Top 10 BrewDog Blogs
A look back to mark our 1000th blog
Since 2008, we have been using this blog right here to update our online communities on everything we've been up to. From boundary-pushing brews to controversial incidents with foreign presidents, to the launch(es) of our groundbreaking crowdfunding scheme to taxidermied animals, we have launched all major BrewDog news on this blog.
And this, dear reader, is our 1000th blog post! Or...near enough...
This is a pretty awesome milestone to hit in 6 years and, as such, we thought it was only fitting that we look back on some of the moments that captured your attention the most.
So, without further ado, I give you the top 10 most popular BrewDog blog posts.
10. Sunk Punk
In 2011, we created the world's first beer to be brewed under the sea. Sunk Punk was a 7.1% IPA that was fermented at the bottom of the North Sea in order to break an age-old curse on the Scottish shoreline. The idiosyncratic India Pale Ale was the first beer to be brewed underwater and contained some hardcore maritime-themed ingredients such as buckweed, distilled sea-salt, rum and mermaids.
Check out the video to see the story behind this beer!
9. BrewDog Camden
Marking our first bar in London, and our first bar outside Scotland, in at number 9 is the inimitable BrewDog Camden.
The bar, which launched in December 2011, was our first to be split over two floors, and was opened with a suitably apt takeover of London as we drove a tank down Camden high street! What made it even more bizarre was that Santacon was taking place the same day, so our armoured vehicle was surrounded by London's finest Chris Cringles and St Nicks! How very festive.
BrewDog Camden continues to be one of our most popular bars, and is frequented by local beer lovers, London tourists, rockers, hip hoppers, and occassionally Hugh Grant!
8. Equity for Punks
Our groundbreaking crowdfunding scheme first launched in 2009, and it's been a whirlwind ever since! The initial investment in 2009 set us on the path to where we are today, and we are eternally grateful to the 1350 people who put their money where their mouth is 5 years ago when we were still a fledgling brewery with big ideas.
When we launched the scheme, it was unheard of in the UK. The likes of Kickstarter had not gained traction yet and crowdfunding wasn't what it is today. A lot of eyebrows were raised in our general direction, but after 2 successive rounds, we have now raised in excessive of £7m, have a die hard craft beer obsessed community of 4,017 shareholders, hold the world's beeriest AGMs, have launched our ecobrewery in Ellon and have opened 21 bars and 2 botte shops.
None of this would have been possible without Equity for Punks.
7. The World's Smallest Protest
In 2010 we instigated the world’s smallest protest in an attempt to tear up UK licensing laws that said beer can only be served in third, half or full pint measures. The obvious way to conduct this was to hire a dwarf to hold a week long protest at Westminster, arguing that two thirds of a pint measures should be introduced in British bars and pubs.
And we were successful!
With this protest, we proved that size does not dictate significance; our tiny protest blew the dust off archaic licensing laws and introduced the first change to draft beer measures for 300 years. Two thirds is now a standard size across BrewDog bars, it's perfect for the ever-popular Jack Hammer and other brews that sit around 7-9%.
In April this year, The Portman Group made the bafflingly imbecilic decision to ban the label on our Dead Pony Club Pale Ale for not adhering to its pathetic, insulting "rules".
We responded in kind, with an open letter on behalf of us and our shareholders, apologising for not giving a shit. The gloomy gaggle of killyjoy jobsworths, funded by navel-gazing international drinks giants, treats drinkers like braindead zombies, vilifying creativity and competition for the gigantic faceless brands that pay their wages.
We were proud to see that so many of you agreed in your thousands to what we were saying here, and the hashtag #SorryNotSorry was trending across the UK on twitter that week.
5. Dear Fake BrewDog China
Another open letter leads the way into the top 5, this time it was addressed to the owner/manager/emperor of the (Fake) BrewDog bar in China.
Instead of filing a lawsuit through a stuffy firm with multiple surnames on their letterhead, we thanked the Emperor of this establishment, as this was surely a sign that we'd made it! We were bemused, kinda happy, a bit flattered but simultaneously terrified; like a French foie gras goose.
We are yet to make a trip over to China to try their 6am Saint and Funk IPA…
4. Tactical Nuclear Penguin
In November 2009, we smashed what was our most ambitious goal to date, and created the world's strongest beer! Weighing in at 32%, Tactical Nuclear Penguin was the beer that started not only a war between Scotland and Germany, but also an eye-opening awakening for many of the UK's beer drinkers.
Stepping up innovation and taking a sledgehammer to boundaries in brewing, this was our bold, uncompromising line in the sand for where beer could be taken, and where we wanted to take it.
The beer was launched with a suitable BrewDog video, featuring James and Martin dressed as penguins (and occassionally dressed in nothing at all) showing the brewing and freeze-distilling process for the beer.
Tactical Nuclear Penguin is still talked about online on an almost daily basis. This blog marks the point in time when we really turned a corner.
3. Diageo Screws BrewDog
In May 2012, a number of our bar team members donned their glad rags and headed over to the prestigious ceremony for the annual BII awards. We'd been in the running for "bar operator of the year" and had heard hints from reliable sources (aka the actual judges) that we were going to win, so naturally we were feeling pretty psyched!
When they came to our award, The two Neils, Kerry and Mark were all straightening their ties and adjusting their skirt hems ready to hit the stage, but alas! The bar operator of the year award went to someone else! We were a little confused, and so were the judges, which confused us even more!
As it turns out, Diageo, one of the worlds biggest beverage conglomerates, was a headline sponsor and at the last minute their rep had informed organisers that "under no circumstances could the award be given to BrewDog" If this happened, they would pull sponsorship from all future BII events.
This kind of blackmail was totally farcical, and we thought it only just that we let people know about it. The hashtag #AndTheWinnerIsNot was trending on twitter for days, and ultimately we were thrilled to see that craft beer revolutionaries were scaring the big boys.
2. Hello My Name is Vladimir
This beer was not for gays.
In February of this year, we were shocked and appalled by the behaviour of Russian premiere Vladimir Putin, who was taking aggressive, violent action against LGBT communities. This was amplified by the Sochi Winter Olympics, which threw Putin under the spotlight for his criminal treatment of normal human beings.
We stand against anything that denies people living their true lives, and we didn't want to just sit back and not have an opinion on it. Our core beliefs are freedom of expression, freedom of speech and a dogged passion for doing what we love. Thus, we launched Hello My Name is Vladimir; a beer that was strictly not for gays, and only suitable for uber hetero men who ride horses topless while carrying knives. Given he's the embodiment of this persona, we sent a case to the Kremlin.
50% of profits from Hello My Name is Vladimir were donated to charities that support oppressed minorities.
We never heard back from Vlad. We assume he enjoyed the cool, wet liquid dripping down his throat.
1. The End of History
This was our most eccentric endeavour to date. This was a beer packaged in taxidermied stoats and squirrels. This was 55% ABV. This was The End of History.
The name derived from the famous work of philosopher Francis Fukuyama, and this was to beer what democracy is to history.
Fukuyama defined history as "the evolution of the political system and traced this through the ages until we got the Western Democratic paradigm". For Fukuyama, this was the end point of man’s political evolution and consequently the end of history. The beer was the last high abv beer we brewed, the end point of our research into how far we could push the boundaries of extreme brewing, the end of beer.
Such a statement of a beer needed equally as imposing packaging, and so we turned to a gentleman known only as "TaxiTony" to stuff the bottles for this beer into taxidermies animals. Beer is an artform, a strange one at that, so we chose an encasing that reflected that unique, creative science.
So there you have it! Our top ten most popular blogs. Reckon there's any notable omissions? Let us know what you think should have made the top 10!