The beer wars continue . . .

. . . with advertising tongue firmly in cheek!

We’ve mentioned Scottish craft brewer Brewdog in these pages before.  It looks like their ongoing feud with Guinness and its parent company, Diageo, is getting even nastier.

The craft brewer has called Diageo everything from “dumbass corporate freaks” to manufacturers of “mass-produced rubbish” like Guinness.

“We started BrewDog because we were bored of the industrially brewed lagers and stuffy ales that dominated the UK beer market,” Sarah Warman, BrewDog’s head of marketing, told Business Insider. “We won’t conform, we won’t apologise, we are punk and we will stand up for the beer in the face of anything.”

The fight began in earnest in 2012. The setting was the 2012 British Institute of Innkeeping Scotland Annual Awards, a seemingly innocuous industry event that became the setting for a surprising sabotage.

BrewDog had been favored to win the award for bar operator of the year. The award went to a different group, however, even though the trophy had the name “BrewDog” engraved on it.

Two days after the event, BII Scotland revealed that Diageo, a main sponsor of the event, had decreed that BrewDog could not win the award, threatening to pull sponsorship for future events.

Diageo apologized for the event at the time, calling the incident a “serious misjudgment by Diageo staff.” (The company declined to comment on the incident to Business Insider.)

BrewDog did not quietly accept the apology, seeing the move as part of a wider issue of establishment beer companies trying to stamp out craft brewers, which pride themselves on experimentation and complexity over profit.

“As for Diageo, once you cut through the glam veneer of pseudo corporate responsibility this incident shows them to be a band of dishonest hammerheads and dumb ass corporate freaks,” the craft brewer wrote of the incident in the company blog. “No soul and no morals, with the integrity of a rabid dog and the style of a wart hog.”

. . .

BrewDog has never been silent in its disdain for big beer. But its rivalry with Diageo once again reached a boiling point last month.

In February, BrewDog released an ad parodying Guinness’ iconic surfers and horses commercial to promote the new Jet Black Heart stout.

The 1998 Guinness ad had a massive budget and featured surfers taking on massive waves as CGI horses galloped over them. BrewDog’s version features Watt and cofounder Martin Dickie in a local swimming pool wearing a cheap horse costume.

There’s more at the link.

Here’s the 1998 Guinness advertisement with horses and surfers.

And here’s Brewdog’s parody of it.

Full marks to Brewdog for this round, I think!



  1. They've opened a place near my in-laws'. Beer and I are a difficult combo (I like it; it makes me hostile at some point around half pint in most situations), but I might try that.

    Take care.

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