Sunday, 8 November 2009

Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

I haven't written about BrewDog for a while. This is because I am, to be honest, fed up writing about them and aware that I still haven't blogged anything about several great breweries such as Colonsay, Harviestoun and Fyne Ales whose beer also deserves attention.

People have been complaining about the hype since BrewDog started. This has never bothered me because I have never paid any attention to the hype, only to the beer. If the beer had been crap I'd have been calling them a pair of pretentious wankers two years ago.

The announcement of Equity for Punks has been a bit of a watershed. Let's face it, selling shares in your business is not really very punk at all, no matter how you spin it. So I suppose that after the share offer, BrewDog's James Watt needed to make up for that by getting back to punk basics – gratuitously offending and alienating people.

As well as slagging off fellow brewers, James has in the last week revealed that BrewDog complained to the Portman Group about their own beer as a publicity stunt. Now people feel they've been led up the garden path and are upset.

I think people only have themselves to blame for taking the marketing nonsense seriously in the first place. Punk is all about manufactured outrage. What on earth did you expect?

To be fair, the outrage now is pretty mild compared to some of the reactions punk provoked in the 1970s, when a London councillor commented: "Most of these groups would be vastly improved by sudden death. The worst of the punk rock groups I suppose currently are the Sex Pistols. They are unbelievably nauseating. They are the antithesis of humankind. I would like to see somebody dig a very, very large, exceedingly deep hole and drop the whole bloody lot down it."

BrewDog haven't wound anyone up anything near that much yet. Come on James, get your act together!

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