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The new ‘beer run’

17 July, 2020

We’ve long been fans of Brewdog’s curious, innovative and creative antics. But we’re not so sure about this one…

This week, Brewdog announced a pub-come-drive-thru experience in the name of sustainability. The announcement touted ‘beer collection points, hubs for electric vehicle deliveries and hubs for closed loop, zero waste packaging such as growlers, mini-kegs & returnable bottles’ – which all sound great initially, but which have polarised opinions across the internet.

First, yes, circular solutions using deposit-return schemes and zero waste ambitions are an important part of environmental progress, but promoting what could end up being long drives with a single purpose to an out-of-town site feels counter-productive.

Second, will this really make a difference to Brewdog’s carbon emissions? Perhaps, but likely only to their operational footprint. Brewdog have yet to release a transparent carbon footprint covering their brewing and hospitality network, so it’s hard to know if this initiative does anything to address their major sustainability impacts or if it is little more than a PR play. Unless they comprehensively measure their emissions including customer travel to purchase their products or drink in their bars (which would fall under Scope 3 emissions when reporting), we won’t know if the drop in Brewdog’s footprint is progress or simple transference to their customers’ personal footprint.

So, in short, it feels a little like sticking a finger in the wind and we’re not convinced this is well thought-out plan. Having said all that, we’re up for being proved wrong.

By Patrick Bapty

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