Equity for Punks: Brewdog founders offer shares to barflies

Scotland's largest independent beer maker, BrewDog, rolls out Equity for Punks share scheme through six new bars.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander

Renegade brewery BrewDog has been shaking up the industry ever since the venture launched in 2007. Co-founders Martin Dickie and James Watt started the business with a £30,000 bank loan, and have since created a portfolio of super-strength craft beers, opening three eponymous bars in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow.

The lads have also been masters at manipulating the PR machine, picking a fight with Carling-maker Molson Coors over an advertising campaign earlier this year (they lost, as it happens but that wasn’t really the point) and unveiling a host of bizarre, angry and provocatively-named beers from Trashy Blonde to Tactical Nuclear Penguin.

In 2009, the pair launched their pioneering Equity for Punks Scheme. The premise was simple: with your bottle of Hardcore IPA and packet of peanuts, you could also pick up a few shares in the business. ‘The banks haven't been lending to small businesses so we needed a way to finance our expansion,' explains Watt. Some 1,000 customers took part in the first round. Now, Equity for Punks is back, bigger and brighter.

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