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BrewDog alcohol free beers

BrewDog: From Craft Beer Mavericks to Eco-Friendly Industry Leaders

Now one of Britain’s most notorious beer brands, BrewDog started small in 2007 in Fraserburgh, Scotland by two pals, James and Martin. Twenty-four years old and excited to turn the craft beer market on its head with some outrageously strong brews, their venture took off at electrifying pace. Sixteen years of madness later, their alcohol free beers and good deeds for the planet are winning over a whole new wave of fans.

It all started with the pair brewing their hardcore beers in tiny batches in Martin’s mum’s garage, bottling them by hand, then selling them at local markets out of a beaten up old van. A year of relentless hard work later, their star was well and truly on the rise. Exporting worldwide, they’d become Scotland’s biggest independent brewery and they’d concocted the infamous Tokyo, a beer so strong it was banned by the Portman Group and described by the press as ‘the downfall of western civilisation.’

A bit of bad press and even a recession could never stand in the way of BrewDog’s dogged ambition. They never compromised on creating exceptional quality drinks with the best ingredients from around the world, and when the banks stopped loaning them money, they created Equity for Punks, a unique business model which gave consumers the opportunity to buy shares in the business.

Over the next few years, they went from strength to strength, and so did the beers. Tactical Nuclear Penguin launched at 32%, The End of History at 55%, they opened their first bar, and they won the Gold Medal for Hardcore IPA at the World Beer Cup. With more money pouring in, a swish new Aberdeenshire brewery was built, more bars were opened, and the whole beer-drinking world came to know the name BrewDog.

In 2017, after a decade of mind-blowing success, James and Martin decided to supercharge their good deeds. They set up The Unicorn Fund, under which they give away 20% of their annual profits. Soon followed the BrewDog Blueprint and BrewDog Tomorrow, their manifestos for the future and their commitment to sustainability, which they approached with just as much passion as they did their beer.

In 2020, BrewDog became the world’s very first carbon negative brewery, and when the pandemic hit, they paused their spirits production in order to make over 500,000 bottles of hand sanitiser to donate to the NHS and local key workers. Still in 2020, they purchased a 9,308 acre plot of land in the Scottish Highlands to create a native, biodiverse broadleaf woodland to pull carbon from the atmosphere and preserve the peatlands. In their commitment to planet-friendly deeds, they’ve already planted a million trees in Madagascar as part of their work with Eden Restoration projects, and invested millions into carbon-slashing brewing equipment in a bid to become the most eco-friendly beermakers on Earth: ‘It is big business which generates billions of tonnes of CO2 every year, and it is our collective responsibility to reduce emissions and remove carbon from the atmosphere.’

BrewDog consider the past two years those of their most monumental achievements. It’s no wonder these brewers count their time in dog years. With so much achieved already and a newly stoked passion for sustainability, we can’t wait to see what BrewDog do next!