What can we expect from BrewDogs spirits venture?

What can we expect from BrewDog's spirits venture?

With reports last month that BrewDog is poised to enter the spirits category, Ian Buxton mulls what we can expect in the years to come from the off-the-wall brewer.

“Thanks for getting in touch. We don't actually have anything to announce on this at this time.”

That’s a surprise. It’s not often that these noisy neighbours are so modest and coy. But, that’s all I could get from BrewDog's spokesperson, which pushed my imagination into overdrive as to what’s brewing at the independent Scottish company.

My query came on the back of reports that the self-styled anarchists are looking for a head of their nascent spirits division. Apart from the inevitable requirement to ‘break the mould’, the advert, which is running on the company’s website, reads like most other job specifications.

There’s the usual corporate emphasis on “open and honest communication”, “timely and cost-effective” management and, of course, this paragon will be a “brilliant team player and a natural facilitator”.

Applications have closed unfortunately, so don’t get too excited, but the website suggests they want someone in place during August to commission and install their new stills. Given that the current waiting list from the best still makers is two years or more, the timeframe suggests this has been in the planning for some considerable while. Unless, of course, they’re simply going to weld a few dustbins together: that would be an appropriately punk approach. 

Eat your heart out, Diageo: GBP40m for a new distillery, and yet these boys will probably do it with a length of old drain pipe and their Portman Group-influenced book of insults.

Just as Bruichladdich has finally calmed down and gone all corporate, along comes a new enfant terrible to challenge the respectable face of the spirits industry.

What may we expect then? Given that this is the company that brought the world Punk IPA; Tactical Nuclear Penguin and the 55% abv End of History, complete with dead stoat or squirrel, they’re probably not going to be competing for shelf space at Asda.

Incidentally, I couldn’t help noticing that it was a grey squirrel – boring. Now a red squirrel; that would have really challenged convention and got people talking.

I’m expecting a peat-soaked gin with at least 1m parts-per-million of phenols and a free peat briquette with every bottle. Distilled by peat master Peter ‘Peaty’ McPeterson in peat-fired stills and aged in casks buried in a peat bog, each bottle will contain a peat widget that releases a concentrated burst of phenols guaranteed to demolish surrounding buildings.

Also available in herring barrel finish. 

No doubt, there'll be whisky you can run a racing car on and Vindaloo Flavour Vodka that will singe your eyebrows and clear troublesome veruccas. There will be slammers and shots galore (The End of Tequila expression?); free tattoos and a Mary Whitehouse Memorial Meerkat.

Or, perhaps there will be some other really endangered species that could be boiled up – anyone for Shark’s Fin Baijiu or River Dolphin Shochu, as the boys from Balmaccasie attack the Far Eastern market? Actually, on second thoughts, I think I’ll keep those for the pension fund.

Let’s have Kill The Bankers Cognac; Lynch The Lawyers Lime Liqueur and Marvellous Magic Mushroom Mezcal. In fact, let the BrewDog Distilling fun commence: things were getting rather dull round here.

Diageo, Chivas, Dewars, Grants – you may as well give up now!

Expert analysis

Global Spirits Market: News and Events March 2014

Global Spirits Market: News and Events March 2014

Synopsis The report provides a review of the latest news and key events in the global spirits market during March 2014. Summary Using this report, marketers will effectively gain an insight into the ...read more