The Lowdown: BrewDog Drive Thru

By James McAlliter

- Last updated on GMT

Photo credit: Twitter (@BrewDog)
Photo credit: Twitter (@BrewDog)

Related tags: Brewdog

BrewDog has announced plans to open a number of drive-thru locations worldwide, including in the UK.

Ah yes, that much-lauded combination… drinking and driving
Sure, it may not immediately sound like the most responsible business idea, but at least hear it out.

Ok, go on then, what’s it all about?
Presenting the BrewDog of tomorrow. The brewer and bar group says that, as part of its ‘commitment to sustainability’, it will be opening four international BrewDog Drive Thru locations. One will open Stateside in Columbus, Ohio; another in Berlin, Germany; a third in Brisbane, Australia; and a fourth somewhere in the UK. BrewDog says the drive-thrus will operate as ‘beer collection points’, with ‘hubs for electric vehicle deliveries’; and for ‘closed loop, zero-waste packaging' such as growlers, mini-kegs and returnable bottles.

So, basically, it’s an off-license for hipsters?
Hmm… the concept art looks closer in appearance to a petrol station if we’re honest, with Punk IPA and Elvis Juice listed on the price mast rather than unleaded and diesel. The group says the idea comes from wanting ‘to find ways to deliver cold, fresh craft beer direct to [its] customers in a way that is better for the planet’.

And BrewDog thinks having customers drive to pick up beer in their cars is the way to achieve that?
Well, providing that car is electric, yes. But we see your point. And, indeed, it’s something that has been brought up in many of the Twitter comments related to the announcement. As one person put it: “How can forcing people to DRIVE be sustainable? Yay, electric charging point, but I've got three of those built into lampposts on my street, which is a much better location. Most people will use Petrol or Diesel. How about some CYCLE facilities, and encourage NOT DRIVING.”

This is a silly idea, isn’t it…
Don’t to be so hasty to write it off. Sure, at first glance it feels very gimmicky, and that may turn out to be exactly what it is. But BrewDog has form for being ahead of pack when it comes to such innovations within the bar and booze sector.

How so?
Earlier this year, prior to the pandemic, the group launched what it described as the ‘world’s first’ booze-free beer bar​ on Old Street in east London. Last year it converted its Dalston site into the group’s first ‘fully-vegan’ bar​, having partnered with plant-based ‘junk food’ brand Biff’s Jack Shack. And don’t forget that in late March, just after the lockdown was imposed, it was one of the first operators to open an ‘online bar’​, to help bring the pub experience into the home. 

Ok, I’m intrigued. Do we know where in BrewDog will open its first UK drive-thru?
Details on a location are yet to be released. But based on its most recent special brew, maybe Barnard Castle​. 

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