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Expansion in US craft beer sector

BrewDog barking louder as new fund unveiled

James WattScottish craft brewery, BrewDog, is to launch its next fund-raising round in the US after revealing that its global expansion over the last five years has led to a surge in operating profits.

It hopes to repeat its record-breaking ‘equity for punks’ exercise and will open more bars overseas.

The Ellon-based company said annual turnover came in 52% higher at  £45m. It had an average annual growth rate of 69% since 2010, and average annual operating profit growth of 112%.

UK sales are up by 130%, and its flagship beer Punk IPA – which grew at 127.4% in on-trade – is now the best-selling craft beer in UK supermarkets.

BrewDog itself is now the number one craft brewery in the UK, shipping the equivalent to 41 million bottles of craft beer in 2015.

A fourth round of the crowdfunding scheme Equity For Punks will close in April and has raised the most money in the first three weeks of a launch, and seen more money taken through crowdfunding than any other business on record – more than £20m since 2010.

Investment made in BrewDog is fuelling its US expansion, including a100,000 square foot brewery in Columbus, Ohio which will be one of the most technologically advanced craft breweries in the world when it opens in August.

BrewDog will launch a further round of crowdfunding in May, as first announced last June.  It will be targeted at US residents with the intention of replicating the effect that equity for punks had on the UK business.

Investments will fund the growing thirst for craft beer in the US and new markets. Creating an estimated 124 jobs, BrewDog’s North American HQ will also boast a restaurant, taproom and visitor centre.

BrewDog co-founder, James Watt (pictured), said: “2015 was a great year for BrewDog, but it was also about laying the foundations for the next five years of growth.

“We built an amazing new brewery in Ellon, increasing our capacity there five-fold, and we also started building an amazing new brewery in Columbus, Ohio.”

Now with 580 staff, BrewDog says it is “leading the charge against mass-produced beer corporations, and spreading the gospel of craft even further”.

It is opening 17 new hop havens in 2015, including bars in Brussels, Rome, Hong Kong, Brighton and Soho. The brewery now counts 45 craft beer venues globally.

Last year also saw the development of BrewDog HQ, including a new brewhouse and a cutting edge canning line in Ellon, which was christened in true BrewDog style with the launch of the world’s strongest canned beer, the 12.7%ABV Black Eyed King Imp.

Other releases included ‘Born To Die, with a short shelf life to inform drinkers of the volatility of hop character, and the world’s first ‘transgender’ beer, No Label.

This year BrewDog will launch bars in Amsterdam, Berlin, Dalston, Homerton, Warsaw and York.

Daily Business last month revealed details of the company’s plans in the US and how it had received takeover offers from some big players in the sector.

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