Scotland’s Brewdog, is the outsider of the European breweries. Whereas most of Europe sticks to traditional, balanced beers, Brewdog makes beers that are far from subtle. Brewdog is often recognized for making the beers with the highest amounts of alcohol (some dispute whether they count as beers since a cold distillation process is used). Not only is their End Of History beer 55% alcohol, it is packaged in stuffed roadkill.
More recently, they’ve even produced a beer that they fermented in the bottom of the ocean (yes really).
Something else Brewdog has done that I wish more American craft breweries would be open to, is sold company stock. Equity For Punks is a program allowing consumers to purchase company stock directly from Brewdog, allowing fans to help grow the company. While many attribute the idea of going public as selling out, Brewdog has managed to do this while still holding onto their punk attitude and giving their fans a sense of ownership and pride in the company. Considering the beers that Brewdog makes, and the online videos they produce, very few people would see this as a company that has sold out.
The most fascinating aspect of all of this, is that it works. Through the Equity For Punks program, Brewdog has managed to raise £1.5 million from their fans. THAT’S ~$2.4 MILLION U.S DOLLARS! Combine this with their 200% growth this year and they have now secured funding to begin building a new £6.5 million low carbon brewery, along with 5 more bars across the U.K in 2012. Seriously, what’s more punk then raising that much money without a bank?
Incentives for buying shares include a lifetime discount, exclusive options for purchasing limited edition beers, participating in brewing an annual beer just for shareholders and voting on future company decisions.
More info on Equity For Punks can be found here.