So, Farewell then Brewdog, Bottledog Kings Cross
The Morning Advertiser has reported the closure of Brewdog’s Bottledog outlet in Grays Inn Rd, London.
It was not of course in Kings Cross and the twitter account was renamed to acknowledge this.
I passed by (it was around 15 minutes from my central London office) more than I went in but go in I certainly did from time to time. I’m sorry to see it go. There is nothing else close that offers a similar range of craft beers in bottle, can and keg.
According to the Brewdog MD it was ‘outwith core’ business. Perhaps so but I’ve been ‘blessed’ over the years with being a manager in the private sector and now a union officer dealing with large private sector companies and their business plans. I suspect what is meant is that it was either not turning a profit or not enough profit (alternatively there may have been lease issues). If it was profitable the logical step would have been to sell it on or ‘outsource’ it to a third party to run.
My intrepid drinking partner Megan Davies suggests it was not the best of locations, and certainly I’d agree that a lot nearer to Kings Cross (or indeed Holborn Circus) would have been better. But I think there are limits to what a bottle shop that is not locally based and serving a local market can do. There is no chance of parking in the area, so what you can buy is conditioned by what you can carry off on foot. Containers of beer are quite heavy…
Are there implications for the growing number of craft bottle shops? Getting the right location may be an issue (at it is for any business hoping to attract the public) but perhaps more particularly in terms of location proximity to good transport links might be key (there were regular bus services running past Bottledog).
Some, and perhaps particularly Matthew Curtis who rightly bangs on about this, might note that the economic model of bottle shops faces some challenges of undercutting from supermarkets. On Sunday for example I bought two cans of Harbour ipa and two bottles of Goose Island ipa for £6 in total, in a Cardiff Bay supermarket location that it would not be prudent for a bottle shop to open in. Too cheap? Certainly, but for me as a consumer at that moment, convenient.