BrewDog’s Strategy to Win Over Consumers Before Even Buying Mugshot

Creating a brand where most of the sales will come from consumers never having tasted the beer before purchasing means can art and label descriptors can be vital.

For a new seasonal from BrewDog called Mugshot — a 5.2% ABV Coffee Cream Ale —  the brand name and these added items to the packaging have helped draw in consumers even before the first sip hits their lips.

“Unlike the amazing tasting experiences at our BrewDog bars around the world, stores don’t typically let customers take a sip before they purchase,” said Courtney Baldetti, Director of Marketing. “When purchasing, we see customers paying attention to the graphics, looking for a visual representation of the liquid color on the packaging, and reading through the descriptor; these factors are key to converting more purchases in the market.

“We feel the style descriptor is increasingly important for customers looking to try something new.”

Baldetti added that the brewery had had great feedback from consumers, so much so, that they are already planning to bring both Wake Up Call — the brand’s new non-alcoholic Stout brand — and Mugshot back as a seasonal offering for 2025.

Mugshot isn’t BrewDog’s first coffee brew, pointed out Cooper Asay, Head of Quality.

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“We’ve been around the block a few times,” they said. “From light and dark roasts to Guatemalan and Ethiopian beans, there are so many options across the world.”

For Mushot, BrewDog partnered with Thunderkiss coffee, a local staple in Columbus, Ohio, to use light roast Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee.

Going outside the realm of a typical lighter style like a Blonde Ale or creating a “White Stout” style, the brewery chose the Cream Ale route and added milk sugar, oats, and chocolate wheat to help get an aroma of coffee, smoke, sweet, chocolate, caramel and nutty notes.

“We used a Cream Ale base to keep the body light, color pale and offer a nice rich creamy head,” said Ben Chambers, Head of Production. “To set this apart from other lighter coffee beer bases, such as Blondes or White Stouts, we used flaked maize in the grain bill.

“This added the level of sweetness that we were looking for without overdoing the sugars added from lactose. It also established the smoothness in the head and the liquid itself that were seeking.”

Debuting as a seasonal brand, Baldetti added that the BrewDog team will continue to assess a brand like Mugshot based on industry trends and customer feedback to determine seasonals and year-round brews.

“A few additional seasonals are planned for the year after Mugshot’s release,” Baldetti said, adding, ‘Never say never’ in terms of Mugshot finding its way to full-year release.

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