BrewDog’s Scottish founders & their American counterpart open the doors to their latest project – DogHouse Hotel & Brewery.
As students at Temple University, my beer geek friends and I dreamt up an idea we were sure would make us millions: a brewery hotel – or a “brew-tel”, as we came to call it. We had a lot of fun daydreaming about the amenities our guests could enjoy once they checked in (the IPA-filled swimming pool being one of our more luxurious, albeit outlandish choices). But we never really thought anyone would be crazy enough to pony up the cash it would take to get a project like this off the ground.
Well, BrewDog founders James Watt & Martin Dickie, along with Global Chief Disruption Officer Tanisha Robinson (or “T” as she’s known) went ahead and did it. This past August they officially opened the DogHouse at their Columbus, Ohio facility, the first ever hotel housed inside a brewery. No wonder it’s been dubbed “the hoppiest place on earth.”
The DogHouse is about as immersive a brewery experience as one could ever have. With 32 rooms to choose from, each one with a fully-stocked beer fridge, in-room beer taps and an additional shower fridge (that’s right, every room comes with its own built-in shower fridge), you can see why the BrewDog team went all out building a hotel that is the first of its kind in the world.
Upon entering the DogHouse, you’ll quickly notice that the check-in desk isn’t a desk at all – it’s a check-in bar, where you’ll get a welcome beer along with your room key. Next, you’ll see that each suite is named after a BrewDog beer, and many have interior doors that open directly into the brewery. That’s what I call a room with a view.
But why take this big risk? “Having fantastic beer isn’t enough to make a brewery special anymore,” says Robinson, who was recently promoted from U.S. CEO to her new global position, which includes rapidly scaling the DogHouse Hotel concept and supporting the Australian brewery launch. “We try to give our customers amazing, immersive craft beer experiences, which we think helps them understand our brand.”
With each room offering a completely unique experience, some fan faves have already emerged. “My favorite is Jet Black Heart,” says Robinson. “It’s one of our Brewmaster Suites that has glass garage doors that open directly into the brewery – it has amazing views of the barrels and foeders. Plus, you can smell the beer!”
Of course, having beer fanatics spend the night inside the brewery has also led to some, shall we say, interesting experiences. “Last week we had to shut down a ‘lingerie’ photoshoot in our hallway,” Robinson laughs. “And then another guest brought his in-room draught system down to the front desk after disassembling it to see how it works.”
The DogHouse has allowed Robinson and her team to connect with their fans in new and exciting ways. “It’s amazing to have people stay here,” she says.
“Our guests are so positive, and it really energizes all of us because we know we are sharing something special.”
More Beer-tastic Overnight Adventures
While the DogHouse is the only hotel that exists inside a brewery, other brewers have developed their own residences for beer travel fanatics.
STONE BREWING HOTEL
Set to open in the winter of 2019, Stone’s newest endeavor is a 100,000 square-foot, beer-centric, 99-room boutique hotel located directly across the street from their Escondido brewery.
Dogfish Inn is the brewery’s “off-centered basecamp for beer lovers and adventure seekers alike.” Located along Delaware’s Lewes-Rehoboth Canal, just a five-minute walk from the beach, Dogfish Inn has 16 rooms, each sporting that offbeat charm Dogfish Head is known for.
Doug Williams has been a contributing writing for Draught Lines Magazine since 2017. He is currently the writer in residence at Azuka Theatre. His work has been developed and produced by Orbiter 3, Theatre Horizon, Painted Bride, PlayPenn and the Great Plains Theatre Conference.