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UK. BrewDog announces record sales as drinkers shun large breweries

Fraserburgh beer company BrewDog yesterday revealed record sales on the back of the increasingly unquenchable global thirst for artisan beers, and revealed plans for four new BrewDog bars.
The company, known for its quirky marketing and often unusual craft beer, said UK sales had surged by 230% last year and said its products were now available in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrison’s and Waitrose.
This is in the face of a market that was 3.9% down during 2010, according to the British Beer & Pub Association, as pubs closed during the recession.
The producer of Punk IPA, the flagship brand which accounts for just over 50% of sales, saw total sales rocket to ?3.9 million, or the equivalent of more than 7m bottles.
James Watt, the 27-year-old co-founder of BrewDog, also said pre-tax profits last year had come in at ?300,000 – well ahead of its ?147 pre-tax profit of 2009.
The company, which exports 55% of its produce, yesterday predicted its UK market share would continue to rise.
It also insisted that the growing taste for speciality beers was more than just a temporary trend, and was here to stay.
Mr Watt said mainstream breweries were now “running scared” of the craft revolution. He also said the company, which employs a staff of 50, would open new BrewDog pubs in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester and London this year.
The company opened its first pub in Aberdeen in September.
Mr Watt also said its new ?5m brewery at Dyce, on the outskirts of Aberdeen, would be “up and running” in 2012 and would add significantly to production volumes.
The Fraserburgh facility will remain open for the production of “experimental beers”.
Mr Watt said he regarded his growing sales as a “landmark victory for BrewDog” against the big mainstream brewers.
He also said the rising popularity of speciality beers was evidence of a public swing. “The market has shifted,” Mr Watt said.
“Consumers have become less interested in beers from faceless, multi-national corporations.
“They want interesting beers, made by people with passion.
“Molson Coors buying Sharp’s Brewery is an act of panic, not commercial nous.
“Buying a small brewery does not buy you a craft beer soul.
“All this does is prove they can see the change is coming and recognition that the market is shifting.
“It won’t help them be a part of it.
“They, along with every other mainstream brewery, are shaking in their boots.”

16 Feb. 2011

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