BrewDog looks to break crowdfunding records with ‘Equity for Punks’

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

BrewDog is the fastest-growing bar and restaurant group in the UK
BrewDog is the fastest-growing bar and restaurant group in the UK
Scottish brewer and pub operator BrewDog has snubbed the ‘self-interested banks’ by today launching the third phase of an innovative crowdfunding programme which it hopes will raise £4m by selling off shares directly to beer drinkers. 

The maverick brewery, which is on track to turnover £20m in 2013, raised £2.2m through the initiative – dubbed ‘Equity for Punks’ – in 2011, making it the world’s most successful independent crowdfunding programme to date.

And it now plans to almost double that figure this year by making a further 42,000 shares available to anyone, priced at £95 each. BrewDog hopes the extra funds will aid the expansion of its Aberdeenshire brewery, burgeoning bar division and new series of bottle shops across the UK.

“With the help of almost 7,000 punk investors, BrewDog has become the fastest growing food and drink company in the UK,” said the company’s co-founder James Watt. “As we need funds for more growth plans, we never considered a bank or an investment group – it’s another opportunity for our customers to benefit from our growth directly.”

Video: Equity for Punks III

The FSA-accredited Equity for Punks scheme allows anyone to buy shares in the craft brewery online. Shareholders are also given a lifetime discount at BrewDog’s growing portfolio of craft beer bars.

People power

Watt, who founded the business with Martin Dickie in April 2007, added that crowdfunding ‘proves there is a viable alternative to the financial establishment’, as bank lending figures continue to fall.

“As the self-interested banks continue to stunt economic growth, people are looking for better places to put their money,” said Watt. “With Equity for Punks, beer fans are able to become part of a revolution – not just redefining beer in the UK, but shifting the balance of power away from the banks and back into the hands of the people.”

Equity-for-Punks
Investors will be given a lifetime 5 per cent discount in BrewDog Bars and up to 20 per cent off in BrewDog’s online shop

“We want people to be as passionate about beer as we are – that is the foundation on which Equity for Punks is built. Not only are we creating a community of people that will profit from our growth, we are building an army of craft beer advocates shunning the status quo of fizzy, mass-produced, tasteless lagers and embracing quality, artisanal beers.”

Earlier this month, BrewDog was named the fastest-growing bar and restaurant group in the UK​by the 2013 Zolfo Cooper Profit Tracker. It has achieved an average annual growth of 167 per cent over the past five years and the company is valued at over three times the value it was given during the last Equity for Punks scheme in 2011.

It’s biggest success in the past year has been the growth of its bar division,​opening 12 bars since 2010 – largely funded by the crowdfunding scheme – including its first international location in Stockholm, Sweden.

Shares are available to buy now at www.brewdog.com/equityforpunks.

Related topics: Business, People, Pubs & Bars, Finance

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