BrewDog Shanghai: Beer From the People, For the People

By Ned Kelly, September 28, 2023

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Killer beers, great pub grub, pet friendly and even a shuffleboard table – what's not to love about BrewDog? We sat down with BrewDog big dog, Shanghai GM Gabriel Wang, to talk about their philosophy, how they go about picking their beers, and what exciting new plans are being hatched.

Tell us about how you got started at BrewDog...
I was the founder of Bounty Rum Bar, and one of my old colleagues from there, Jeremy, had gone to Belgium and was working for BrewDog there.

When BrewDog decided to open a bar in the Chinese mainland, they wanted someone with really strong local experience, so he recommended me and introduced me to the CEO. The rest is history.

For those that don’t know, please introduce the BrewDog brand in one sentence.
BrewDog is a legendary global craft beer brand founded in the UK; they really value craft beer – as an industry, product, and way of life – and the craft beer community as a whole. 

What's the BrewDog philosophy?
BrewDog globally sells shares in the company – called Equity for Punk. We have more than 200,000 shareholders worldwide.

So, when we make decisions as a company, we listen to the people – our shareholders – for guidance; we brew the beer the people want. We crowdsource ideas and listen to our consumers, and that is at the heart of BrewDog’s company philosophy.

It’s beer from the people, for the people. 

Tell us about that beer...
We have so many beers at BrewDog. From flagship ales like Elvis Juice to Punk IPA – both of which are hero items here in China and are really popular with the local drinking community, where it’s all about easy drinking.

BrewDog beers come down to quality. No one can provide the same consistent quality in China that Punk IPA and Elvis Juice deliver.

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What kind of food do you concentrate on at BrewDog? 
At first we focused fully on burgers – American comfort foods that people tend to pair with beers. The refreshing notes of the beer help to cut through the fattier, heavier burger bites.

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But now in China, we try to offer more options for everyday consumers. We have everything from chicken wings to steaks to vegan-friendly plates to British dishes.

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We want to have more options for repeat guests and a few healthier options too.

Back to the beer, what is your guest tap program all about?
We mostly have guest taps from local China breweries. I invite China breweries to do tap beer takeovers, and – based on how the takeover goes – I keep some of their beers on our regular tap beer menu.

We love to support the local craft beer community here in China, so currently we have around 40% guest beers on tap. 

I curate a balanced beer list – pulling a mix of both BrewDog beers and guest tap beers so that we have offerings that appeal to all beer drinkers – from IPAs to porters, from stouts to sours, and even some 'fruitier' or lighter beers.

What is your pet policy?
We are very pet friendly, and we also work with a local adoption agency to help pets in need of adoption find a home by offering a discount to those who adopt. We also sell dog cake and donate the income to the pet adoption agency. 

Bonus: On Sundays we offer a discount for those who want to bring their pet to BrewDog.

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What is BrewDog’s ‘Planet Positive’ approach?
BrewDog set out on a carbon neutral journey in 2020 to “make great beer that doesn’t cost the planet.” 

The company created a roadmap for zero operational emissions by the end of 2023, and is holding itself accountable by publishing the latest MEGA (Make Earth Great Again) Report on the company website. 

There are several initiatives that are part of this project – the most exciting of which is planting a forest in Scotland with more than 1.1 million trees. This is an ongoing project for the next five years that began about three years ago. The goal is to reduce all the carbon that we produce during our production.

And, we – as a company – have recently achieved that goal as BrewDog is officially a Positive Planet Certified Carbon Negative company. 

We love the shuffleboard tables – tell us about your upcoming tournament?
We are preparing a shuffleboard tournament and we will run it over the next three months.

The winner will win prizes based on their ranking. Expect big prizes like iPads, air pods, RMB1,000 coupons, beers, and more.

Every month, we will host World Cup style tournaments with at least 32 participants battling for the top prize. Watch this space! 

Finally, what weekly deals and promotions are on offer at BrewDog?
We have Wings Wednesday – RMB118 for all-you-can-eat wings, plus you can add on free flow beers. 

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Burger Thursday – BOGO on burgers when you purchase two beers.

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Daily Happy Hour – BOGO on beers from 3-6pm.

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And Weekend Free Flow – RMB188 for three hours on all BrewDog beers!

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BrewDog, 1/F, 333 Chengdu Bei Lu, by Weihai Lu 成都北路333号1楼,近威海路.

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