If you're living in Scotland in 2015 and haven't heard of BrewDog, chances are it's from under a law-abiding rock that serves only bland mass-produced lager.

The brand has achieved exponential success since its creation in 2007 by James Watt and Martin Dickie, but it's not been a trajectory without controversy.

BrewDog's new launches and scrapes with various standards authorities often coincide with capers some consider to be blatant publicity stunts, while others applaud the company's bodacious rejection of draconian public figures.

From humble beginnings as a micro-brewery in Ellon, however, few can deny that BrewDog's shenanigans have been instrumental in building the brand.

Here are 10 of the brand's most outlandish ventures.

Balls up

Launching its own unofficial bid for Scotland to host the World Cup in 2022, the brewery released a hibiscus wit beer in June 2014 dedicated to FIFA president Sepp Blatter. It came with the instructions: "best served from brown paper envelopes to aid drinking with greased palms".

Russian to get a beer

Appearing in an Andy Warhol-esque quadriptych, Putin's coupon (sporting bright make-up) adorned the labels of BrewDog's 2014 IPA Hello My Name is Vladimir. Released with the hashtag #NotForGays, the beer's intention of mocking the Kremlin was sobered by the brand donating 50% of profits to charities representing oppressed minorities.

A good sport

In 2012, an Olympic-inspired IPA was launched infused with creatine, coffee, guarana, ginseng, and other ingredients claiming to "boost sporting (or otherwise) ability in an almost completely legal way," in an almost completely transparent dig at rule-breaching athletes.

Totally tanked

Heralding the opportunity for fans of the brand to buy shares in the company, BrewDog's Equity for Punks initiative in 2013 saw Watt and Dickie drive a tank around the Bank of England with a legion of beer lovers in tow. The crowd-funding venture reached its target of £4m worth of shares bought by 2014.

Furry good taste


Five years ago, The End of History was launched - a 55% beer in taxidermy packaging. Customers chose from a limited edition run of 11 bottles, comprising seven stoats and four grey squirrels. Each bottle was produced with its own certificate of authenticity, in case of any doubt that these were once real critters. 

Yo ho ho and a bottle of buckweed, sea-salt and rum IPA

The first beer to be brewed underwater, BrewDog's Sunk Punk began life in a fermentation tank dropped into the sea as an answer to a Scottish folklore that claims fisherman are subject to a witch's curse if hit by a storm on the shoreline.

Big Willy style


Timed to coincide with the 2011 royal wedding, the brand released the Royal Virility Performance - a 7.5% IPA limited to 1000 bottles. Each brew contained natural aphrodisiacs like herbal Viagra, chocolate and goat weed, as well as a "healthy dose of sarcasm".

Black and white and controversial all over


The end of 2009 saw a battle of strengths as BrewDog launched Tactical Nuclear Penguin which, at 32% ABV, was the world's strongest beer. German brewery Schorschbräu outdid BrewDog and created a 40% ABV beer... but BrewDog held on to its crown with the creation of Sink the Bismarck in February 2010, clocking in at 41% ABV.

Small is beautiful

To support its campaign to have a 2/3 measures introduced to pubs and bars, BrewDog conceived that hiring a dwarf to take up residence outside Westminster in protest was the way to roll. The small rebellion, which took place for an entire week, worked: the law was changed in 2009 and the measurement, also known as a schooner, is now in place throughout the UK.


Last year the Portman Group - the body leading responsible alcohol standards - took umbrage over BrewDog's Dead Pony beer. It banned the drink on grounds that its packaging encouraged rapid drinking and anti-social behaviour. BrewDog's response? A formal apology. "For not giving a sh*t about the ruling," rather than actual contrition.