BrewDog is the greatest success story in British craft brewing. Friends James Watt and Martin Dickie started BrewDog in 2007, and in just over a decade have achieved remarkable things: they employ 700 people; they have breweries in Aberdeenshire and Columbus, Ohio; there’s a distillery, lots of barrel-aging, a sour beer side project; they’ve made a TV series; through their Equity for Punks crowdsourcing, they’ve had tens of thousands of investors, together raising millions of pounds; they have over 40 bars around the world; they’ve even been awarded MBEs by the Queen. It’s incredible.
Visit Brewdog Hq And Dogtap From Young Punks To World Beer Superstars Photo Gallery
You can visit their brewery and DogTap taproom in Ellon, about 17 miles (27km) from Aberdeen (there’s a direct public bus). They run tours so that you can see where the beer is made in their brewhouses, plus the distillery, warehouses, packaging, and offices, before ending up in the bar. To look back on the icy warehouse in a remote fishing village where it all started in 2007 and then to see the brilliant bright new brewery is remarkable—no other British craft brewery is close to where BrewDog are in terms of what they’ve built. And like them or not —because a lot of people don’t love BrewDog—it’s impossible not to be impressed when you see this place.
When you’re there, try their flagship beer, Punk IPA. It’s inspired by US craft brewing and it was one of the first of its kind made in Britain. After a Punk, see what specials they are serving on tap, as they always have a rotation of new brews. And if you stay in Aberdeen, then there’s a really good BrewDog bar there where you can try even more of their beers—my favorites are Elvis Juice, a grapefruit-infused IPA, and Jet Black Heart, a luscious nitro Stout. To paraphrase a huge neon sign in their brewery, Watt and Dickie are loving hops and living the dream.
WHAT: BrewDog DogTap and Brewery Tour
HOW: Tours take place on Monday to Wednesday (at 6pm), Thursday to Friday (at 4pm and 6pm), and Saturday to Sunday (at 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm). my blog 48 hours ahead at www.brewdog.com.
WHERE: Balmacassie Industrial Estate, Ellon, Aberdeenshire AB41 8BX
The owners of BrewDog are the living embodiment of this mantra.