The Business Class

The Business Class: BrewDog

Episode Five: BrewDog

Meet the Company
In Episode Five we meet Brewdog founders James Watt and Martin Dickie, whose craft beer and bar company has gained steady success via radical marketing and financing strategies. The Brew Dog founders enter the Business Class to challenge James Caan and his team of experts to solve how they can continue to grow their company without losing their focus or the original punk brand ethos.

In Episode Five we profile rebellious craft beer and bar company BrewDog (brewdog.com) whose alternative marketing message and brand values have already seen them clash with market leaders Diageo. Founders James Watt and Martin Dickie have grown their brand to gain a loyal following, and even pioneered 'Equity for Punks' – a financial model which is unique in the EU.

In this episode we explore BrewDog's alternative marketing message, as well as their international expansion plans and franchise model. We will also be discussing how to implement the most effective board when experiencing rapid growth. To debate these issues with James, our expert panel includes Lord Digby Jones, formerly of CBI and UKTI and Mark Angela, ex-CEO of Pizza Express and now with SSP.

The Founders

James Watt, co-founder of BrewDog is a law graduate, whose professional life began as captain of his father's Scottish fishing trawler. In 2007 James and co-founder Martin Dickie saw a gap in the UK drinks market for a craft brewery founded on non-traditional values and BrewDog was born. James steers BrewDog's alternative marketing campaigns including launching the world's most alcoholic beer, The End of History (55% ABV), encased in bottles made from road kill and a the first beer to be brewed under the sea.

Martin Dickie is James' business partner and is fully qualified master brewer, who is the driving force behind BrewDog's beer range. He frequently collaborates with other breweries such as Three Floyds, Stone and Mikkeller.

BrewDog- Vital Statistics

BrewDog produce a range of craft beers and are founded on 'punk' values which extend to their finance model 'Equity for Punks' which saw them become a PLC only two years after inception and sell shares online to 1300 of their customers. They have recently also expanded their brand to incorporate a national chain of bars.

Company Name: BrewDog

Turnover: £11.5M (projected with 2012)

Headquarters: Fraserburgh

Founded: 2007

Employees: 125

James' Checklist For Businesses £10M-£25M Turnover

  • Is the induction process sufficient to ensure maximised productivity for new staff? Is staff training sufficient, or could it be improved?
  • How effective is the business' website? What improvements could be made to ensure it is the best selling tool it can be?
  • Is the cash-flow streamlined or excessive? Is it full of 'nice to have' or 'need to have' items? Does the business successfully manage receipts/expenditure?
  • How recognisable is the brand and how solid are the brand values of the business?
  • Does the company optimise its usage of social media? Is it a crucial part of the marketing strategy?

Full Episode

Full Episode
In Episode Five James joins forces with Mark Angela, ex-CEO of Pizza Express and current CEO of SSP UK and Ireland, and Shaa Wasmund, Founder & CEO, SMARTA, to offer guidance to rapidly growing craft beer and bar company Brewdog. They all agree on the company¿s success story but what do they think about Brewdog¿s founders¿ ambitions to grow the business home and abroad

Episode Highlights

Highlights from the response James and his panel of experts gave to the challenge set by Brewdog co-founder James Watt on how to best approach potential overseas business partners?

Company Response

The Business Class Episode 5 - CEO reponse
  • Caan is one of the U.K.'s most successful and dynamic entrepreneurs as well as the guest presenter of "The Business Class."

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