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BrewDog 2021 Financial Results


Ellon, UK: 31st May 2022: BrewDog announces its financial results for the year-ended 31 December 2021.

2021 saw historic levels of investment in:

  • People: We spent £9m more on our people as we upscaled resource, Learning & Development, rewards and culture; we made 839 new hires in 2021, bringing workforce to 2,346. Average salaries across the company rose 3% in 2021.
  • Brand: £17m investment including our first UK TV advertising campaign (“Beer For All”) and nationwide billboard advertising, together with launch of Lost Lager and expansion in France.
  • Bars/hotels: £13m investment in our venues, with 7 new bars and 2 new hotels together with 2 new bars with our franchise partners in four markets. A further 30 new venues planned for 2022, notably flagship bars in London Waterloo and Las Vegas.
  • Sustainability: We’ve incurred significant investment on sustainability and cutting carbon emissions, including the anaerobic digester plant – to recycle waste by-product from brewing to generate our own gas – and development of the Lost Forest and expanding our EV fleet.
  • Beer: We will create the largest craft brewery in the world through the investment in our Ellon HQ continues in 2022.


The numbers:

  • Revenues up 21% to £286m (2020: £238m) as UK sales and market share grows despite pandemic restrictions being in place in the on trade and our bar estate for much of the year.
  • Gross profit margin grew to 53% (2020: 48%) as increased scale and operational efficiencies drive improvement.
  • Adjusted EBITDA up 79% to £14m as improving margins and market leadership positions are offset by continued investment in people and covid-related losses from the retail estate.
  • Operating loss narrows to £5.5m (2020: £6.8m loss) despite impact of the pandemic on the retail estate and increased investment.
  • As a result of the market share improvements, continued growth significantly ahead of the market, and investment in our people and locations, BrewDog is ideally placed to capitalise on the opportunities ahead and deal with the challenges of the current supply chain pressures facing all businesses. 


Other Highlights:

  • Beer volumes of 962k hls up 23% on 2020 largely driven by the UK, US, Germany and Australia.
  • BrewDog is still the UK’s fastest growing beer brand [Neilson], with total beer sales are up around 80% since the start of the pandemic, which is around 4x the growth of the total beer market in UK off trade.  This reflects the strength of the gains in new customers and the distribution points within existing customers.
  • Launch of Lost Lager and Hazy Jane were two of the fastest growing SKU’s in the UK, and are now being rolled out into the other geographies and on trade.
  • Launched beer subscription model BrewDog & Friends driving e-commerce growth and resulting in thousands of loyal consumers.
  • Continued development and evolution of the leadership team, with Allan Leighton joining as Chair, bringing significant growth and governance expertise.
  • Launch of the Blueprint in May 2022 with two ground-breaking initiatives, giving all our salaried team members a £100m share of the business and also sharing 50% of our bar profits with the teams that work in those bars. 


Current trading

2022 has started well with the first period since Q1 2020 broadly (though not entirely) unimpacted by covid restrictions, albeit with a challenging off trade market. Our bar division has delivered consistent record revenues and has returned to profitability with continued steady growth in our on trade business in line with our growth trajectory.    

James Watt, CEO of BrewDog said:

“I’d like to thank all our crew for their commitment and dedication, and especially the 839 people who chose to join us last year to develop their careers with BrewDog. 2021 was another year of huge progress. Though challenges remained, not least the continued closure of much of our bar estate during the year, we delivered significant growth across the business. We are investing in our brand, sustainability, our operations, but most importantly, our people. Being the best employer we can be, and offering brilliant careers, is the surest way to support our future growth.

“This year we celebrate 15 years as a company.  The recent announcement of the Blueprint with two pivotal people initiatives are amongst the most radical decisions we have ever made and are my favourite things we have ever done as a business.  Firstly, we are now sharing 50% of bar profits evenly with the amazing teams who work in these venues, creating a whole new business model for the hospitality sector. Secondly, I am giving away 5% of the company, worth just under £100m based on our most recent equity raise, to our salaried team members.  This is about ensuring that we win collectively as a team and fully recognise all the hard work our incredible people contribute to making this business a success.

“We believe we have a once in a generation opportunity to build a business and brand that has a positive impact on the world. We are passionately committed to our goal of becoming one of the world’s five most valuable beer brands over the next five years, built on our three core pillars of Beer, People and Planet. We have always wanted to build a totally different business model where our people are truly connected to the businesses and one where every single person in our team can directly share in the success we create together.

“It’s been an incredible journey. But we’ve only just got started. The next 15 years promises to be even more exciting. The legacy beer brands have had it their own way for over a century and it’s time that changed.”

CEO’s review

Revenue growth of 21% in 2021 reflected the combination of continued growth of beer volumes across the global operations and a partial re-opening of the on-trade as the year progressed, with the retail estate impacted by the continued pandemic restrictions. 

Total volume of 977k hls was up 23% on 2020, largely driven by the UK, Germany and Australia.  UK performance was strong in the Grocery and Impulse channels, with increased points of distribution and improved rate of sale across many customers, resulting in BrewDog maintaining its position as the fastest growing beer brand in its key markets.  The e-commerce channel continued to grow, as we expanded operations across Europe, added marketplace partners and launched the beer subscription model, BrewDog & Friends. 

The gradual return of hospitality during 2021 also benefitted our on-trade customers and our bars.  Global bars achieved revenue growth of 31% in 2021 from 2020, despite being closed or with heavily restricted trade for much of the year across all our geographies. 

BrewDog has continued to improve gross margin, with 53% in 2021 being a 5 percentage point improvement on 2020. This has been delivered through continued operational improvements including investment in production efficiencies, working closely with both new and existing suppliers, and with scale benefits from increased production volumes.

Gross margins were partly offset by the well documented supply chain pressures during 2021, both with increasing costs of transportation and CO2 taking effect in the year.  There will continue to be an internal focus on cost in the current inflationary environment.

There has been significant investment in people, increasing headcount from 1,507 to 2,346.  This was necessary to support the continued growth and to scale the Group operations, as well as to relieve resource constraints in certain parts of the business.  As part of these initiatives, BrewDog also completed an extensive culture review and implemented improved salary and benefits, as well as investment in mental health provision, Learning & Development and HR resource.

BrewDog has invested significantly in the brand throughout 2021 with an increase in marketing activities across all channels of the business.  A number of these included the Lost Lager launch giveaway, the launch of BrewDog & Friends and our first mainstream TV advert and large scale Out of Home billboard for the Beer For All campaign.

Sustainability activity and investments have continued with extensive activity as the world’s first carbon negative brewery.  This ranged from the significant investment in the Anaerobic Digestor facility in Ellon, progression of the operations at the Lost Forest, continued investment in an electric vehicle fleet and the investment in high quality carbon offsets.

Financial performance has been transformed during 2021, with Adjusted EBITDA of £14.2m an increase of £6.3m / 79% on the prior year.  This is despite significant losses incurred in the retail division due to continued restrictions and closures for around half of the year.  This significant step forward in profitability is as a result of the increasing scale and efficiency throughout the Group. 

BrewDog looks forward to 2022 and beyond with confidence and excitement.


Further Information

Peter Ogden


About BrewDog

BrewDog is an international, independent craft beer and hospitality company, founded in 2007 by Martin Dickie and James Watt with a simple mission - to make other people as passionate about great craft beer as they are. Headquartered in Ellon, Scotland BrewDog employs over 2,300 staff, operates over 100 bars and venues worldwide, and has breweries in Columbus Ohio, Berlin Germany, and Brisbane Australia. BrewDog brews hundreds of different beers - led by the “Headliner series”, which includes the flagship Punk IPA, as well as Lost Lager, Elvis Juice and Hazy Jane - which are exported to over 60 countries globally.

In 2020, BrewDog became the world’s first carbon-negative beer business, with the company now removing twice as much carbon from the air as it emits. As part of its net-zero goals, BrewDog has also purchased a 9,308-acre plot of land in the Scottish Highlands “The Lost Forest”, which will see the company embark on one of the largest reforestation and peatland restoration projects in the UK.

In 2022, BrewDog launched its “Blueprint” to mark the company’s 15th anniversary, including the announcement of the “Hop Stock” Employee Ownership Programme which will see 5% of the company distributed evenly amongst 750 salaried crew members over the next four years. Furthermore, the company announced each BrewDog bar will share 50% of its profits with its crew, setting the bar higher for hospitality workers everywhere. Today, BrewDog is more than 25% owned by its crew and its Equity Punk community and continues to push boundaries, as it takes the craft beer revolution to the people.

BrewDog has today issued the Group statutory accounts for approval by shareholders at the AGM on 28th June 2022 and will submit these to Companies House on 30th June 2022.