IPA Pioneers Uiltje & BrewDog Bury the Hatchet and Brew a Beer Together

For a few months in 2023 it felt like a rumble in the digital jungle, with Dutch brewer Uiltje and Scottish brewer BrewDog exchanging quips on Instagram. Now, six months later, they are unveiling a collaborative brew for the Dutch market. Cheekily called WHOOO Let the Dog Out?, their bury-the-hatchet beer plays up the brewers’ collective passion: hardcore IPAs. At 7.0%, their limited-release West Coast Cold IPA is a hoppy ale for fans of both brands. “This is definitely not your in-step model IPA,” says Joyce Kooijman, marketing manager at Uiltje. “It’s accessible, but also a little bit naughty.”

The argument that led to the collaboration wasn’t an argument at all but a little bit of online banter that got out of hand. BrewDog launched a new IPA called Wingman, a name Uiltje had used for its own IPA. Uiltje felt the illustrative style came a tad bit too close to their own house style and said something about it…on Instagram.

“The craft beer market is crowded with crazy names, we often tap into similar pop cultural sources,” says Kooijman. “As things go, the post blew up a little bit and people from all seven continents weighed in. In the big scheme of things, no big deal.”


Playful Provocation
Founded in 2007 and 2012 respectively, BrewDog and Uiltje have made their names by brewing unorthodox beer styles with provocative names and atypical marketing. BrewDog’s approach is largely labelled ‘punk’, Uiltje prefers the word ‘mischief.’

“BrewDog pretty much wrote the playbook for provocative copy and branding,” says Uiltje creative director John Weich. “We’ve always loved that and were inspired by it, so we brought that to our collaboration.”

As two of the fastest growing beer brands in The Netherlands, the brands realized they had more in common than not. So they decided to take their differences offline and into the brewery.


WHOOO Let the Dog Out?
The result is this limited collaboration. WHOOO Let the Dog Out? is an outspoken and cork-dry IPA that goes extra heavy on the rice and hops.

Because the IPA is brewed at Uiltje and targets The Netherlands, Uiltje took the lead in brewing and branding. The cheeky name, the hand-drawn label and the story all contain the signature characteristics of a typical Uiltje label.

“That’s normal in craft beer collaborations,” says Kooijman. “The home team does the heavy lifting.”

The label, drawn by Dutch cartoonist and Uiltje in-house illustrator Gerben Valkema, features an owl caught in the act of vandalizing an urban wall with the BrewDog shield and Uiltje owl.

“We purposely portrayed an old-school Uiltje logo, a wink to our roots,” says Weich. Originally, Uiltje wanted to portray an owl and dog graffitiing together, but after several attempts to anthropomorphize BrewDog’s dog, they gave up. “We found ourselves redrawing their brand assets, which is never a good thing to do. So we focused on the attitude, not the animals.”

While billed as a limited release, WHOOO Let the Dog Out? will be available in bars and supermarkets across The Netherlands, as well in numerous BrewDog cafes in both Holland and the UK.


Behave, please
And does their collaborative beer mean all arguments are over?

“Probably not,” smiles Kooijman. “We’re both incredibly proud of the beer we brew and the names we give them. It’s inevitable our paths will cross again. When they do, we’ll vent a little or they’ll vent a little, then we’ll brew another beer together.”

Which is exactly how it should be.