BrewDog claims to be Scotland's largest independently-owned brewery producing about 120,000 bottles per month for export all over the world. It was founded in 2007 by James Watt and Martin Dickie. The brewery at the Kessock Industrial Estate in Fraserburgh produced its first brew in April 2007. The company moved premises to nearby Ellon in 2012, and the Fraserburgh site will be used as a brewing laboratory for experimental beers.
On September 2013 a TV show titled Brew Dogs premiered on the US television channel, Esquire Network where James and Martin travel across America visiting different American beer towns, celebrating distinctive craft beers and creating their own locally-inspired brews.
The bottled beers are distributed to British supermarkets and are exported worldwide to countries including Ireland, Japan, Taiwan, Austria, Estonia, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, The Netherlands, the United States, Canada, Australia and Singapore (TSA Wines). The kegs are available in locations throughout the UK and Ireland, and in a selection of countries around the world.
Prior to 2012, most of their beers were available as cask ale, but cask production was phased out.
BrewDog's core range of beers include:
Punk IPA (5.6% ABV, previously 6.0% ABV) - a hoppy and powerful ale in the American style. Their flagship brand
5am Saint (5.0% ABV) - a red ale
Hardcore IPA (9.2% ABV) - an extremely hoppy and strong double IPA
Dead Pony Club (3.8% ABV) - a hoppy Californian-style pale ale.
AB:09 (17.1 ABV) - a Cranachan imperial stout (5,200 bottles)
AB:10 (11.5% ABV) - an imperial brown ale aged in Spanish red wine barrels (9,872 bottles)
AB:11 (12.8 ABV) - a black barley wine with ginger, black raspberries and chipotle peppers (9,819 bottles)
AB:12 (11.2% ABV) - a black Belgian IPA, Scottish berries aged in oak casks (9,500 bottles)
AB:13 (11.3% ABV) - a cherry imperial stout aged in sherry barrels (9,900 bottles)
AB:14 (10.2% ABV) - an oak-aged imperial weizenbock (9,995 bottles)
In 2009, Tokyo* caused controversy when UK watchdog the Portman Group criticised the availability of a beer of that strength in 330ml bottles with traditional crown corks. Since then BrewDog has produced progressively stronger beers of very high strength, and has laid claim to the title 'strongest beer ever brewed' on more than one occasion.
Late in November 2009, BrewDog launched a beer called Tactical Nuclear Penguin, with 32% alcohol, which was claimed to be the strongest beer ever made.
In February 2010 BrewDog announced Sink The Bismarck, an apparent 41% ABV to reclaim the World's Strongest Beer title from Schorschbräu, who had produced a 40% ABV version of their Schorschbock.
In July 2010, BrewDog produced a 55% ABV freeze-distilled beer called The End of History, with the bottles packaged in small stuffed animals, priced at £500 and £700 each. Only 12 bottles were produced; 11 for retail sale, with the other one going to Internet video blog BeerTapTV. BrewDog claim that this set new records not only for alcoholic strength in a beer, but also for price. Advocates for Animals called the gimmick 'perverse'. The title "strongest beer of the world" then fell back to Mr Tscheuschner from the Schorschbräu brewery in Germany, whose Schorschbock 57 boasts an ABV of 57.5%. The title for world's strongest beer has since changed again though. It is now Brewmeister's Snake Venom at 67.5%.
In October 2010 BrewDog opened their first bar in nearby Aberdeen, named BrewDog Aberdeen. A second bar, BrewDog Edinburgh, opened in March 2011 located on Cowgate with a third in Glasgow opening in July.BrewDog Camden opened in December 2011, followed by BrewDog Nottingham in the Lace Market which opened in February 2012. Soon after BrewDog Newcastle opened on 13 April with a BrewDog bar opening in Manchester on 4 May and in Bristol at the end of October. In December 2012 a further site launched in Birmingham. 2013 saw only 3 bars open. Leeds finally opened in March following a 9 month licensing battle. The first international bar for BrewDog opened in Stockholm in May, and at the end of November, the largest bar BrewDog have with 40 taps of different beer opened in Shepherd's Bush, London.
BrewDog won the 2008 Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Paradox Grain won a Gold Medal at the 2008 World Beer Cup in the Wood and Barrel-aged Strong Beer Category.
BrewDog won the Tenon Entrepreneur of the Year Award for demonstrating exceptional vision and leadership at the 2008 National Business Awards for Scotland.
The Physics won World's Best Strong Pale Ale (Sub Category Winner) and Rip Tide won World's Best Imperial Stout (Style Trophy Winner) at the 2007 World Beer Awards, an annual competition organised by Beers of the World magazine.
Hardcore IPA won Gold at the 2010 World Beer Cup in the Imperial IPA category.
On 9 May 2012 BrewDog revealed that Diageo had threatened to withdraw funding from BII Scotland's annual awards if BrewDog was named winner of the Best Bar Operator award. Diageo later apologized to BrewDog for what they called a "serious misjudgement by Diagio staff".
BrewDog's provocative marketing has been a key aspect of the business, and has gained them substantial international coverage.
In 2008 BrewDog were challenged by UK drinks industry watchdog the Portman Group. Portman had claimed BrewDog to be in breach of their Code of Practice. BrewDog denied these allegations and countered that Portman was impeding the development of smaller brewing companies. After an 8-month long dispute and a preliminary adjudication which had ruled against the company, in December 2008 BrewDog were cleared of all breaches of the Code of Practice and were permitted to continue marketing their brands without making any changes to the packaging. In protest to their targeting, BrewDog introduced "Speedball", saying "...we thought we would give them something worth banning us for..." . Speedball was promptly banned by Portman before being renamed as Dogma.
BrewDog were also described as "...one of the prime movers..." behind the campaign which changed the law in 2011 to allow new beer measures in Britain.