The Portman Group starts action against Tokyo*

self imposed cartel industry watchdog shoots the wrong people, again

The Portman Group starts action against Tokyo*

self imposed cartel industry watchdog shoots the wrong people, again

Just when you thought it was safe to enjoy Tokyo*, think again.

Tokyo*, our 18.2% Imperial Stout, is now being investigated by the Portman Group and brought before the Portman Group Panel.

Alcohol Focus Scotland made the official complaint to The Portman Group.  Their complaint is based on the following:

-We have claimed this beer as the UK's strongest beer

-not promoting a positive message of safe and responsible drinking

-claiming the phrase ‘intergalactic fantastic imperial stout' points to hallucinogenic qualities

-the use on our website of "It is all about moderation. Everything in moderation, including moderation itself. What logically follows is that you must, from time, have excess. This beer is for those times.'

Interestingly, we have not been told which sections of the Code of Practice we have specifically violated this time. We eagerly await to be updated on this, having reviewed the code we have struggled to see what we have done wrong. We will keep you informed as to the outcome and decision of the panel.


Tokyo* is  priced responsibly at £9.99 per 330ml bottle. For less money you can buy 700ml of a cheap whisky or vodka and 2 liters of 14% wine.  The fact that they are so quick to jump to the conclusion that a high-end, limited edition beer like Tokyo* is at the route of the country's alcohol problems is evidence that they are looking for scapegoats and we are an easy target for them.

Responsible drinking is at the core of what we do because the types of beers we brew actually encourages responsible consumption and a better understanding of beer.  At BrewDog, we are determined to revolutionize the UK beer scene. Our beers are loaded with flavour, bite and body so consequently you drink less of them. We want to change people's perceptions and understanding of beer and firmly elevate its status.

You can buy some here:


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Comments (18)

Pete Brown 20th August, 2009 11:36am
Careful we dont all go for the wrong targets - if Portman have received a complaint they are obliged to investigate it - they are just doing their job. The substance of the complaint to me seems to be nonsense. If Portman uphold it, that is when to lay into them, because that would be a ridiculous decision. But if they throw it out, it could do loads to help get the right message about craft beers across.
Dave Paton 20th August, 2009 2:19am
If i, as a consumer can help at all then i would definitely be happy to help. This is truly a ridiculous accusation.
mat thomas 19th August, 2009 4:50pm
What a blatant load of scapegoating at a time when the UK alcohol industry is desperate to be seen as being effective self-regulators...just keep repeating the phrase 330ml is a tenner, 330ml is a tenner... to the press...and surely you will have sold out of this limited edition by the time they reach a verdict anyway?

Chip 19th August, 2009 10:23am
£9.99 would buy ten litres (TEN LITRES!!) of 7.5% ABV white cider in most local offies in the UK.

That`s 75 units of alcohol, as opposed to 6 in a bottle of Tokyo*

One of the more popular brands of white cider stocked in the UK is called `Three Hammers` and the label has, well... three hammers on it. In common parlance `there`s three litres of it and it gets you hammered`

Now why aren`t the Portman Group going after that muck? White cider causes more misery, illness and domestic violence than any other liquid in the UK, has no aesthetic merit and is well within the price-range of... well, anyone with a drink habit.

Rant over... I can`t wait to pick up a Tokyo*!
Vittorio, 19th August, 2009 9:13am
I bought 12 of the buggers and have as yet only got smashed on one of them. Well, half of a shared one actually. I think this weekend I might be brave and try a whole one to myself. I`ll tell the neighbours to get the police on speed dial.
Pete Brissenden 18th August, 2009 11:52pm
Yet again the Portman group woefully miss the point.

I had an Intergalactic Fantastic evening this evening, no hallucinogens stronger than tea and the watching of Blade Runner were taken.

Wait and see, soon enough Portman will realise how stupid they have made themselves look yet again.
magicdave6 18th August, 2009 11:29pm
I invite everyone to come and try third of a pints of this as thats all we will sell it for in The Rake, as a senceable outlet for this bevarage. Its fantastic and i want everyone to realise its about flavour and not stength. Its a hard battle against the politicians who are about seats rather than game. Well have an event on the 7th September!
Michael Newman 18th August, 2009 11:06pm
“claiming the phrase intergalactic fantastic imperial stout points to hallucinogenic qualities” Well I suppose the word fantastic can imply hallucinogenic. It certainly does in the case of the Fantastic Symphony a work which overtly extols the virtue of drug taking. I hope the MSPs are going get that Berlioz banned, the drug-crazed french bastard!
G Dunbar 18th August, 2009 9:58pm
“claiming the phrase intergalactic fantastic imperial stout points to hallucinogenic qualities” Clearly until now we BrewDog consumers have underestimated The Portman Group. My personal theory is that they operate in some skewed version of reality that we are unprivileged to understand or see with the naked eye. I think they may be on drugs. I do not know what else could explain this bizarre and completely unfounded statement. I mean, how else would they know? Watch the Portman Group make a lot of noise, change their minds for no reason and fall silent. It is what they do.
Matt Gray 18th August, 2009 8:52pm
I bet Tesco don`t get shot down for their Value Whisky/Vodka/Cider/Bière D`Or, all of which can do you considerably more damage for under a fiver!
Velky Al 18th August, 2009 7:01pm
Where in the States can I get some so I can corrupt the people over here as well?
Ed Swift 18th August, 2009 1:32pm
How stupid can you get. But then, it would be an easy way to reduce competition wouldnt it.
AndrewS 18th August, 2009 12:46pm
Do you laugh or cry at this latest stupidity?

Perhaps everyone who has a bottle ought to take a photo of themselves enjoying it (responsibly, of course) with their friends (which is what I intend to do with mine) and bombard the PG with the results.
Mark, 18th August, 2009 11:03am

Although I shouldnt be. I am disappointed more than anything, disappointed that the rational debate has been completely ignored.

Rather than get (not very cost effectively) snozzled on Toyko* next week and add to the collateral damage from binge drinking in the UK, I am going to open the first of my 3 bottles in my living room, which I will share with at least one other person, and then we will all write a review of what it tastes like (how unruly).

And in the meantime I am now going to have to find the time (amongst a backlog of other things) to write down my thoughts on this because the way that people go loopy over talking about drink in the UK really bugs me.

Woolpack Dave 18th August, 2009 9:46am
Is it true that there are only 1000 bottles left in the UK? - I have 29, I did have 30, but I had a binge night and drank one. No, actually, I shared it with several people and we loved it.

That means I have 2.9% of the UK stock. Funny, I`m not getting people flocking to my door to get hammered on it.
Glyn Roberts 18th August, 2009 9:32am
I think we should invite them to The Rake on the 7th September and let them argue their case face to face. It will give them an indication of just how responsible this beer is.
The Beer Nut 18th August, 2009 9:08am
`hallucinogenic qualities`? Well they would know, quite obviously.
Zak Avery 18th August, 2009 8:52am
Here we go again. Count me in.