'Arise Sir Willy': size matters for Brewdog

By Graham Holter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Brewing, Customer service

'Royal Virility Performance': the special edition beer launched by Brewdog to coincide with the royal wedding
'Royal Virility Performance': the special edition beer launched by Brewdog to coincide with the royal wedding
Fresh from launching an aphrodisiac beer for the royal wedding laced with herbal Viagra, Scottish beer maker Brewdog has voluntarily stopped supplying some larger customers until it completes a new brewery in 2012.

Citing difficulty fulfilling orders for national on-trade accounts, the maverick brewer said it had been taken “completely by surprise”​ by a 400% sales lift in the first quarter of 2011, both in the UK and internationally.

Massive strain

Brewdog – established in Fraserburgh in 2007 by James Watt (md) and Martin Dickie (head brewer) – told customers that April saw all-time high sales of £500,000.

However, the firm said it was unhappy with its customer service levels, “which fall far below the standards we set for ourselves in … our business”.

“It puts a massive amount of strain on our resources, on our people, on our production capacity and furthermore seriously inhibits our ability to deliver to our customers on time.”

Consequently, Brewdog said it had decided to stop trading with some larger customers (on-trade national groups and distributors)“for the time being”​ due to capacity issues.

“We will however look to develop this part of our business again once we get to our new brewery.”

New brewery

Brewdog plans to start building its new carbon-neutral brewery near Aberdeen later this year and to switch production there in 2012.

Eco-friendly features will include a heat recovery system and a wind turbine, while the company also wants to incorporate a water treatment plant.

The brewer currently produces some of its beers at Meantime Brewery in Greenwich, London, to help it cope with export orders.

It said it would also be consolidating its product range, adding more capacity to the existing brewery, adding to its operations team and using external warehousing.

Brewdog’s recently launched limited edition beer Royal Virility Performance contains “well-known aprodisiacs”​ herbal Viagra, chocolate and epimedium (Goat Weed), and carries the cheeky caption ‘Arise Sir Willy’.

Well-known varieties include Punk IPA, and Brewdog has also made ultra-alcoholic beer The End of History, a 55% brew packaged inside the bodies of dead animals such as squirrels and hares, which retailed at £500.

Related topics: Drinks

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