BrewDog takes over Draft House

A slightly oddly-worded article…

Does this mean they’ll be altering tap lists to be similar to what brewdog bars offer? ie lack of variety

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If I order a BrewDog beer it’s because there are no interesting guests on, so hopefully they don’t start stocking a lot of BrewDog beers.

Wonder if any clashes in location will result in closures?

Slightly surprised they haven’t said they’ll just re-brand them, but presumably they’ll become similar to BD’s other bars.

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I like BrewDog, but this doesn’t sound like particularly good news. Draft House offers a markedly different experience, and I would’ve thought that London is pretty much at BD saturation point anyway. I can’t see any outcome that doesn’t involve a decrease in choice, as well as possible closures suggested by beardedavenger.

On a side note, this means that Milton Keynes of all places will have what is tantamount to a BrewDog bar. Weird times.


The Draft House Tower Bridge is the only one I go into and I wouldn’t be that bothered if it became more BrewDoggy. Would we get our BrewDog discount at them for instance?
I was at BD Brighton on Saturday with 11 draught rates. 3 of them BD. That’s a pretty good hit rate I would say

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I have a new customer near the Tower Bridge branch and was quite impressed. I.used to drop into the Goodge Street and Clapham Junctions ones after meetings but now don’t go near the former and favour BrewDog and We Brought Beer over the latter. Been to the Tower Hill one a few times but the new BrewDog is over the road from the London coke central/offices. So in inclusion, not sure I’m that concerned.

However as they’re still seperate companies can we expect them to retain to successful brands… or, as mentioned above, start rationalizing.

Interesting acquisition. Can’t say I’m familiar with them at all though, probably because I’m never in London.

This seems like a legit concern. On the EFP forums they confirmed they’d be tweaking selection but stopped short of giving specifics, other than to say it would remain markedly different to BD’s own bars, which is something at least.

They said no “for the time being” unfortunately.

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I thought about the whole BD saturation theory (as BrewDog is about to open their 3rd Glasgow venue) and as it happens my pondering happened at a BrewDog venue when I had a lightbulb moment - there is no such thing as having too many BrewDog bars in a city, as they’re not targeting an audience knowledgable in beer specifically, they’re targeting anyone who drinks beer and they’re very successful in their endeavours. If they build a bar, the people will come. Aberdeen, a relatively low population town, could be considered to be at saturation point with BrewDog venues (of all guises) yet they are all busy. If anything it’ll be non-Brewdog venues that will suffer at the expense of a new BrewDog venue.

I think they paid around £15m for them, which seems like a good deal. So perhaps Draft House were looking for a buyer, rather than the other way round.

Personally I think it offers a good opportunity for BD to branch out from the standard industrial feel of their normal bars, and offer something fresh and new. I would be surprised if they re-branded DH as a Brewdog-branded chain, rather I think it will largely remain unchanged and present a more upmarket option.

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Certainly possible seeing the financials, they actually made a loss in 2016. 2017 figures they haven’t posted yet but they bought six pubs back in July so can’t have been doing too badly.

I’d quite like to have one in Kent to be honest. Certainly no saturation down here. Canterbury, Maidstone, Dover, Ashford, Folkestone are all large enough to hold at least one BD bar. My nearest one is BrewDog Tower Hill which is 68 miles away from where I currently sit.

Similar issue in Gloucestershire too. It’s made more annoying by the fact BD apparently looked into both Cheltenham and Gloucester and chose not to set up in either. While previously a bit of a dead area for craft beer, we’re on the map now thanks largely to Deya.
I’m right in the middle of Bristol and Birmingham, both are approx 45 miles away from me in opposite directions. It’s ~1 hour by car, double that if going by train. I know for sure I’d find myself visiting BD very frequently if I had one to call a local.

Pretty much sums it up for me.

I rarely visit any of the London BrewDogs apart from Shepherds Bush, unless I happen to be in the immediate vicinity or there’s a special event on. Shepherds Bush has the biggest and best choice and, if I’ve seen beers at other BrewDog branches that I’ve not seen at Shepherds Bush I suspect it’s essentially an issue of timing. Some BrewDog branches, in and out of London, don’t seem to make much of an effort to serve up anything really novel but, again, perhaps that’s an issue of timing and I’ve just been unlucky.

Can’t say I’m a regular visitor to Draft Houses either and I’ve found them a bit hit & miss for selection. But, from time to time, I have scored beers that I’ve not seen elsewhere. I don’t really go to my nearest branch (Hammersmith) unless I’m passing because it only has a small bar area and much more space devoted to the restaurant part - which, annoyingly, is often empty while the bar is crowded.

Of course, the issue of reduced choice depends largely on how “separate” Draft Houses will remain and whether the Draft House supply chain will be retained…

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I think this is true in general but not from my personal perspective. I visit pubs & bars for two reasons - because they’re places I like to drink in and because they have beers I want to drink (preferably new ones for me). The two things coincide in a rather small number of venues. I don’t really like that minimalist, faux-industrial craft bar vibe (often incorporating music that’s too loud for my taste) so I tend to just do my “work” and move on to somewhere more pubby. And I really prefer places that have a mix of “craft” keg & cask.

If the craft beer (and I use that term in its widest terms) cake in a particular city is finite, and has reached or is close to reaching that limit, more Brewdogs means less cake for the rest of them. Fortunately, in most places I’ve visited, the arrival of BrewDog has actually sparked a demand for “craft” beer and stimulated the opening of more venues with interesting beer - often better places than the BrewDog itself. Nottingham is a great example of that - I find the BrewDog there distinctly mediocre compared to some of the opposition that has sprung up.

Sorry, I should refine my statement. In those areas where BrewDog already have bars and have went on to open further units; they have not reached saturation point nor do I think a saturation point is something they would be worried about. It is strange that they have not opened bars in areas where people such as the members of this community have identified as suitable spots, but I guess they probably have a list of places they want to prioritise and then theres the necessary parameters that form the fabric of a BD bar.

They’re opening one in Inverurie which has a population half as big as the least populated place you mentioned, if not less, so they mystery deepens.


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As others have said, BD are clearly going after the mass market.

I’ve never actually been to a BD bar in London despite living here because there are better options - none are near my home/work and if I’m travelling for a pub I’d rather go to one of the Craft pubs, Mother Kelly’s, Bermondsey etc. I have been to them in other cities such as Birmingham or Newcastle because it was the easiest route to good beer or because I was with work colleagues who aren’t so bothered about what they drink.

I haven’t been in a Draft House for years either, so can’t say I’m too bothered about the news either way.

I like the Brewdog bar in Brum but rarely go in during a pub crawl as it’s always packed and it’s a massive pain in the area to get served, let alone sit down. Plenty of other places to go to.

Keeping the cask lines and no more than two BD beers on draught in the DH pubs, according to this: