James Watt

Captain of BrewDog. On a mission to save the world from bad beer.

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON April 14, 2016

Discussion

James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
Hi I’m James Watt, Captain & Co-founder of BrewDog. I was a fully qualified deep sea Captain, having earlier completed an honors degree in Law & Economics. I traded in being a salty sea dog to start BrewDog in 2007, along with Martin Dickie. I was awarded Great British Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014, and was the first person in Europe to achieve Master Cicerone. Along with Martin, I host the reality TV show “BrewDogs” on Esquire Network, which airs in seven countries. For more information visit www.businessforpunks.com and www.brewdog.com/usa/lowdown.
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
What's the most valuable piece of information you know now, that you didn't know 5 years ago?
James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
@jacqvon Focus on the beer and the people. If you get those 2 things right, everything else will fall into place.
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
@brewdogjames The customers? or the employees? Or both, huh?
James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
@jacqvon The employees first and foremost!
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
If you had to pick one beer to drink for the rest of your life, which one would you choose?
James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
@tomstocklein Wow! Such a tough question. It would be Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. The beer that started me on my beery journey and my go to classic!
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
@brewdogjames @tomstocklein yes! I love that beer ❤️🍺
Daniel Shields@thatshieldsguy · Soon to be professional brewer
Hey James, big fan here. I am in the planning phase for starting my own Indie brewing company in Johannesburg, South Africa. The scene here is still growing, and whilst there are beer nerds and such, the most popular beers in the craft sector still seem to be the lighter, paler styles . (By a large margin) I intend to brew my beers on the opposite end of the spectrum. Big, bold, different. How do I go about making sure my beers are noticed by those who would drink it and making sure that I don't end up needing to tone everything down just to make sure the beers sell? (Also please come do an episode of BrewDogs here, thanks!)
Name cannot be blank@stanchionpoint · Brewery troll, Lover and brewer
@thatshieldsguy I went the other way I brew Saisons with fruit and veg from my own plot of land! :)
James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
@thatshieldsguy If your beers are good enough you dont need to worry about getting the right people to notice them. Focus on making your beers awesome and all the people who need to notice them soon will!
Daniel Shields@thatshieldsguy · Soon to be professional brewer
@stanchionpoint That's pretty rad! How are people reacting to your beers in general?
Name cannot be blank@stanchionpoint · Brewery troll, Lover and brewer
@thatshieldsguy I cant make enough to keep up with demand right now. I have a 3 tier plant a grainfather and a 50L braumister. and my fermenters are full 100% of the time. I cask one then its clean and move another into conditioning .
Daniel Shields@thatshieldsguy · Soon to be professional brewer
@stanchionpoint Where are you brewing these may I ask? Sounds like I need to pay you a visit!
Ayrton De Craene@ayrton · Code @ Product Hunt
🍻 or ⚓️
James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
@ayrton both :)
Marie Guinard@marief1418 · Craft beer lover - Maloan
Hi James. Imagine... you are a guy who truely wants to open a craft beer bar. You are young and broke. What is the most billiant idea to find some money ?
James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
@marief1418 Rob a mother fucking bank.
James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
@marief1418 Or ask my freinds and family to invest in my new venture. Or bootleg the hell out of it.
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
What are the major differences between the craft beer scene in Europe from the United States?
James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
@jacqvon The availability and understanding of craft beer is much higher in the US than the UK. But we are catching up fast!
Andrew Pollock-Tape@andrewtape · Mead maker, France
Hey man, you guys do some pretty wild things with your beers. What did you learn breaking into the market with products that people were intrigued by, but maybe found slightly intimidating?
James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
@andrewtape We focus on information and education. We want to empower the customer by leading with information and not with the product. People need to learn more about beer.
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
Hey James! Fellow Brit here 👋 What are the biggest struggles you've faced while running BrewDog? It seems to have its own unique style of operating!
James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
@bentossell None! Struggles and obstacles are what you see when you loose sight of your goals. Any problem is just an opportunity in disguise!
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
How did you first get into craft beer? It seams a huge leap from deep sea captain?
Name cannot be blank@stanchionpoint · Brewery troll, Lover and brewer
@ems_hodge Deep sea Captain up here is crazy! Its safer to be on dry land!
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
@ems_hodge I was a home brewer and i was frustrated at not being able to get my hands on enough good beer. So i quit my job, got a bank loan and started BrewDog with Martin! But for the first 2 years i still worked part time on the boat because we could not afford to pay ourselves from BewDog.
James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
@stanchionpoint @ems_hodge But safe is always boring....
Ayrton De Craene@ayrton · Code @ Product Hunt
Do you personally think there are any beers superior to Trappists eg. Rochefort 8, if so what you recommend, if not what would be a good runner up?
James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
@ayrton Rochefort 8 is a great beer and a great example of the style. If you like that try some of the Lost Abbey beers, they are based just outside San Diego.
Ayrton De Craene@ayrton · Code @ Product Hunt
What do you think of DIY brew installations like beerbot etc, would you give it a fair shot?
James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
@ayrton Anything that helps people make beer is great! Anything that gets people understanding brewing and beer ingredients is great too. I personally prefer a more involved home-brewing set up but i love homebrewing in all it's guises.
Cathy Lee@cllckwrko · Web Developer, Colorado State University
What are some interesting developments in the craft beer industry? More small-scale brewers? Co-ops? Innovations in growing hops? Space beer? Thanks James Watt!
James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
@cllckwrko Crowd-funding, more sour beers, more saisons, better lagers, more knowldege and empowering the customer to make better beery choices!
Name cannot be blank@stanchionpoint · Brewery troll, Lover and brewer
What are your thoughts on all these crafty brewers and clique brewery's in Glasgow?
James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
@stanchionpoint no comment :)
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
How did you plan for increasing your hops, grain & other ingredients as you expanded?
James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
@jacqvon By working as closely as we can with the amazing farmers and growers. But fostering our relationships with the amazing people behind the great ingredients we put in our beers.
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
Is it Anchor Brewing Co. that does your importing to the U.S.? What made you choose them?
James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
@jacqvon We have stopepd exporting to the US and we are building our own brewery in Columbus. More info here https://www.brewdog.com/lowdown/...
Daniel Shields@thatshieldsguy · Soon to be professional brewer
Would you mind crapping on Bowman for not replying to my email please?
James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
Hey James, big fan here. Any news on a BrewDog bar opening in Paris? Need some local help with that? thanks!
James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
@tiboll We just need to find a site. If you can help drop me an email - james@brewdog.com
Arron Fellows@arron_fellows · Bar Manager, Y Delyn Wine Bar
Also, just ANOTHER one before I head back to work...as CEO of the biggest craft brewery in the UK, how often are you able to just cut loose and enjoy several beers these days? And if you were to pick from all the beers you've made (I didn't even realise how many there were until I downloaded DIY Dog) which one would be your ABSOLUTE favourite?
James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
@arron_fellows Ha! I spend all my time cutting loose and enjoying beers because that is (kinda) my job. And right now I am loving Born to Die, our massively hoppy double IPA.
Kevin Levy@kevygsus
In light of the recent hop shortage, should brewers look to cut back on hops in their recipes, or perhaps seek out cheaper varieties? Is there maybe some other way for brewers to deal with the shortage without overcharging for their product or compromising on quality? Has the shortage possibly been caused by brewers who've read DIY DOG? (Also, please come do an episode of BrewDogs in South Africa) Thanks
James Watt@brewdogjames · James Watt, BrewDog
@kevygsus Good hops have been in limited supply since 2008. But supply is increasing as more farmers are focussing on the high value aroma hops that craft brewers love.