BrewDog to open first Kent bar in Canterbury this year

BrewDog is to open its first Kent bar in Canterbury this year.

The international chain has confirmed it is launching in the city, with the location understood to be at the new £115 million Riverside complex.

The company’s co-founder revealed the plan for Canterbury in a post online, stating how the new bar will launch at some point this year.

The city’s long-awaited Riverside complex, opposite Sainsbury’s, is due to open this summer, with about a dozen tenants primed to set up shop at the site off Kingsmead Road.

No operators have been announced and the city council – which is running the project – has remained tight-lipped over any speculation of who may be moving in.

But a number of the units are under offer, and it is understood BrewDog will be one of the flagship tenants at the complex.

A statement on the BrewDog website, confirming the plans for Canterbury, reads: “We’re bringing you one of our iconic bars where incredible craft beer meets amazing atmosphere.

Canterbury is set to welcome a BrewDog this year. Picture: BrewDog
BrewDog has grown rapidly since its launch in 2007. Picture: BrewDog
BrewDog has grown rapidly since its launch in 2007. Picture: BrewDog

“Our taps will be flowing with the very best beer from us and our favorite guest breweries alongside cocktails, wines & spirits and our popular alcohol-free range.”

Co-founder James Watt outlined the vision for Canterbury in a lengthy post detailing his future proposals for the company.

He announced the plans for Kent, along with new premises in the likes of Durham and Chester, and further afield in Mumbai, Berlin and Brisbane.

“In 2022 alone, we are investing over £70 million into increasing capacity, opening new locations, reducing our carbon footprint and creating new jobs,” he said in the post on LinkedIn.

“We love bringing our bar experience to new towns and cities and are actively seeking new opportunities across the world for new locations.

BrewDog is understood to be opening at the city's Riverside complex.  Picture: Barry Goodwin
BrewDog is understood to be opening at the city’s Riverside complex. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Construction work at the site is expected to finish in the coming months.  Picture: Barry Goodwin
Construction work at the site is expected to finish in the coming months. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Founded in Scotland in 2007, the firm has grown rapidly in the past decade, with bars and hotels opening across the globe.

Its beer are sold in a range of pubs and it is an ever-present in supermarkets.

The company, which was rejected by the producers of Dragons Den in 2008, is said to be worth about £1.5 billion.

Mr Watt says BrewDog grew financially during the pandemic despite having its bars closed down.

“We grew 11% in 2020, and 21% in 2021.”

BrewDog beer is sold around the world.  Picture: BrewDog
BrewDog beer is sold around the world. Picture: BrewDog

“Over the next 10 years, we want to build the world’s leading beer brand.

“For context, we are currently 16th on the global list. We will do this by making great beer, that is great for the planet, for us all.

“Given the level of innovation we have seen in other industries over the last decade, it is staggering how little innovation, premiumization or disruption we have seen in beer at the global level. It is startling, but if we look at the world’s top 10 leading beer brands they were all founded over 100 years ago.

“There has been no premium global beer brand successfully launched in the last 100 years.

“Our mission simply has to be to change that.”

But it has not all been plain sailing for BrewDog.

In January, a BBC documentary reported a number of a BBC documentary against Mr Watt, in which he was accused of inappropriate behavior and of power in the workplace.

The BBC Scotland Disclosure team started investigating the company after almost 300 former and current Brewdog employees signed a letter last year accusing Mr Watt of presiding over a toxic culture of fear.

Mr Watt branded the claims “false rumours and misinformation”, but did “truly apologise” to anyone who had felt uncomfortable around him.

Asked about the Canterbury launch, BrewDog said it was not yet in a position to confirm further details.

It means the only tenant confirmed for the Riverside complex so far is Curzon, which will take on a five-screen cinema.

A council spokesman said: “Work to secure tenants is progressing well, and we understand the public interest, but at the current time we are not in a position to confirm who any of the operators will be.

“However, we look forward to providing more details in due course, once legal agreements are further progressed.”

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