BrewDog looks to tap US craft beer fans for $50m

BrewDog co-founders James Watt, left, and Martin Dickie. Picture: Contributed

BrewDog co-founders James Watt, left, and Martin Dickie. Picture: Contributed

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BrewDog, the maverick craft beer-maker, has launched its most ambitious fund-raising programme to date as it looks to crack the lucrative US market.

The Aberdeenshire brewer, which will celebrate its tenth anniversary next year, has previously raised some £26 million across four rounds of its Equity for Punks investment programme in the UK.

Co-founders James Watt and Martin Dickie now hope to tap American beer fans for a heady $50m (£38m) and have set a time frame of just six months to achieve it.

The firm is eyeing “rapid growth and expansion” into the US and is already building a 100,000 square foot brewery in Columbus, Ohio, which will feature a restaurant, taproom, retail space, visitor centre and beer garden.

READ MORE: BrewDog to expand bar estate and open beer hotel

The “Equity for Punks USA” shares will cost $47.50 each with a minimum investment of two shares.

Rolling out the latest investment plans, Watt said: “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.

“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.”

Since launching in 2007, BrewDog has shaken-up the craft beer sector in the UK, adopting some of the marketing techniques and product development first pioneered by micro-brewers in the US. It has also attracted controversy for launching a series of very strong beers.

The firm said it had seen UK sales increase by 93 per cent for the first six months of 2016, with its flagship beer, Punk IPA, holding its position as the number one craft beer in UK supermarkets.

Work to increase capacity at its existing Ellon brewery has recently been completed, bolstering the total capacity to some one million hectolitres. Some £19m raised via the most recent UK Equity for Punks round – which closed in April – underpinned the expansion.

BrewDog said it now employs more than 600 people globally, exports to 55 countries, and operates 44 bars as “outposts for the craft beer revolution”.

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