BrewDog looks to Asia

21st March 2017



BrewDog is looking for a brewery site in Asia after increasing sales by 61% to £71.9mfor 2016. James Watt, who co-founded the Ellon-based business with Martin Dickie, said that Asia was next on the agenda for Brewdog, which is building a $30m brewery in Columbus, Ohio.


“China is on course to be one of our biggest export markets in 2017 and we also have significant distribution in Japan and South Korea,” he said, adding “Given the (distance) from our Ellon brewery, we feel we can only really take advantage of the Asian opportunity by having a brewery in Asia and we are now actively looking at locations and opportunities in the region.”


The planned brewery is part of a strategy that will also see the company open ten bars this year, in locations including Edinburgh and London, in addition to bringing its Lonewolf Distillery online.


The distillery, which will initially offer gin and vodka with whisky to be added in due course, will launch in April, when the US brewery will also begin production. Watt said the company, whose pre-tax profits rose 19% to £3.2m in 2016, will continue to reinvest its profits to drive further growth.


“The plan is to continue to invest all profit into fuelling further growth as we continue to invest in our beer and our people. We have been a high-growth company since we started but that high growth has always been underpinned and driven by solid profitability.”


The 2016 profit came on the back of a rise in turnover, from £44.7m to £71.9m. Watt said that figure is expected to be considerably higher in the current financial year thanks to a new facility at its Ellon headquarters allowing it to increase production capacity.


“In 2016 we grew strongly with our overall revenue up 61% on 2015.  This growth was, however, constrained by capacity as our new 300 [hectolitre] brewhouse in Ellon only came online in September.”


The UK accounts for the bulk of Brewdog’s sales, with domestic revenue rising by 75% to £58.5m last year. Sales in Europe rose by 14% to £9.8m and in the rest of the world by 89% to £3.6m.