Craft beer firm Brewdog has confirmed plans to launch a chain of off-licences this year following the success of its branded bars.
The Aberdeenshire-based firm expects to open its first “BottleDog” shop in London in March. The plan was unveiled in June but the company missed its deadline of last October for the first shop to open. Another three or four are pencilled in for this year, with the company looking at sites in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Manchester.
Company co-founder James Watt said the shops would not only stock Brewdog’s own extensive range, but will sell craft beers from around the world.
The outlets will follow the group’s taste for industrial decor but will include a space for sampling. Watt said: “We are trying to re-imagine what the concept of a beer shop should be.”
He said the company is currently going through the planning process for the London outlet, but he did not foresee any objections to combining beer tasting and retail because the shops will not be late opening.
The company is in the process of building a warehouse next to its state-of-the art brewery in Ellon after raising more than £4 million in its latest crowdfunding exercise.
Watt hit out at at the current anti-binge drinking campaigns being run by the alcoholic drinks industry. “It’s the most two faced thing I have ever seen in my life,” he said.
Watt and his business partner Martin Dickie were accused of encouraging irresponsible drinking when they launched a series of highly alcoholic beers – some of which are stronger than whisky – but the duo insist their bars encourage smaller servings and cater for beer enthusiasts.
Plans for the off-licences follow the roll-out of a chain of 13 bars.