The froth and the figures of BrewDog’s good year

James Watt, left, and Martin Dickie of Ellon-based Brewdog

James Watt, left, and Martin Dickie of Ellon-based Brewdog

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THOSE publicity-shy mavericks at BrewDog had a busy 2014, with the Ellon craft brewer opening 13 bars and driving up sales by almost two-thirds to £29.6 million.

But it’s not all work and no play for the north-east firm, co-founded by James Watt and Martin Dickie, as its latest annual report reveals one of the highlights of the year was the installation of a Jacuzzi in its new offices that is “permanently filled with Punk IPA”.

“This is obviously a lie,” Watt admits in the report. “But next year we might just make it a reality.”

Seal of approval

THERE was a royal seal of approval for attendees at Scottish Business in the Community’s annual awards bash last Tuesday.

Prince Charles, the Duke of Rothesay, was guest of honour at the glittering ceremony at Edinburgh’s prestigious Prestonfield House.

HRH, president of the SBC for three decades, heaped praise on the organisation’s chief executive Jane Wood in a warmly received speech before heading off for yet another engagement on his whirlwind visit north of the Border. There was no time for our man on the scene to quiz the Prince on the financial minutiae of the newly-published royal accounts.

Wood then joined host Fred MacAulay for an awards presentation double act that almost saw the SBC boss upstage the irrepressible accountant-turned-comedian.

Room at the top

WHEN it comes to networking and mentoring opportunities there is no shortage of choice out there. Yet, Justin Grace seems confident a new group aimed at Scottish business leaders will be a hit.

Grace has been appointed chair of the new Scots branch of the Academy for Chief Executives, an executive coaching and mentoring organisation that celebrates its 21st birthday next year. In that time it has brought together more than 400 execs who together “promote business excellence and shared learning”.

Grace says: “The launch of an Academy group in Scotland heralds an exciting opportunity to contribute to the economy of the country by growing and developing people and businesses.

“There is a seam of talent and entrepreneurship in Scotland and I’m very much looking forward to working with the best business leaders in the country to mine and develop this untapped potential.”

The first Scottish “discovery” event is scheduled for 28 July at Hotel du Vin in Glasgow, where business speaker Roger Harrop will be providing some motivational words. One for business hot shots to pop in the diary then.

Flight not fight

RARELY is there much point in arguing with the authorities at air traffic control, but a healthy dose of self-interest always helps smooth the way towards an agreement.

The new £14 million Thermo Fisher facility opened at Inchinnan, Renfrewshire, recently with visitors arriving from the multinational’s network around the world, but only after several months of delays following talks between the US company and NATS. It seems the original plans for the building – which relies on its height to efficiently move materials through the production process – were a bit too lofty for comfort at nearby Glasgow Airport.

The newest addition to the Thermo Fisher campus lies bang in line between one of the airport’s main runways and a radar tower to the west along Barnsford Avenue. Concerned that reflections from the building could trick controllers into seeing two planes where there was only one, NATS pushed for the structure to be lowered.

Despite the delays, Glasgow-based Thermo Fisher executive Mark Smedley was only too happy to come to an arrangement that has left the building 1.5 metres shorter than originally envisioned. “Given that we fly in and out of Glasgow all the time, it was very important to get that right.”

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