NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

BrewDog founders Martin Dickie and James Watt collar MBE honours

James Watt and Martin Dickie Image copyright BrewDog
Image caption James Watt (left) Martin Dickie have been honoured

The two founders of Aberdeenshire-based craft beer company BrewDog have been awarded MBEs in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Friends James Watt and Martin Dickie set up the sometimes controversial firm in 2007 in Fraserburgh.

BrewDog now employs hundreds of staff, has bars around the world, and saw revenue climb by 51% to £44.7m in 2015.

Mr Watt said: "It's amazing to have been awarded something so prestigious."

He and Mr Dickie started brewing beer together as a hobby in their early 20s.

Mr Watt was working as a deep sea fisherman, while Mr Dickie was a whisky distiller.

Strongest beer

A major deal with Tesco was their breakthrough.

BrewDog - now based in Ellon - has attracted 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. Speedballing is the name given to combining heroin and cocaine.

Image copyright Brewdog
Image caption BrewDog has its main base in Ellon

Later, a low alcohol beer called Nanny State was launched by the company after being branded irresponsible for creating the UK's "strongest beer". BrewDog's Tokyo had an alcohol content of 18.2%.

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's original Punk IPA remains one of the best-selling craft beers in the UK.

Beer trivia

Image copyright Adam Berry

There are no hard and fast rules on what makes a "craft beer". However, typically it is a natural beer made by a small brewery, often with large amounts of pungent hops and a marked sweetness from the barley malt

So what is the difference between "craft beer" and "real ale"? Unlike craft beer, real ale - as determined by UK pressure group Campaign For Real Ale - has to be unpasteurised and unfiltered. Real ale also more often has a drier flavour.

Craft beer is also typically served well chilled and carbonated, whereas real ales are served less cold and have no added gas

Yet, like lager (which itself can be a craft beer or real ale), they share the same basic four ingredients - malted barley, hops, yeast and water. In all cases other ingredients can be added on top, such as different grains

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