Yesterday BrewDog, the ‘controversial’ Scottish brewer, posted on Twitter that they are looking to expand their bars division and are on the hunt for ‘new & exciting sites’ to trade from around the country.
They listed their ‘key target locations’ for this year, and Gloucester was on the list.
Admittedly, it was quite a long list, with Gloucester being just one of twenty prospective towns and cities listed, but nonetheless it shows that the city is seen as a viable option.
Who are BrewDog?
BrewDog will need no introduction to the beer nerds out there. Founded in 2007 in Aberdeenshire by James Watt and Martin Dickie, the brewery was one of the UK pioneers in the craft beer movement. They are best known for their Punk IPA and provocative marketing.
They also court controversy, which sceptics suggest is just a good way to garner publicity. This includes describing the Portman Group, the UK drinks industry trade body, as “a gloomy gaggle of killjoy jobsworths”.
Their approach obviously works for them: in addition to a successful brewing business they also own a growing number of bars in the UK and abroad. Their bars are upmarket and expensive, selling a range of their own beers and other craft beers from around the world.
Do we want a BrewDog in Gloucester?
Yes, of course!
BrewDog is well known and has a reputation that means people will travel to seek one out. It attracts trendy, affluent types who would bring money into the city and it’s in line with Gloucester’s growing reputation as a city on the up.
Where should it go?
This is clearly not something that anyone can stipulate: they need to be able to find premises which are both suitable and available. They have a list of requirements for their perfect venue, preferring ‘off pitch sites just away from the main circuit’ and ‘prominent corner sites with lots of glazing’.
Perhaps first instincts would suggest the Docks/ Quays for such an establishment, but here they would be competing head-on with Tank. Far better I think for them to head to the other side of town.
The old Fusion building has been suggested – that has been closed for a few years and it would be good to see it in use again. They would be playing a long game in waiting for the King’s Quarter transformation, but as mentioned people are willing to seek out a BrewDog pub so it need not be a problem. It would be a good trail-blazer for the area’s re-development.
Or how about TNT? It would be good to bring a different kind of clientele into the Eastgate mix and it would add some much needed variety for the area’s night-time economy.
All of this is, of course, just speculation at the moment and it may come to nothing. But even if it does, this is a good vote of confidence for the city. Can you imagine Gloucester being on the ‘hit list’ of any trendy, upmarket establishment even just a few years ago? These days they are positively queuing up to join us.