BrewDog

Company information

  • Sector: Food & Drink
  • Region: Scotland
  • Revenue: £20m to £30m
  • Website: www.brewdog.com

Hard craft

BrewDog is a craft beer brewery, which is at the vanguard of the brewery revival around the world. It also sells its craft beer in its own bars and bottle shops.

“We were bored of the industrially-brewed lagers and stuffy ales that dominated the UK market, so we decided to fix the predicament and brew our own, hard-core craft beers,” says Co-Founder, James Watt.

“Finances are the lifeblood of any business. If you get it wrong, the team just become busy fools”

James Watt, Co-Founder, BrewDog

It is a typically single-minded approach, which also dictated the way in which the company raised finance.

“We really made the most of the thirst (pun fully intended) for crowdfunding – the public wanting to come forward, stick it to the man and own a part of something they are passionate about. In 2010, we launched Equity for Punks and now, through four rounds, we have raised over £20m – that’s more than any other company.”

While the business is flourishing, James says he still keeps a close eye on the fine details.

“Finances are the lifeblood of any business. If you get it wrong, the team just become busy fools,” he explains.

But that has been the least of his challenges, it seems: “It’s a first world problem, but we were too popular,” says James.

“We had to learn fast how to scale the business without relying on the suits. Equity for Punks was the answer: allowing the people who love our beer to finance the growth, and be rewarded in the process.”

  • £20m – The amount BrewDog has raised through crowdfunding since 2010

“In the past seven years, we have grown from two employees (James and Co-Founder Martin Dickie) and one dog, to a team of over 400 people worldwide, and we see no sign of that slowing down any time soon. We will be launching our US brewing operation in summer 2016, and then who knows where that will take us!”

As for advice for other start-ups, James says: “My advice, to those seeking advice, is don’t bother and by default that covers this advice.”