BrewDog criticises ‘clueless government’ as it closes six pubs over energy bills

·2-min read

The boss of BrewDog has said the craft brewer will shut six of its pubs after being hammered by soaring energy costs “with no prospect of any help from a clueless government”.

James Watt, founder and chief executive of the company, said it took the decision as it believed it would “be simply impossible to get these bars even close to financial viability” in the foreseeable future.

BrewDog will shut the Hop and Anchor in Aberdeen, Smithfield Market Arms in London, Hop Hub in Motherwell and its BrewDog bars in Dalston, east London; Old Street, east London; and Peterhead.

In a LinkedIn post, the boss said the closures come as the hospitality sector faces “sheer ‘rabbit in the headlights’ paralysis of this zombie government” as rocketing costs threaten the future of many pubs, restaurants and bars.

BrewDog founder and boss James Watt (BrewDog/PA)
BrewDog founder and boss James Watt (BrewDog/PA)

Mr Watt said: “Last night we confirmed we were to close six bars around the UK and it is heart-breaking to lose these locations.

“Reality in the hospitality space is starting to bite and bite hard. And the Government needs to get a grip, now.

“If nothing happens, the UK looks set to lose half of its pubs and bars and all the millions of jobs these locations provide, as well as the vital role they play in local communities.”

It comes a day after industry bosses warned that thousands of pubs and restaurants could go bust in the coming months.

Trade group UKHospitality called on the Government for urgent support through a package of measures lasting until March next year, including VAT cuts, to avoid “tens of thousands of job losses”.

BrewDog’s closure plans comes just two weeks after it opened its largest bar in Waterloo station.

The company stressed that no jobs would be lost as a result of the closures.

A BrewDog spokesman added: “All staff have accepted roles in other BrewDog locations. There will be no job losses.

“This is part of the regular review of our portfolio.

“With rapidly increasing costs including spiralling energy bills, these bars were a substantial distance from being viable to operate.”