Profits soar at Scots craft brewer BrewDog

James Watt (pictured) said 2014 was an 'epic' year for the brewer. Picture: Contributed
James Watt (pictured) said 2014 was an 'epic' year for the brewer. Picture: Contributed
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Craft beer producer BrewDog, which is aiming to raise £25 million from its army of fans, has pledged to “burn up 2015” after toasting a surge in profits.

The Ellon-based brewer, which last week opened its 28th bar with its first foray into Norway, also said that sales last year soared by almost two-thirds as it continued along its “turbo-charged growth trajectory”.

James Watt, who co-founded BrewDog eight years ago alongside business partner Martin Dickie, said: “2014 was another epic year for us as we continued our mission to make other people as passionate about great craft beer as we are.

“With 2014 successfully under our belt, we are all ready to burn up 2015. We have loads of exciting plans and it’s great that our equity punk community is the heart and soul of BrewDog as we continue to grow.”

BrewDog flagged a jump in annual profits earlier this year when it launched its latest “Equity for Punk” crowdfunding exercise, the proceeds of which will be used to expand its Aberdeenshire headquarters, open a “craft beer hotel” and launch a brewing operation in the US, where it has provisionally agreed a deal to build a 100,000 square foot site in Columbus, Ohio.

Newly-filed accounts at Companies House show the firm generated a pre-tax profit of £3.65 million in 2014, an increase of almost 55 per cent on the previous year, on turnover 64 per cent higher at £29.6m.

Writing in the company’s annual report, Watt said: “2014 saw us become a living wage employer, grow our team to over 350 people and send our craft beers to over 50 countries.”

Last week the firm opened the doors of its Oslo bar, its first Norwegian outpost but its fourth Nordic watering hole, following the launches of BrewDog Stockholm in 2013, BrewDog Gothenburg in 2014 and BrewDog Helsinki earlier this year.

The company’s accounts show that its highest-paid director received a total of £129,080 for 2014, up from £100,000 the previous year, while its total wage bill swelled by almost three-quarters to £6.4m following a sharp rise in its headcount.