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Leading craft beer businesses join forces as BrewDog buys Draft House bar fleet

Independent craft brewer, BrewDog, has announced that it has purchased Draft House, as two of the UK’s leading craft beer bar networks aim to propel the UK’s beer scene.

Recently, BrewDog took ownership of the entire Draft House estate of 14 bars across London and the South East.

Alongside his role as Managing Director of BrewDog Bars, David McDowall will become Managing Director of Draft House, taking the reins from founder Charlie McVeigh.

All 213 of Draft House staff will now join the BrewDog family, and the brewer will be offering all Draft House staff Cicerone training, as well as support if they wish to apply to the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD) and the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP).

BrewDog will be meeting with the entire Draft House team in the next week to discuss their future and answer any questions.

BrewDog is planning to invest in the current Draft House sites and may look to expand on them in future. The beer selection will be different from BrewDog bars, but with the same focus on independent craft beer from around the world.

The Draft House teams will also be invited to contribute to the development and brew days for a series of beers brewed at BrewDog’s HQ in Aberdeenshire, with the resulting beers launching across all Draft House sites.

Draft House launched its first site in 2009 on Northcote Road in Battersea. Since then, it has opened a further 12 bars in the capital including Camden, Paddington, Tower Bridge and Old Street.

In 2016 it opened a bar in Milton Keynes, its first outside of London.

David McDowall, MD of BrewDog Bars commented: “At BrewDog we are obsessed with making other people as passionate about craft beer as we are, and in speaking with the Draft House team we recognised that there was a great opportunity to combine our efforts and really have an impact on the UK bar landscape by working together.

“Draft House has got an incredible team of engaged people and we’ll be doing everything we can to empower them in their business and offer them the support they need to achieve their career goals. The two most important things for us are our beer and our people and we’re excited to extend that to our new family at Draft House and would like to offer a massive welcome to every single one of them.”

Charlie McVeigh, Draft House founder commented: “Nine years have passed since the first Draft House launched, and it has been a truly remarkable journey of discovery. We’ve built an awesome business, and more importantly, a team right at the heart of the UK’s beer revolution. I am immensely proud of what we’ve achieved together and delighted to hand the business over to BrewDog for its next stage of growth. Draft House couldn’t be in better hands.”