Brewdog and Aldi poke fun, not lawsuits, at one another

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Microbrew companies are known for a sense of camaraderie with one another. See also Avery and Russian River’s ‘Collaboration not Litigation’ ale.


Now will one of you make a GF IPA and the other can copy so I can try them out?


In the whole 80’s Bronx vs. Queensbridge beef the fans were buying records from both sides (particularly outside the 5 boroughs), but will beer drinkers buy both brews? Probably some will.

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If you look at the can, it says “Anti-Establishment”


Brew dog isn’t a microbrewery. Their breweries have at least a 200k barrel capacity. They are based in Scotland but operate and brew in the US and Australia as well. Own bars in the UK and Ireland. And more than a quarter of the company is owned by a private equity firm from silicon valley. They even bought an apparently very large distillery in the US.

I think they also contract brew house beers for either Aldi or Lidl in the US. At least that’s word on the street in the industry.

Which is not to shit on them. They were an independent company that grew and succeeded fast, and they remain independent in terms of not being owned by a conglomerate. This is what craft beer growth and stability looks like, the industry will have to move this way to avoid being swallowed by inbev.

It’s just not at all micro anything. And wouldn’t even qualify as craft or independent by the American industry associations definitions. Which are pretty loose if persnickety at this point. Brew Dog is huge.

And Aldi sure as shit isn’t micro anything, it’s one of the largest supermarket chains globally.


Right, because Aldi craft their store-brand beers in their own artisanal brewery, and don’t in any way just buy it in big tankers from an IG Farben megafactory complex the size of Delaware


Could have used a bigger word :slight_smile:


I don’t doubt that Aldi’s beer was inspired by Brewdog’s, but am I the only one that struggles to see the similarities in the can designs other than the fact that they’re both blue?

Edit to add: in my opinion the Aldi branding on their breakfast cereals is FAR more blatant (and hilarious)



In other Brewdog-related news, they seem to be taking climate change fairly seriously as a company.

Among other things, they’ve bought 2050 acres of grazing land in Scotland, and are going to plant 1500 acres of that as native deciduous broadleaf forest, and returning 500 acres to peatland. This is not just a good carbon sink, but also has lots of ecological benefits on the local level. :slight_smile: :beers:


They’re largely contract brewed by smaller (than Budweiser) facilities and regional breweries or brand groups. The big conglomerates don’t have much interest in producing white label products. Though they will as a way of wedging their major brands into these stores. Most larger global brands likewise don’t have much interest either. For either it usually not worth the money to do batches this small. When you’re default batch is half a million barrels why do 10k barrel batches of discount beer?

So for example Lidl’s German beers are not made by companies like Hofbrau or Paulaner. They are made by Mauritius, who are a smaller regional brand with a serious side line in contract brewing. Apparently they make shit like Meisterbrau for the discount sector on top of their own beers.

“Craft” SKUs typically use largish (for craft) facilities that specialize in contract brewing or contract brew as a significant part of their business. And efforts are usually made to hide the connection from a brewery’s major brand. Some of Trader Joes brands are made by Firestone Walker, but labeled as Steinhaus Brewing.

There’s usually a pretty close connection between the buyer side and brewery side, many of these stores control their own distribution where that’s allowed or simply contract with a wholesaler to ship the beer to check off legal requirements where they must.

The default approach is to clone existing beer though. Copy the recipe and branding from a strong selling beer. Or hire the actual brewery to make a cheaper version.

Brewdog supposedly does a bit of this, via a shell company or subsidiary so it can be hard to tell. So it’s possible Brewdog made that clone, and responded to it.


the branding on the aldi beer looks a lot like brewdog’s previous branding, which was updated recently


That’s how it works. Copy the colors and use a similar name. But keep everything else minimal. It avoids trademark suits.

When Sam Adam’s cloned Founders flag ship product this is how they branded.


Founders couldn’t quite sue, but the intent was clear. Similar name, in a green package. They even copied the packaging formats and promotional approach. Giving out the same models of portable grills and coolers, and the same can shaped pint glasses.

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Oh gods, it actually makes me want to go to Aldi’s and buy beer… I know, I know.

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Here’s the previous can. Definitely more similar, but still not that similar.


The Brewdog IPA is not particularly great, haven’t tried the Aldi or Yaldi
At least they aren’t falling out over floccinaucinihilipilification.


Their beer isn’t great. But they were early in the UK craft scene and they’re apparently the top selling IPA in the UK and Ireland. And one of the best rated European IPAs. The counter to that is that European IPAs in the US model are on the whole terrible.

A lot of their success came from bringing American style craft to Europe at a time where American Craft was very hard to get over there. Particularly the newer brands that are way trendy. When big barrel aged beers were big, they were kinda the first to do it over there. As the newer less bitter IPAs got hot, they were again really early on introducing some.

And they’ve absolutely gone in on the hazy thing. Cause again that’s the core approach here. Bringing what’s hot in the US to markets where it’s hard to come by.

You’d be shocked how much of the business done by all those little hipster, self distributed breweries is driven by European and Asian Tourism. My family comes over from Ireland and a good chunk of them all they want to do is hit breweries.

The other thing is that they did it at scale, and shot for wide availability early.


Yes, they would. Less than six million barrels per year, not owned by a beverage alcohol industry member that isn’t itself craft. Private equity firms do not count. I’m not disagreeing with your thoughts on how huge they’ve become, and we probably agree on the relevance of the increasingly lax criteria (thanks, Boston Beer Company), but they are still considered a craft brewery by the BA definition.

The intent to compete in the session IPA space? Sure, that’s what Sam Adams does best. Make decent versions of other people’s better beer. But to insinuate that a green box and a name that implies “have our beer whenever you feel like it” is infringement is silly. Can shaped pint glasses are ubiquitous, and of course cheap promo merch is similar; it’s all made in the same Chinese factory.


And they brew a fine IPA.