Known for its flavorful beers, irreverent beer names and provocative marketing tactics, Scotland-based BrewDog has become the fastest-growing food and drink producer in the United Kingdom. Founded in 2007 in Scotland, BrewDog by 2016 had grown from one dog and two employees – founders James Watt and Martin Dickie – to one dog and 750 employees. Today, it has 46 bars – 29 in the U.K., 16 in Europe, Japan and Brazil, and its newest one in Columbus – and produces more than 5.6 million gallons of beer annually.
Having experienced remarkable success in the U.K., BrewDog set its sights on the North American market. After looking at a few U.S. locations, the brewer decided to launch its North American operations in Canal Winchester, a suburb of Columbus. The company opened its $30.4 million U.S. headquarters and brewery in Canal Winchester earlier this year, adding 125 jobs to the community.
As BrewDog considered sites in the U.S., it had a number of infrastructure needs to meet, including access to a large water supply, a reliable source of electricity and a need for wastewater treatment. The company also sought a shovel-ready site with rail access and enough land to accommodate future growth.
At full capacity, BrewDog expects to use 300,000 gallons of water per day in its brewing operations, making it Canal Winchester’s largest water customer. The city has more than enough capacity to meet the company’s water needs and the ability to treat its wastewater discharges until the company installs its own pre-treatment equipment.
As a huge electricity consumer, BrewDog also requires a constant and reliable source of power, which it will receive from South Central Power Co. The electric cooperative has plenty of excess capacity as well as a substation that’s adjacent to the BrewDog site.
The 42-acre site gives BrewDog the room it wants for expansion as well as convenient distribution options via nearby rail lines and Route 33. The region’s distribution know-how and competitive project costs helped seal the deal.
“The people of Ohio have absolutely bowled us over with their enthusiasm, passion for beer and warm welcome,” says BrewDog Co-Founder James Watt. “Their reaction has been incredible. It’s awesome to know we made the right choice with where to lay the foundations for our American home.”
BrewDog’s Canal Winchester facility, which began distributing beer in the summer, also includes a restaurant and taproom. The company has already announced plans to build a hotel, a bar and a brewpub in various Columbus locations in the coming year. BrewDog’s expansion in Ohio doesn’t stop there, however, as it’s already scouting spots for bars and brewpubs in Cleveland and Cincinnati.