If you’re keen on your ale, design or marketing then you’ll be interested to hear about Brew Dog… if you haven’t already.
A small business started in 2007 has progressed rapidly into a steam rolling monster of a brand that HAS to keep gaining in popularity with their customers. However it’s those in the industry that they are likely to upset. But then…they really don’t care!
Their design is fantastic. Striking, memorable and relays the company’s identity as a ‘punk’ brewery wonderfully. The beer names are amusing and full of meaning, as is packaging and the website is a joy to use. They have character, they’re funny and they are COMPLETELY different. Hampton Associates have done a cracking job in every area of design.
In terms of marketing – they make a lot of noise. A lot of it is negative though. The ASA recently complained about swearing on their website. They have got into trouble for allegedly mocking drug abuse, some of their beers get complaints for having too high an alcohol percentage and it goes on.
Brew Dog kick up a fuss, step back and watch the mayhem whilst smiling and then take the rewards of the free publicity they get from doing so. It’s not complicated or new but it is proving to be very effective. They’re intelligent chaps and anyone who says otherwise is naive.
HOWEVER!!! There are some things that just don’t sit right – mostly small bits of their written content. Brew Dog criticise other ales and breweries – but who exactly are they slating?! Whenever Brew Dog talk about tasteless, mindless, visionless crap, I really hope they are talking about the lagers in our world. If so they are absolutely correct. However they also mention ales when slating their competitors…
“We were bored of the industrially brewed lagers and stuffy ales that dominate the UK market.”
“Raising a stiff little finger to IPAs that have come before and those it is yet to meet.”
I know they’re from Scotland – so maybe they haven’t visited the South much and tasted the ales I have. Because if they are putting ales like the ones pictured below under the umbrella of crap lager then it is they who are ignorant.
If they are talking about the London Pride’s and John Smiths of this world then fair enough. But you can’t deny the incredible wealth of brilliant ales we have in our country. Even the Tesco selection is like going to the pick n mix department of Woolworths when I was a kid – it never gets old. I love it and I love British ale. Look at Skinners – great ale, great identity, great character and they do it without insulting everyone. Their mascot is Betty Stogs, an ale drinking Cornish maiden who will take your call when you ring the brewery and when they’re at events you’ll usually find a real life cross dressing man playing the part of Betty Stogs. Priceless! Much love to the Skinners crowd.
So all in all – I’m jealous of Brew Dog and their brilliant design and image. I don’t agree that all other beers are rubbish and maybe they can upset people to gain publicity but maybe they shouldn’t insult the brewers who may well have inspired their own brilliance. And lastly – they come across as being very arrogant but if you make beer THAT good (and it really is that good) then fair enough really!
P.S. Look out for WJ King when drinking in the south coast.
Beers shown from breweries including: Hall & Woodhouse (Dorset), Marstons (Midlands), Hop Back Brewery (Sussex), Thwaites (Lancashire), Shepherd Neame (Kent), Dark Star (Sussex), Longman (Sussex), Bath Ales (Take a guess), Adnams (Suffolk), Skinner’s (Cornwall).