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BrewDog CEO sets out plans after "challenging" year so far



BrewDog’s chief executive has revealed the company’s plans for the second half of this year, reflecting on the first half as being one of his more challenging.

Co-founder James Watt explained in a LinkedIn post that as a reaction to an open letter from current and former staff – which complained about BrewDog’s working environment, among other things – a 3% pay rise has been implemented.

The craft brewery is also currently adding 100 new people “to our teams to ensure we have the right level of resource across as we grow”.

Recruitment consultants Wiser have also been appointed to conduct an independent review of culture within BrewDog, with the findings due to be shared before the end of the year.

In terms of the actual beer, 10 new fermentation tanks arrived at BrewDog’s Ellon headquarters in July.

These are currently being installed and commissioned and will add approximately 240,000 additional hectoliters of annual capacity to help keep up with the demand.

The company has also sold its big bottling line, which had been listed on eBay, with a new canning line set to take its place. This would be the fourth canning line in Ellon.

A new 500 hectoliters brewhouse will be located behind the site’s offices, spanning the space from the hop store to where the distillery currently is. The brewhouse will be designed and built by Ziemanns and should be operational by the second quarter next year.

BrewDog is also exploring building an additional fermentation cellar where the Bone Yard currently is.

The company is converting the entire old DogTap space into an experimental small batch brewery, with more fermentation tanks and a small canning line to package the beers.

Meanwhile, the distillery project is now underway, in order to help keep up with the demand for spirits. BrewDog’s new look spirits line is due to launch in September.

Watt also pointed out that the latest investment round, Equity For Punks Tomorrow, has become most successful crowdfund raise yet, making £28m with more than a month to go.

The new onsite bio-plant and anaerobic digestor at Ellon HQ is an eight-figure investment, which will help reduce emissions and water usage. The facility will be operational in early 2022.

Work also continues on the 9,500 acre Lost Forest in the Scottish Highlands.

“We are currently in the planning and consultation phase for our extensive planting as well as completing the relevant environmental studies to ensure the bio-diverse native broadleaf forest we create is sensitive to the local wildlife and area,” wrote Watt. “Once we receive the relevant consents the planting of millions of trees should begin in earnest in early 2022.”

The blog mentioned new bars in Germany and the US, while noting that the new Manchester DogHouse Hotel officially opens next week, while the Edinburgh DogHouse Hotel is due to be ready before the end of the year.

Watt concluded: “It is fair to say the last few months have been challenging for BrewDog, but we are determined to use these challenges to push us forward and help build the best business we can.”

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