Global punk scene tells Brewdog it doesn't own the word 'Punk'

An open letter from the global punk community posted on a music website has warned BrewDog to 'cease and desist' with their recent 'bullying tactics' over the use of the word punk. 

Published 4th Apr 2017
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

The open letter, which was posted on GarageLondon.comstates that the Brewing giant is not the owner of the word 'punk' and that the brand should "cease and desist" in their attempts to stop others from using it.

In the letter, which has been backed by punk bands from all over the world, the writers from the scene explain how they initially tolerated and in some cases embraced BrewDogs use of the word, with many celebrating their attitude towards "the old beer making establishment".

The post then explains that the beer brand's recent bullying tactics and "dubious legal antics" have caused the scene some concern, with the conclusion of the letter reading "one thing punk is not is a bully" and that the "intimidation of smaller firms" by Brewdog "goes against everything punk stands for".

The final sentence adds: "If you [BrewDog] continue in this vein your punk credentials will be revoked and you will be called upon to cease and desist."

The letter has then been backed by hundreds of bands from around the world including Oi Polloi, Slaves and Capdown.

Greig Hawke from Glasgow-based punk band The Kimberly Steaks said: "The brand’s recent actions are the kind we’ve come to expect from multinational corporate bullies, the likes of which Brewdog has repeatedly claimed to oppose.

"Their image as a 'punk' brand is just a marketing exercise and that’s always been the case, but using financial power against small independent businesses is the complete opposite of what Brewdog claims to stand for."

BrewDog angered many craft beer fans after they threatened legal action against a pub in Birmingham for the use of the "Lone Wolf" brand and music promoter Tony Green for trying to open a bar in Leeds called Draft Punk, as reported by the Guardian newspaper, and it seems they've now drew the ire of the global punk scene.

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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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