Craft brewing monolith BrewDog announced yesterday that it is closing three of its 24 London bars as a result of rising energy costs, with another further three locations closing nationally.
The brewery’s Dalston, Farringdon and Old Street branches are the London locations that will shut down permanently, with BrewDog chief executive James Watt explaining that ‘It was going to be simply impossible to get these bars even close to financial viability in the foreseeable future. We had no choice but to close them.’
‘Costs are rising to such a degree... that these very difficult decisions have to be made,’ the multinational’s founder said in a scathing LinkedIn post criticising ‘zombie government still intent on this bizarre leadership farce instead of getting to grips with the kind of challenges that will result in more business casualties than the pandemic’.
The BrewDog closures come just days after executives from six of the UK’s biggest pub chains and breweries – Greene King, JW Lees, Carlsberg Marston’s, Admiral Taverns, Drake & Morgan and St Austell Brewery – signed an open letter to the government warning of the catastrophic effect that the energy crisis will have on the industry and calling for financial support to help businesses and venues survive after energy bills have risen more than 300 percent in some cases.
Watt confirmed that BrewDog employees affected by the closures have been offered roles at nearby locations, which the company was able to do ‘due to the strength in other parts of our bar estate’. He also shared that the brewery’s newly opened 27,535 sq ft Waterloo bar has attracted more than 20,000 visitors in its first two weeks open, exceeding the company’s own expectations.
Rest easy, Equity Punks. It looks like Scotland’s most anti-establishment multinational will live to fight another day. Get in a round of Elvis Juice to celebrate.