Brewery's 'Solid Gold' Beer Cans a Solid Scam: Contest Winners

Winners of BrewDog contest say 'solid gold' beer cans allegedly worth $20K are actually gold-plated
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2021 8:04 AM CDT
Brewery's Willy Wonka-Like Giveaway Runs Into Problems
Photo of a Punk IPA can from the BrewDog website.   (BrewDog)

Poet George Arnold preferred beer to gold, but winners of a Scottish brewery's recent giveaway were led to believe they'd be getting both, and they're now torqued about what was actually delivered. The UK's Advertising Standards Authorities says it's looking into claims by those who took part in a BrewDog promotion in which consumers were invited to hunt for 50 special "solid gold" cans, said to be worth more than $20,000 each, hidden in cases of its Punk IPA, reports the BBC. However, as people started finding the cans, it was discovered they weren't solid gold at all, but brass with gold-plating—the Guardian notes that a certificate from BrewDog itself concedes there's just a thin gold coating on each can that's 3 microns thick. "Totally disappointed," winner Adam Dean tells the Scottish Sun, adding he's the one who called the ASA after BrewDog refused to hand over company shares that would equal $20,000, minus the actual value of the can.

BrewDog is now apologizing for what it says was the "erroneous use of the phrasing 'solid gold' in some of the communications around the competition," which it says it removed once it realized the mistake. It adds that "solid gold" was never indicated in the contest rules or in winner notifications, and that the nearly $21,000 assessment per can is "reasonable based on multiple factors," calling it a "collectible item. ... Its value is somewhat detached from the cost of materials." Mark Craig of Northern Ireland—who snatched up cases of the IPA, found a gold can, and hoped to pay for his wedding with it—tells the Sun he's bummed on how this all played out, noting that "I can't imagine a similar frenzy for a novelty can, which is what it ended up being." This isn't the only problem BrewDog is facing: Dozens of employees are accusing the company of fostering a "culture of fear" in the workplace, CNN reported earlier this month. (More brewery stories.)

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