8. The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread: BrewDog

8. The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread: BrewDog

This blog forms part of our wider The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread blog series, where we look at some of our favourite innovations in the food & drink industry. We’ll be uploading new posts regularly so keep checking back for some inspiring food for thought…

BrewDog is celebrating its 10th birthday this month and during this time it has given us plenty of reasons to be one of our favourite innovative food & drink brands. The brewer brand played a major role in bringing craft beer into the mainstream as it decided to stick it to the unconsidered regulars in the world of beer and inject some colour back into the industry. A passion for beer and a thirst for innovation has transformed an idea that started in the garage of one of its founders into a £1bn brand.

BrewDog established itself as a challenger brand with the introduction of Punk IPA to our supermarket shelves. The following brews broke boundaries with innovations such as ‘Tokyo’ – the UK’s strongest beer at 16.5% ABV. Not content, the ‘Tactical Nuclear Penguin’ was created with 32% ABV to become the strongest beer in the world at the time, which they have since surpassed with other limited edition beers. There is a line to be drawn between innovation intended to provide sustainable growth for a brand and limited edition promotional activity, and BrewDog certainly cross that line on occasion. However, in doing so they are enlightening the consumer on what possibilities exist.


“We make beers that we want to drink ourselves and if other people like them then that’s great.” Co-founder, James Watt’s philosophy on innovation doesn’t begin with the desire to serve an unmet consumer need.

Innovation at BrewDog doesn’t stop at experimenting with flavours and strength. In 2010 they launched their first craft beer bar in their home town of Aberdeen and now have close to 50 successfully run bars across 4 continents. Riding the high of successful diversification, BrewDog has announced its most ambition plan yet: the world’s first craft beer hotel.

BrewDog are even different (or is it innovative?) in their approach to raising capital in the business by offering the public a chance to join the ‘revolution’ and purchase shares through their website. The BrewDog brand proves that, even in a long-established industry, there are opportunities for innovation everywhere you look.

Key learning: innovation can take place in many facets of your brand to allow its personality to shine through.

Nick Campbell Nick Campbell