The Scottish brewing outfit BrewDog operates branded beer bars all over the world, ships beer to more than 50 countries, and even has its own American television show. Despite their success, company co-founders (and hosts of the popular “Brew Dogs” show) James Watt and Martin Dickie will tell you that they are representative not of esteemed entrepreneurs that came before them, but rather the brash youth that constantly seeks disruption. They’re punks.
Now, that pair of punks is trying to raise €25 million (roughly $26.8 million) in its fourth round of equity crowdfunding to, among other things, establish a brewing operation in the United States.
With a minimum buy in of two shares for €95 ($101.93), “Equity for Punks IV” is the first such campaign that the company has opened to all prospective investors in Europe. According to BrewDog, the company already has a community of more than 14,500 investors from the first three campaigns.
In addition to allocating €3 million ($3.2 million) to building out a small brewing facility on U.S. soil, BrewDog plans to use the money raised to expand operations in the U.K. by launching new brewing and distilling operations, introducing an import and distribution arm and opening a craft beer-centric hotel, per investor materials.
Investor benefits vary from lifetime discounts of 10 percent at BrewDog bars, to free birthday beers, to year-long memberships to beer clubs it operates.
“We’re not the Rockefellers,” the pair says in a promotional video for the campaign. “We are the Guy Fawkes’. We’re empowering the change makers, the misfits, the independents, the libertines; punks.”
Clearly, the pair has more business savvy than your average punk might admit to.
David Dupee, founder of CraftFund LLC, a craft beer focused crowdfunding platform, said he thinks BrewDog is ahead of the curve with its campaign, suggesting equity crowdfunding could play a bigger role in the future of craft beer here in the states in the years to come.
“I think you see consumers who want to connect with their craft beer brands, and mug clubs and what not only take you so far,” he told Brewbound. “So equity ownership is really that final bridge. BrewDog recognizes that and is really the first company to capitalize on it.”
Dupee said the landscape has evolved to the point to where if a consumer is going to give money to a brewery they love and patronize, they’ll be looking not just for rewards, but company stock as well. Part of the reason it hasn’t taken off the same way here yet, he noted, is simply because of the difference in federal regulations.
The question remains though: will it still be considered punk if everyone is doing it?