Brewer and bar operator BrewDog has announced its sixth consecutive year of record growth, including a 69% increase in profit.
It has reported that turnover grew by 64% to more than £29.6million in 2014, compared with £18million in 2013, while annual profit soared from £2.9million in 2013 to £4.9million last year.
Over the year, the Aberdeenshire-based company opened 12 new BrewDog bars: six in the UK in Liverpool, Cardiff, Dundee, Sheffield, Battersea in south London and its home town of Ellon, and another six overseas in Tokyo, São Paulo, Gothenburg, Florence, Bologna and Helsinki.
With a still-expanding estate of 26 bars globally, the brewery now exports its beers to 55 countries around the world and employs 360 people.
Since the start of this year, the company has launched its first bar in Spain, in Barcelona, and has many more bars planned in the UK and overseas, including Brighton, Norwich, Leicester, Berlin and Rome.
Last year, it expanded its brewery in Ellon, adding new fermentation capacity, building new office buildings and its on-site bar, DogTap. It also opened its first craft beer bottle shop, BottleDog, in London’s Kings Cross area.
James Watt, who co-founded the business with Martin Dickie (pictured), said: “We have done well so far, but we are just getting warmed up. For 2015 we have mammoth plans that will really set the world alight. You ain’t seen nothing yet.”
In January, BrewDog launched a new import and distribution arm after an exclusive deal agreed with Stone Brewing Co in California.
James added: “2014 was an epic year for BrewDog and the craft beer industry as a whole. Not only did we continue to grow at breakneck speed and secure more footholds of craft beer awesomeness all around the world, but we were able to improve processes and efficiencies to ensure we deliver the optimum flavour experience every time.
“Our growth has shown that with a healthy disregard for the impossible you can achieve anything. When we launched in 2007, we never expected to be where we are today, but our success continues to prove that there is an insatiable thirst for great craft beer, and a huge opportunity for businesses doing things differently to thrive in challenging economic times.”
Last year, BrewDog launched the ground-breaking BrewDog Development Fund, allocating up to £100,000 of its annual profits to helping other craft breweries get established. It provided financial support and mentoring to London-based Brew by Numbers and CAP brewery from Stockholm in 2014, and will assist more breweries in 2015.
“Our mission has always been to make other people as passionate about great craft beer as we are. The more people making, serving and drinking amazing craft beer, the better,” James said. “The BrewDog Development Fund is about putting our money where our mouth is and helping new breweries thrive.”
The brewery also become a Living Wage Employer in 2014, guaranteeing to pay at least the living wage calculated for their location. “BrewDog is committed to being the best employer – ever,” James explained. “The living wage is one of many initiatives we are implementing to ensure the passion and dedication of our awesome team is always rewarded.”
BrewDog’s expansion has been supported by its crowdfunding scheme, Equity for Punks. The brewery closed a third round of the scheme in December 2013 after raising £4.25million from fans who became investors.
“BrewDog is nothing without its Equity Punks,” James said. “Those 14,568 shareholders are what drive the business and we will continue to repay their trust and loyalty to us by brewing fantastic beers and spreading the craft beer revolution to all corners of the globe.”