A NORTH-east beer giant has said it has lost 70% of its income overnight and is now in a “fight to be able to survive”.

Ellon-based firm BrewDog, which was started by co-founders James Watt and Martin Dickie in 2007, emailed shareholders and told them the coronavirus crisis is going to make the next few months “very, very difficult”.

The firm, which employs 2,000 people across the world and has pubs across the north-east, appealed for help through its Equity For Punks scheme.

An email from Mr Watt, sent out to shareholders yesterday, outlined the “colossal impact” Covid-19 has had on the business.

James said: “As Covid-19 reaps unforeseen havoc on our world, our number one priority must be the safety of our loved ones.

“As for BrewDog, I am writing to tell you that things over the next few months are going to be very, very difficult for us.

“Covid-19 has already had a colossal impact on our business and we have lost almost 70% of our revenue overnight.

“The reality is our business, and the vast majority of businesses, now face a fight to be able to survive and make it through this crisis.

“We have two main priorities at the moment. Number one: survive. Number two: preserve as many of the 2,000 jobs we have created at BrewDog as possible.”

James went on to appeal for help to get “through this crisis”, suggesting customers could support the business by buying beer, getting their friends to do the same, and by investing in its Equity For Punks (EFP) scheme.

He added: “The biggest thing you can do to help us is buy our beers.

“The more revenue we can generate during this period the more jobs we can safeguard.”

The firm announced it will also be helping north-east residents get through the next few months by helping with the shortage of hand sanitiser in stores.

BrewDog is using its brewery, distillery and resources to create hand sanitiser, which will be given out free of charge.

It will also be operating a drive-thru service at its bars, where customers can buy beer and food that will be delivered by a member of staff to their vehicle, or the front door of the bar.