Brewdog looks to recruit more beer fans via latest on-trade acquisition

Brewdog has ramped up its strategy of introducing its beers to more people by buying a craft beer bar chain in London.

Brewdog has acquired Draft House, an estate of 14 bars across London and the South East. Alongside his role as managing director of Brewdog bars, David McDowall will become managing director of Draft House, taking the reins from founder Charlie McVeigh.

The producer of Punk IPA said it planned to invest in the current Draft House sites and said it may look to expand on them in future. The beer selection will be different from Brewdog bars, but with the same focus on independent craft beer from around the world.

The Draft House teams will also be invited to contribute to the development and brew days for a series of beers brewed at Brewdog’s headquarters in Aberdeenshire, with the resulting beers launching across all Draft House sites.

David McDowall, md of Brewdog Bars, said: At Brewdog we are obsessed with making other people as passionate about craft beer as we are and in speaking with the Draft House team we recognised that there was a great opportunity to combine our efforts and really have an impact on the UK bar landscape by working together.

“Draft House has got an incredible team of engaged people and we will be doing everything we can to empower them in their business and offer them the support they need to achieve their career goals. The two most important things for us are our beer and our people and we are excited to extend that to our new family at Draft House and would like to offer a massive welcome to every single one of them.”

Charlie McVeigh, Draft House founder, said: “Nine years have passed since the first Draft House launched, and it has been a truly remarkable journey of discovery. We have built and awesome business, and more importantly, a team right at the heart of the UK’s beer revolution. I am immensely proud of what we have achieved together and delighted to hand the business over to Brewdog for its next stage of growth. Draft House couldn’t be in better hands.”

Brewdog reported earlier this year that it had grown off-trade sales 116% to £62.2 million in 2017 (Nielsen). The brewer has captured a 71% share of the UK off-trade craft beer market and accounts for the top five SKUs: Punk IPA, Elvis Juice, Dead Pony Club pale ale, Punk IPA in a 66cl bottle and the 0.5% abv Nanny State.

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