Brewer raising funds in States

BrewDog to raise $50m for US expansion

BrewDog campaignScottish brewer, BrewDog, has announced a $50million crowdfunding exercise to expand in the US.

Equity for Punks USA is the fifth fundraising venture by the brewery, and the first in America.

The Aberdeenshire-based business holds the world record for equity crowdfunding, having raised over £26m across four rounds of funding for its Ellon brewery.

It is now looking to raise funds for BrewDog USA in six months. It is set up for rapid growth and expansion with the construction of a 100,000 sq ft brewery in Columbus, Ohio, which will feature a restaurant, taproom, retail space, visitor center and beer garden.

The brewery is scheduled to open later this year, and the majority of the build is now complete, with first brews scheduled for release in November.

Co-founder James Watt (pictured) commented: “Equity for Punks is a completely new business model in the States – it’s a revolution in small business finance. It’s an opportunity to enlist the people of the nation who changed the beer landscape forever, and invite them to join our existing 46,000-strong global investor community.

BrewDog Chris van der kuul James Watt“We’re asking beer fans to help us change the face of small business finance in the US and spread our passion for great craft beer. Few companies have been so bold as to turn their backs on traditional financial institutions in favour of a brave new world of community-driven business.

“We’ve pioneered the Equity Punk model in the UK, and now we’re bringing our unconventional approach to alternative business stateside.” 

The Equity for Punks concept has raised money from more than 46,000 individuals across the world and enabled the brewery to expand rapidly.

BrewDog has seen UK sales increase by 93% for the first six months of 2016, and its flagship beer, Punk IPA, is holding its position as the number one craft beer in UK supermarkets, growing at +159% across the UK Off Trade.

Work to increase capacity at the Ellon-based brewery in Aberdeenshire has recently been completed, bolstering the total brewing capacity to 1,000,000 HL. The £19m raised via the most recent UK Equity for Punks round – which closed in April 2016 – made this possible.

Further to the business’ brewery expansion, BrewDog is also extending its retail footprint, with venues locked in for new craft beer bar sites in Berlin, Southampton, Dalston and Homerton. BrewDog Berlin – the first BrewDog bar in Germany – will launch later this month, with Southampton following shortly after in September.

The Lone Wolf spirits division has also been established, with equipment commissioned and first bottles of distilled anarchy set for release later this year, adding a brand new product range to the existing lineup of beers.

BrewDog’s British business now employs more than 600 globally, exports to 55 countries, and operates 44 bars as outposts for the craft beer revolution. The American expansion provides the business with ample opportunity to tap into the world’s most explosive craft beer market, which is forecast to be worth 20% of the overall American beer market by 2020. 

Mr Watt added: “Equity for punks is about community. It is about connecting us with the people who love our beer. It is about building a new type of business. It is about taking beer lovers on this amazing journey with us.

“It is about working together to build something we can all be proud of. In 2010, we tore up convention, turned the traditional business model on its head and launched Equity for Punks, giving thousands of people a front row seat to the craft beer revolution in Europe.

“Now, we are coming to America. We are combining Europe’s leading brewer with the world’s biggest craft beer market. Expect fireworks.”

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