Scotland business

Wrangle over BrewDog delivery costs in Highlands compared to rest of UK

Brewdog, Punk IPA bottles Image copyright Brewdog

Aberdeenshire-based craft brewer BrewDog has defended a higher delivery charge for customers in some parts of Scotland than in England.

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead said customers with an IV postcode - covering Moray and the Highlands - face a £9 charge, compared to £5 elsewhere.

He called for a review of delivery charges.

However BrewDog said online orders were shipped from its Northampton hub and not its Ellon base.

Mr Lochhead said: "It is pretty astonishing that a company based in Ellon will deliver cheaper to England than they do to Elgin.

"This is just another example where there appears to be no rhyme nor reason in terms of the delivery surcharges some companies are charging.

"I'm sure a popular north east company like BrewDog doesn't wish to discriminate against customers in the North of Scotland.

"So I've written to the brewery urging them to speak to their courier to try to bring delivery charges to Moray and the Highands into line with the rest of the UK mainland."

'Primary reason'

BrewDog co-founder James Watt said: "Our online orders actually ship from our Northampton hub and not from our HQ in Ellon as many will assume.

"We do this because it allows us to better serve the whole of the UK as well the 60 other countries we export to.

"The location of our hub is the primary reason it costs more to ship to the Highlands than to Cornwall for example."

He added: "We're committed to getting BrewDog into the hands of everyone who wants to try it, that's why we currently subsidise the shipping costs from our couriers so we can keep costs as low as possible for our all our customers.

"We are always on the lookout for ways to further reduce costs, and we welcome all suggestions that will ease the inconvenience for our passionate fans in the Highlands."

BrewDog has grown rapidly from its founding, with a £20,000 bank loan, in Fraserburgh in 2007.

A major deal with Tesco was the breakthrough for founders Mr Watt and Martin Dickie, who were awarded MBEs last year.

Attracted controversy

In April, BrewDog became worth more than £1bn after selling a stake to a US private equity firm.

BrewDog has been no stranger to controversy over the years.

In 2009, a beer called Speedball was criticised amid claims it promoted the drugs mix that killed actors John Belushi and River Phoenix.

Later, a low-alcohol beer called Nanny State was launched by the company after being branded irresponsible for creating the UK's "strongest beer".

And in 2010, BrewDog said it had reclaimed the title of the world's strongest beer from German rivals - with Sink the Bismarck at 41%.

It had unveiled a 32% beer called Tactical Nuclear Penguin. However, Schorschbrau then released the 40% strength Schorschbock, before BrewDog hit back.

BrewDog opened its first pub in Aberdeen in 2010, and is now expanding around the world.

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