BrewDog’s ‘phenomenal’ Q1 2024 performance

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Scottish operator: BrewDog CEO James Watt claims the business is 10% ahead of on-trade rivals
Scottish operator: BrewDog CEO James Watt claims the business is 10% ahead of on-trade rivals

Related tags Brewdog James watt Craft beer Multi-site pub operators Finance

Despite the hospitality sector and craft beer having a “very challenged” start to 2024, BrewDog’s performance has been “phenomenal”, according to CEO James Watt.

Watt, who is co-founder of the Ellon-based brewer and bar operator, shared his thoughts on LinkedIn about how the Scottish business has fared during the first quarter of 2024.

“It is fair to say the two main sectors in which we operate – craft beer and hospitality – have both had very challenged starts to 2024,” Watt said.

“Against that context the performance that our amazing BrewDog team have delivered is phenomenal.

Incomes squeezed

“Hospitality in the UK and beyond is really struggling as increased costs means prices have had to increase at a time when consumers incomes have been squeezed.

“The bar industry in the UK is down over 11% versus last year and last week the UK bar industry was an alarming 22% down.

“Our BrewDog Bars, over the course of 2024 so far, have been 2.5% down. Not where we want to be, but it is hard to be too unhappy with our hospitality performance when we are 10% ahead of our wider industry.

New openings

“Beer sales in UK grocery are also down on last year (-1%) and in our most important channel, BrewDog is an amazing 34% which puts our performance at 35% ahead of our competitive set making us the fastest growing beer business in the UK in 2024 so far.”

He added there are some “amazingly exciting” new openings on the horizon with Denver, US, opening this week, Columbus airport next month (May) and Bangkok the month thereafter (June).  

Watt added: “While our Q1 performance has been good, during these uncertain economic times, as a team we remain fully focused on delivering the best possible beers and customers experiences we can while running our business as diligently as we can until the wider economic picture in the UK improves.”

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