BrewDog has added Tequila to its range of spirits – but the UK drinks group’s move has angered a fellow Scottish distiller.

Distilled in Mexico by the Orendain family, BrewDog’s Casa Rayos Tequila joins spirits such as Zealot’s Hart gin and Duo rum in the Punk IPA brewer’s portfolio.

However, the launch has sparked criticism from Muckle Brig, which claims the packaging for Casa Rayos is too close to the bottle used for a gin marketed by the spirits distiller and distributor.

Ian Stirling, a co-founder at Muckle Brig, hit out at BrewDog’s packaging, claiming it is a “knock-off” of the bottle used for the gin brand Lind & Lime.

“I know we are all inspired to some extent by other brands, but this crosses that line with two middle fingers waving merrily in the air. They knew we’d notice but simply don’t care because they’re a massive company and we’re not,” Stirling said.

Muckle Brig gin brand Lind & Lime bottle.
Muckle Brig gin brand Lind & Lime bottle. Credit: Muckle Brig.

Responding to the allegations, a spokesperson for BrewDog said: “The Casa Rayos bottle design is based on the colour and aesthetic form of the Blue Weber agave plant from which our Tequila made. The painted (as opposed to clear) glass colour, bottle shape and contour, glass text, label size and placement, fonts and colours, and embossed design are all obviously different.”

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By GlobalData

This is not the first time BrewDog has been accused of being too close to rival products’ branding. In November, UK non-alcoholic brewery Jump Ship Brewing took legal action against BrewDog to protect its Shore Leave brand.

According to Jump Ship Brewing, the release of BrewDog’s own 4.3% abv Shore Leave beer brand created a “risk of confusion” among its stockists and consumers. BrewDog’s initial marketing for the brand included the tagline ‘Time to Jump Ship’, which it later removed on request.

BrewDog first entered spirits in 2017 with the launch of a gin and a vodka under its LoneWolf moniker.

“We’ve long looked on with jealousy at the burgeoningTequila category, and with growing frustration, because we couldn’t participate by creating some agave magic at our distillery in Scotland,” BrewDog Distilling MD Steven Kersley said.

The Casa Rayos Tequila is available at BrewDog bars and on its website. It will be distributed in the UK by Oak & Still at an RRP of £40 ($50.50).

BrewDog indicated it is also lining up Reposado and Añejo variants.

Last year, BrewDog announced a £7m (US$9m) expansion of its distillery, located adjacent to the BrewDog brewery in Ellon, Aberdeenshire to treble its output of spirits.