Bristol-based Lost and Grounded Brewers took to Twitter last week to express disappointment that two BrewDog billboards had been placed within 100 meters (approximately 1/8 mile) from its brewery, one of the fastest growing in the UK.
Both billboards tout BrewDog’s Lost Lager which shares a concerning similarity with the small brewery’s ‘Lost and Grounded’ name.
“Coincidence?” the Tweet read. “So it turns out @BrewDogHQ has decided to focus its ‘Lost Lager’ campaign directly outside of our brewery on Whitby Road, Bristol. Not one but two billboards touting Lost Lager, literally both less than 100m from the home of Keller Pils.”
Lost and Grounded’s flagship 4.8% ABV Keller Pils uses Pilsner malt from Germany and Magnum, Perle and Hallertauer Mittelfruh hops BrewDog’s Lost Lager is a 4.5% ABV German-style Pilsner using Select, Spalter and Saphir hops.
Lost and Grounded co-founder Alex Troncoso told the Drinks Business that an employee first noticed the billboards on May 11
When asked whether he thought BrewDog was targeting a smaller brewer, Troncoso said “I don’t really know for sure – it may be as simple as there’s hundreds of billboards across the UK giving blanket coverage.”
However, he continued, “it seems like a bit of a coincidence that it is so near to the brewery. Whitby Road is very quiet and a bit of an obscure place to put two different billboards up.”
The wording of the billboards has also come under criticism…
One billboard near the site mentions “exquisitely photo shopped size zero models… holding beers they’ve never tasted. It’s sort of assuming that women don’t drink beer…or that women who are a certain size can’t drink beer.
To be fair the billboard’s content seems to be directed at bigger beer companies rather than at Lost and Grounded Brewers.
But their placement, and the fact that the small regional brewery and BrewDog’s lager share the word “Lost,” leads to unavoidable David versus Goliath comparisons.