Coming soon: BrewDog, the movie

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Stock picture. Getty/jackandersen
Stock picture. Getty/jackandersen

Related tags BrewDog Sustainability Craft beer Beer

Craft brewer BrewDog is working on a film that will chart its journey from Scottish start-up to global beer brand.

The brand was founded in 2007 by James Watt and Martin Dickie, who were both aged 24 at the time and set out to change the UK beer market at a time when craft was in its infancy in the country.

The company now has some 2,000 employees around the globe, serving 160 million pints a year.

The film promises to chart the ‘remarkable journey of high highs, low lows, failures, successes and a healthy dose of controversy along the way’, said Watt on LinkedIn as he announced the upcoming film, which is set to be titled ‘Underdogs: The Rise of BrewDog’.

BrewDog was launched thanks to ‘some very scary bank loans’, with the duo brewing tiny batches, filling bottles by hand and selling beers and local markets out of a beaten-up old van.

The brand quickly gained cult status thanks to its irreverent (and often controversial) products and marketing – ranging from the witty to downright odd.

One of its early branding tricks was the ‘edgy, glorious or simply bizarre’ names of its brews: take, for example, Dead Pony Club, The End of History and Elvis Juice (resulting in a long battle with the Elvis Presley estate).

In its early years, it also set out on a mission to brew the strongest beers ever – with the 2009 launch of Tactical Nuclear Penguin at 32% ABV. This was followed by a 55% ABV brew packaged in roadkill​ (‘it seemed like a good idea at the time…’, reminisces BrewDog today).

However - having always been one to move with the times –the brand now offers a strong range of alcohol-free beers: including Nanny State 0.5% and Brewdog Punk AF.

BrewDog was one of the earlier businesses to make a success of crowdfunding. In 2009 it launched its first Equity for Punks: which created a ‘whole new generation of business model’ that allowed pretty much anyone to invest and join a community of like-minded people. Its 2021 round raised £30.2m.

In 2015 it launched in the US; while its global footprint now covers numerous markets from Berlin to Australia with a host of bars, microbreweries, hotels and taprooms. It's also exploring other categories such as spirits​.

In 2019 the brewery set out its sustainability ambitions: taking its business carbon negative in 2020 (‘F*** you, CO2!’​, said the brand in typical BrewDog fashion).

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