Punks With Purpose

I’ve been reading the BrewDog ex-staff open-letter regarding their oppressive management experience.

Actually prompted to do so from this piece on bad practices in the hospitality business generally which links not just to the original letter, but also to an early internal draft response to the “Punks with Purpose“.

As an EquityPunk since the second round, I need to declare an interest here.

However, I read both as sympathetic and genuinely committed to something better, “scathing” but positive. Even the response, personally defensive sure, hopeful and misguided, but still positive. And no reason to deny the reality of cultish, non-PC, misogyny in the craft-beer business marketing generally as well as in BrewDog specifically. Easy to imagine.

The one thing I want to add to the debate is the more general entrepreneurial-to-sustainable transition. The cavalier approach embodied by James and Martin, driven entirely by disruptive market penetration and growth takes no prisoners and (deliberately) creates collateral damage in its “careless” wake. That was always the point of the “punk” branding from day 1.

Some of us have been pointing out for years that the reckless growth at any cost strategy was unsustainable, humanly as well as economically. There was some hope (5?) years ago when BrewDog went through some external professional management selection for senior exec roles, the revolution was televised in fact, but – I need to research this – it seemed to be short-lived and fizzle out, with candidates either not able to fit in or falling out shortly after recruitment. The perfect storm of Covid on top of difficult economic conditions for the hospitality business has simply left (real) underlying problems exposed.

Sad, but not terminal.


[Post Note 17th June:

The Road Ahead for BrewDog

On LinkedIn for some reason?]

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