BrewDog raises £19m in latest crowdfunding scheme

BrewDog Equity for Punks AGM

Scottish brewery BrewDog has raised £19m through its latest crowdfunding campaign, giving it money for expanding its bars and investing in its brewing facilities.

The fourth round of its Equity for Punks scheme, launched in April last year, has increased the number of its investors, or “fanvestors”, to 42,000, many of whom attend BrewDog’s massive AGMs (pictured).

The latest funds will support the building of a bigger brewery in Ellon in Aberdeenshire, which will increase capacity fivefold, as well as launching BrewDog’s US brewery in Columbus, Ohio.

It will also focus on building a sour beer facility in Aberdeenshire and launch BrewDog’s distillery, Lone Wolf, with plans to start producing spirits in the next two weeks.

Other projects include developing the BrewDog canned beer range and growing the international bar division with new venues pencilled for Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Malmö in Sweden and Warsaw in Poland.

New bars are also due to open in Southampton and York over the next two months. Also in the pipeline is Dalston Hop Works in London, a bar and home brew shop with ten 50-litre pilot kits for people to brew on with support from Cicerone-trained staff on site.

James Watt, co-founder of BrewDog, said: “We’ll be ploughing the money raised into expansion across the Atlantic and pioneering new projects here in the UK. We can’t wait to launch Lone Wolf and our sour facility in Ellon, and we have some mega new cathedrals of craft on the way.

“Our shareholders are the absolute beating heart of our business. Launching Equity for Punks was the best decision we ever made. We’ve turned more than 42,000 people into passionate brand ambassadors, and raised enough money to keep the momentum of the craft uprising going in the process. It’s a slam dunk for us and for the craft beer industry.”

The original target was £25m but BrewDog is still accepting paper applications for the fourth round until Friday April 29. Click here for details.

With co-founder Martin Dickie, BrewDog started using crowdfunding in 2009 to avoid dealing with faceless banks. After a successful first three rounds of crowdfunding, the fourth has broken records along the way, being the first crowdfunding scheme to raise over £5m in under three weeks, the most money taken through crowdfunding of any other business on record overall, and the first time a company has offered equity in tandem with bonds.

James added: “It was a risk creating a whole new business model back in 2009, but we’re all about taking risks to make sure we’re doing things our way, the punk way, and not bowing to stuffy industry formality. It’s paid off, and we’re psyched with the results of Equity for Punks IV. No other company would be bold enough to set the bar this high.”

With a three-year annual profit growth of 120%, BrewDog now has 43 bars and BottleDogs bottle shops globally, employs 540 people, and exports to 55 countries. Last year, it brewed 65 beers while sales in the UK surged by 131%.

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