Brewdog sales soar 250% as it eyes five million mark

BREWDOG, the Fraserburgh-based micro-brewery, yesterday posted a 250 per cent rise in first-quarter sales as it ramps up production to reach five millions bottles this year.

The firm – known for its high-strength beers such as Tokyo stout at 18.2 per cent and Hardcore IPA at 9.2 per cent– sold 1.2 million bottles in the first three months of the year, compared with 480,000 in 2009.

The increase followed a rise in overseas sales and a push into the on-trade, with Coors signed up as a distributor.

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Richard McLelland, UK sales and trade marketing manager, said the firm's beers were being served at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London and he expects other high-end bars and hotels to follow suit.

About 60 per cent of the company's beer is sold abroad, but the firm has increased its headcount to 37 to broaden UK sales. The beers are sold by retailers, including Tesco, Asda and Oddbins.

McLelland said he expected the first of the brewery's own bars to be open by the end of September, with three open by the end of the year. He said as well as the bar it had already bought in Aberdeen, BrewDog would look at sites in Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews.

The first sod for the company's new brewery in Fraserburgh is also expected to be cut by the end of the year.

McLelland said the expansion was funded by the firm's share issue last year, which attracted about 1,300 investors and raised about 600,000.

The sales rise comes against declining sales across the beer industry. Co-founder James Watt said: "BrewDog is shaking the dust from the UK beer trade and carving a new path that is proving its popularity, despite the economic crisis and a shrinking market."