The AGM of irreverent Scottish craft brewery, BrewDog, was held at the AECC in Aberdeen this weekend, reeling in 6,000 beer fans who savoured beers from the world’s leading craft breweries at the day-long event.
The meeting gave young founders James Watt and Martin Dickie a platform to unleash five new craft brews, and propagate their derision of big industrial beer companies Diageo and AB InBev by announcing an official change in their constitution – entrenching the brewery’s independence by passing a motion to ensure that BrewDog can ‘never be sold to a monolithic purveyor of industrial beer.
The recently reported 2015 financial results from the craft brewery (an extract from which is included below) propelled it to number 10 in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 companies, with a 3-year annual profit growth of 120%. BrewDog reported a revenue increase of 51% to £44.7m in 2015, and a gross profit increase of 48% to £17m. Sales in the UK surged by 131%, making BrewDog the number one craft brewery in the UK.
James Watt, co-founder of BrewDog commented:
“We’ve been struggling to keep up with demand for our beers, so we have invested £25m in increasing our brewing capacity in Ellon. The new capacity comes online in four weeks time, which is good because we can currently only meet 60% of the demand for our beers!”
Crowdfunding over the AGM weekend drew more than £600,000, tipping the total over £16m with one week still to go of Equity For Punks IV. The 40,000-strong army of shareholders will be funding the building of a bigger brewery in Ellon, which will increase capacity fivefold, as well as launching BrewDog’s US brewery in Columbus, Ohio. BrewDog is investing over $30m to build its brand new brewery Stateside to help meet the demand for BrewDog beers in America.
The craft brewery will also be investing in building a sour beer facility in Aberdeenshire, launching BrewDog’s distillery, Lone Wolf, (bespoke spirits will go into production in the next couple of weeks), and other projects such as developing the BrewDog canned beer range and growing the international bar division with new venues pencilled for Amsterdam, Malmö and Warsaw.
Attendees at the AGM had the chance not only to sample anniversary beer Dog E, famously short lived beer Born to Die, Barrel Aged Albino Squid Assassin, Equity Punk-exclusive Barrel Aged Hinterland, and the very latest Abstrakt beer in the form of tiramisu-inspired AB:20, but also three pilot gins from Lone Wolf, created by the lead distiller Steven Kersley, who will make all the distillery’s artisanal spirits from scratch.
James Watt said:
“The BrewDog AGM 2016 was off the charts – we introduced our loyal punks to some amazing new beers, we shared our plans for world domination, and we made it an official part of our constitution that BrewDog will never sell out. We’ve got so much happening in the year ahead, we’re taking the craft beer revolution across the Atlantic, we’re cementing the craft uprising in Europe, and we’re branching out into spirits and sour beer from our Ellon HQ. And it’s all thanks to our 40,000 shareholders, which is why we put on such a massive music filled, beer-fuelled AGM for them – the biggest in the UK, and definitely the wildest.”
With a focus on expansion, BrewDog has also set its sights on new UK sites along with international ambitions. Cathedrals of craft will be popping up in Norwich (set to launch this week), Southampton and York in the next couple of months alone. Dalston Hop Works is also in the pipeline, an epic bar and home brew shop with ten 50 litre pilot kits for Hop Heads to brew on with support from Cicerone-trained staff on site.
James Watt continued:
“Our business now has the most Cicerone-qualified staff of any company, and we’re proud of the knowledge that goes into making and selling our awesome brews. We have a whole new lab kitted out to understand our beer at a molecular level, and with the expansion of the site in Ellon, we can ramp up capacity even more. Craft beer is enjoying a huge uprising, and we couldn’t be more psyched to be at the forefront.”
BrewDog has raised more money through equity crowdfunding than any other company on record, and is famous for its boundary-pushing stunts to further the craft beer revolution. This latest round has raised £16m to date. And closes at 11am on 20th April 2016.
More information on BrewDog can be found at www.brewdog.com
What is BrewDog?
Since 2007 BrewDog has been on a mission to make other people as passionate about great craft beer as we are. From the Headliner series, which includes bold, uncompromising pack leaders like the flagship Punk IPA, to the Amplified range (beer, but turned up to 11), BrewDog creates beer that blows people’s minds and has kick-started a revolution.
Cofounders James Watt and Martin Dickie shook up the business world in 2010 with the launch of pioneering crowdfunding scheme Equity for Punks, an initiative that has seen the company raise £20m over four rounds, taking more money through crowdfunding than any other on record. The funds, and the army of punk shareholders (35,000 and rising) enabled the Scottish craft brewery to scale up without selling out.
With over 40 global bar launches, export into 55 countries, and a brand new brewery in Ohio opening in August 2016, BrewDog continues to take the craft beer revolution stratospheric, whilst continuing to push the boundaries, invest in people, put the beer first, and champion other small breweries in its venues.