Welcome BrewDog

Welcome BrewDog

n July 2010, a small brewery in the Scottish fishing port of Fraserburgh produced what was, at the time, the world’s strongest beer. Named after the Francis Fukuyama book that declared liberal capitalist democracy the peak of human political evolution, The End of History was, according to its makers, in a sense, the end of beer. At 55% alcohol-by-volume, the brew, a “blond Belgian ale infused with Scottish Highland nettles and fresh juniper berries”, was stronger than most whiskies, vodkas and gins. It sold in a limited run of 11 bottles, each artfully stuffed inside a deceased wild animal – seven stoats, four grey squirrels – costing between £500 and £700. One of the brewery’s two founders, James Watt, pronounced the drink “an audacious blend of eccentricity, artistry and rebellion”. In their “striking packaging”, Watt said, the bottles were “disrupting conventions and breaking taboos – just like the beer they hold within them”. Not everyone agreed. Although the stoats and squirrels in question had died of natural causes, the charity Advocates for Animals denounced “perverse” and “out-of-date shock tactics” that “exploited and degraded animals”. Alcohol action groups deplored a “cheap marketing stunt” that was deliberately promoting excess in a nation with a well-known drink problem. Watt and Martin Dickie, who met at school and launched their upstart brewery in 2007, both aged 24, stood by their creation, which they had made in a local ice-cream factory by repeatedly chilling the brew and skimming off the ice to separate the water and concentrate the alcohol (which freezes at a lower temperature).