4. BrewDog

For going mainstream without selling out.

Yes, we know, we go on about BrewDog as a challenger an awful lot. We first met James Watt back in 2012, when those within the beer industry and marketing circles were still raising their eyebrows at craft beer as a trend that would soon go flat, yet today in America craft beer accounts for 19% of beer sales, and it's a similar story in the UK with reports estimating between 10%-15%.

What’s interesting this year in particular? Well, they’ve just launched their fourth round of equity funding, this time going for £25 million which will make it the largest equity crowd-funding pitch in the UK to date. Earlier in the year they announced their 6th year of record growth, they’ve opened up 12 new branded bars in the last 12 months taking their number to 27, and following up on their US TV show BrewDogs on Esquire (now in it’s 3rd series) there is talk of BrewDog brewing stateside as they collaborate and partner with other US breweries.

Despite a plethora of other, newer, craft beers emerging in both the US and the UK, many breaking convention in terms of packaging and design, no one seems to have taken the crown from BrewDog in terms of continued brand momentum, and for that reason they remain the clear challenger in the category.

“You can become more like Goliath as long as you continue to think and act like David. You need to maintain that outsider, challenger, rebellious position”

- James Watt, Co-founder.

This standout quote from our original interview with James back in 2012 holds especially true today - the consummate challenger, they are still the brand pushing things forward.

Brewdog.com

Editor of The Challenger Project, marketing at eatbigfish. Champion of the underdog. West Ham fan. All adds up really.