Pony Club label. The last few bottles Ive had have had a darker green / blue label, I prefered the original turquoise labels....
dearl 28th April, 2014 8:17pm
What does them banning it actually mean?
dannyboy 28th April, 2014 7:50pm
So what does the Portman Group banning one of our beers mean? Does it have any impact at all? I dont understand how it does.
ZombieNeith 28th April, 2014 7:34pm
You almost had me worried you were issuing a genuine apology then. Silly me! :)
Slogger 28th April, 2014 7:07pm
Ukulele Kris 28th April, 2014 7:06pm
Gaaaawd, guys... like, youre like... SOOOOOOOOO irresponsible.
Shanchat 28th April, 2014 6:34pm
Good work as usual. They are uselss. Beer is fir adults treat us as adults. Cant wait for you guys to open Cardiff.
icouldbehidden 28th April, 2014 6:22pm
Well said
raph 28th April, 2014 6:10pm
good lord 28th April, 2014 5:57pm
Other than that, fair play to ye all! Thank fook for Brewdog!
good lord 28th April, 2014 5:53pm
Its wreaks havoc.
Noel Kelleher 28th April, 2014 5:49pm
Fair play lads. Stick it to em and keep producing your wonderful beer.
Mike G 28th April, 2014 5:48pm
Im about the enjoy some ale in Brewdog Aberdeen. See you soon...