BrewDog and Lind & Lime exchange drinks in row over bottle design

The brewing giant has released a tequila in a striking blue bottle, that some are saying looks a lot like Lind & Lime gin.

Published 14th Feb 2024
Updated 14 th Feb 2024

BrewDog and the makers behind Edinburgh's Lind & Lime gin, are in a row over bottle design similarities.

BrewDog has recently launched Casa Rayos - the brand's first tequila - made in collaboration with the Orendain family in Mexico.

The spirit comes in an eye-catching blue, thin-neck bottle, and was featured in Sunday 10 February's episode of Sunday Brunch on channel 4, leading many people to realise it looked a lot like another Scottish spirit brand.

Ian Stirling, of Lind & Lime gin and the Port of Leith Distillery, was one of these people and has said he was left 'numb with shock' when he realised how similar the bottle designs were.

He said: “I was on the sofa scrolling through Instagram when I came across a picture posted by one of the presenters of Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch.

“At first I thought ‘That’s amazing, Lind & Lime was on TV’, but then zoomed in to realise that it wasn’t our product, it was a knock-off.

“I assumed because it was a tequila that it might have been a company in Mexico that had copied us. Then I looked it up and was numb with shock to discover that BrewDog had done this.

“The Scottish drinks industry is an incredibly friendly, collaborative space. We all have many other challenges to deal with and we shouldn't be doing this to each other.”

Both bottles have slim necks and textured glass, with Lind & Lime gin a more green colour while BrewDog's Casa Rayos is blue. Both have cork stoppers.

BrewDog said that their design is inspired by the Blue Weber Agave plant while Lind & Lime is inspired by the wine bottles made in Leith in years gone by.

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Made by Muckle Brig, it was the first product launched while the team waited on the Port of Leith distillery being built.

A spokesperson for BrewDog responded to claims saying: “The Casa Rayos bottle design is based on the colour and aesthetic form of the Blue Weber agave plant from which our tequila is made.

“The painted (as opposed to clear) glass colour, bottle shape and contour, glass text, label size and placement, fonts and colours, and embossed design are all obviously different.

“The bottle also has a real cork stopper and silver ring and Casa Rayos is a super-premium tequila, not a gin. There has been no attempt whatsoever to replicate anything and we wish Muckle Brig every success with their gin.”

Now both brands have sent each other their drinks - with BrewDog sending a bottle of tequila to the Lind & Lime team with a note saying FAO Ian Stirling, enjoy.

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Lind & Lime responded by sending all their drinks and a note that reads: "Dear BrewDog, thank you for the tequila. Here are some of the other products that we distribute. Just so you don't accidentally design anything similar to our products again. Enjoy! All the best, Ian."

This isn't the first time that BrewDog have been involved in a spat with other brands.

In late 2023, Sonja Mitchell, founder of Scotland's first non-alcoholic brewery, JumpShip, started legal proceedings to protect the name of its Shore Leave beer.

Jump Ship explained that it debuted the first edition of its Shore Leave beer in mid-2022, with the second version in the series, a sour beer fermented with berries, released in May 2023.

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Mitchell said she found out in July 2023 that Ellon-based BrewDog had shared an image of a soon-to-launch Shore Leave beer with the proposed tagline, “It’s time to jump ship”.

Jump Ship said that “despite communications with BrewDog, it has not withdrawn its beer”, and Mitchell “has been unable to persuade the brewing giant to recognise the damage and confusion which Jump Ship says is being caused to the brand”.

In 2020, BrewDog themselves took a shot at Aldi over their very similar looking Anti-Establishment IPA cans of beer. This resulted in a collaboration between the brands to launch ALD IPA.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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