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BrewDog USA Opens Its Doors

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Europe's largest brewing operation has finally set up shop and opened their doors to bring their brews stateside.



BrewDog, which is headquartered in Scotland, has turned out award-winning beer and has become one of the more well-known brewing companies in Europe, has now landed on this side of the Atlantic.  Having begun a decade ago and grown quite a bit since then, they have now set up a massive production brewery in the US. Located neither in the popular production brewery locations of either Richmond, VA or Asheville, NC, BrewDog has opted to set up their North American hub in central Ohio.


BrewDog's stateside operation, known as BrewDog USA, just opened up this week in Canal Winchester, OH, located a short drive southeast of Columbus. As to this unorthodox choice of location for a massive production brewing facility, it seemed quite obvious that this was the right spot for BrewDog.  “We fell in love with Ohio,” said Keith Bennet, in charge of special projects for BrewDog.


While falling in love with the location was a start, there was clearly much more to entice BrewDog to choose Ohio. “There are lots of commercial reasons for Ohio, in terms of distribution, price of land, and the people just blew us away,” said Bennet, adding that “the greater Columbus community has been great.”


Having found the right location, Bennet then set about getting their dream to come to reality. Bennet’s job has been overseeing the building and getting the new location up and running. The building, itself, was a massive project, taking from September 2015 through September 2016 to get built. And then, of course, come the installation of all of the necessary equipment for brewing, as well as getting the taproom set up.



BrewDog USA is a massive project, in case you haven’t yet gotten a sense of that. With over 30 taprooms in the UK, alone – and more than another dozen elsewhere around the world – this one is the biggest project of the company’s ten-year history.  While most of their taprooms are around 2.5-5 thousand square feet, this Ohio taproom will be 10,000 square feet. And, of course, they also need to produce the beer. According to Bennet, they “have a 200HL brewhouse with 22 fermentation vessels ranging from 100HL to 800HL.”


With such a massive amount of beer being able to be produced, it is not all meant to be consumed on-site. In addition to their 10,000 square foot taproom in Canal Winchester, BrewDog USA aspires to open taprooms elsewhere in the country, in addition to nearby Columbus.  They are currently running a contest through the end of next month, in association with their Equity for Punks USA, to see where they will place their first non-Ohio taproom in the US (the frontrunner of which is currently in Virginia).


There are currently more than twenty beers on-tap, including some guest beers at their Canal Winchester taproom. As to what their beers are, they brew “uncompromising bold beers and are laser-focussed on taste and quality,” says Bennet. “BrewDog’s main ethos is putting the flavour and craftsmanship back into people’s beer glasses.” What BrewDog USA seeks to do is “to bring fresh, amazing tasting beers to the market,” he added. While it is unclear as to any special beers BrewDog USA seeks to brew, they have garnered attention for their Punk IPA, which has sold well in Europe, amongst others in their main lineup. They currently have a dozen beers on-tap in their new taproomThey also, however, have been known for brewing ridiculously boozy beers, some of the booziest in the world, including The End of History (55% ABV).



The beer provides an important part of what they are doing, as it is one of their two main foci, the other being people. They bridge this gap by also being into educating their customers about beer.  In addition to being about people and beer, another aspect which sets BrewDog apart from other breweries is that they have “a unique ethos of marketing”, says Bennet, in how they grab people's attention.



Let’s see how BrewDog USA does and grab the attention of craft beer drinkers here in the US.


[The picture used at the top of the post is from BrewDog USA's taproom in Canal Winchester, "DogTap Columbus".]



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Guest Sunday, 25 February 2018

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