James Watt BrewDog
BrewDog, one of the world's most popular craft breweries, was created by James Watt, an Aberdeenshire entrepreneur. James completed an honours degree in Law and Economics before starting on a hop-fueled quest that would permanently change the face of the beer industry. It didn't take him long to realize that the corporate suit-and-tie world of litigation and libel wasn't for him, so he quit his law job after only a few weeks and returned to Northeast Scotland to join his father as a fully-qualified Deepsea Captain.
James changed his career path when he was 24 years old. James teamed up with buddy Martin Dickie, and the two began brewing their own beers in Martin's mother's garage, inspired by the bold and adventurous beers being made by a new wave of brewers on the West Coast of the United States. Their preference for heavily-hopped and brutally bitter brews set them apart in a world dominated by cask bitters and mass-produced lagers, particularly in Fraserburgh. Unafraid of criticism, they pursued their passion via careful research, experimentation, and boundary-pushing concepts, determined to show that beer could be more than a bubbly yellow liquid produced by worldwide brewers.
For James, 2007 marked a turning point. BrewDog opened its doors between a needle exchange and 'The Godfather of Carpets' on a disused industrial park in Fraserburgh. While Martin focused on brewing and manufacturing, James focused on expanding the company, managing accounts, and directing the brand's new style of irreverent marketing, which garnered national attention for years. Not only did the duo create some of the most innovative beers in the UK, but James also spearheaded Equity for Punks, a groundbreaking new crowdfunding effort that would be emulated by other firms across the world for years to come.