Global retail chains are hardly unusual but internationally branded pubs and bars are a seriously rare beast. So rare in fact that it’s difficult to think of a single example.
This is about to end as Scotland-based brewer and bar operator BrewDog is on a mission to open around its outlets the globe – both in countries renowned for their lovingly-crafted beers as well as in territories where beer largely means taste-less lager.
BrewDog already has 10 bars in the UK and recently opened its first overseas unit in Stockholm. Plans are afoot for new outlets in Liverpool, Sheffield and Brighton among other locations.
But it’s the international aspect of the business that is most interesting and is being seriously cranked-up with the help of the company’s new round of crowd-funding that is intended to raise £4 million.
Following Stockholm will be Sao Paulo, Tokyo, Brussels and New Delhi. Sensibly these bars will be opened with local partners who have great experience running units in those countries.
They will be structured as joint-ventures in differing formats with BrewDog taking some equity or simply providing staff support and taking a percentage of the revenues. Of course, it naturally, will be supplying beer to these outlets.
When Retail Insider recently spoke to BrewDog co-founders James Watt and Martin Dickie, Watt reckoned: “It could be huge with beer sales from the bars and also the bars acting as focal points for us to introduce our beers into those countries, which will grow the brand internationally.”
The deals involve targets whereby the partners are working towards opening a number of bars in a certain time-frame. In Brazil, for instance, the plan is to have 10 bars operating within five years.
Watt cites India as particularly interesting as not only is the “opportunity huge” but there s no craft beer market in the country. “We can establish the category and there will not be the competition as in other countries. Fifty per cent of the beers will be our own and 50 per cent will be local craft beers,” he says.
With BrewDog already selling 65% of its beers outside the UK and the bars business accounting for 20-25% of revenues in the UK the opening of units around the globe could be a massive generator of revenues for the company and create the first truly international chain of bars.