Last time on BrewDogging, I called into the Upminster bar just before Christmas, and wrote about it a month later. Not too long after the post went online, I realised that there was something important that I forgot to mention. The BrewDogging post before that one was written in August 2022, the climax of a berserk week which took in visits to bars that had recently opened in Inverurie, Ellon, Waterloo and Edinburgh. Waterloo was the most attention-grabbing of the four, being the biggest bar that BrewDog – or, depending on your criteria, anyone else – had opened in the UK.
Which made it all the more awkward when a couple of weeks later, they closed down half a dozen or so of their older bars. Three of them were former Draft Houses that they’d rebranded as BrewDog pubs, which we don’t cover here. But regular readers will recognise the other three. Peterhead, one of the smaller locations on the outskirts of Aberdeen: Old Street, the alcohol-free experiment which first dropped the ‘free’ bit of the concept, and then the ‘alcohol’: and Dalston, whose terrific vegan menu – a rare deviation from the standard BrewDog nosh – will make it the most sadly missed in this household.
It’s not just happening to BrewDog, of course, and it's not just limited to the UK. It's come to light that we lost Florence some time in the last twelve months: it's possible we might have lost Itaewon as well, but nobody at BrewDog seems to want to give a straight answer as to why it’s been closed for "refurbishment" for so long. Times are tough, we get it. And yet BrewDog are still bullishly opening new bars, and making them bigger and bigger, with Waterloo and Las Vegas being the most visible examples.
There aren’t many situations where you can mention Wandsworth in the same breath as Las Vegas, but I guess this is one of them.