Is BrewDog’s share offer taking us for Punks?

So they've done it again, those troublesome BrewPunks are offering Craft beer lovers the chance to buy a part of BrewDog.

This time round it's cheaper, a more affordable £95 being the minimum investment compared to £230 last time.

But is the offer a worthwhile one? Or are they talking their way into a windfall of free investment, and taking us all for no good Punks?

Well first of all, let's be clear, BrewDog have made a point of saying this is not just a financial investment opportunity. They're asking you to buy into the BrewDog ethos, to be a part of their 'Craft Revolution' and bring good beer to the masses. It’s a chance to be a part of something big from the beginning, and whilst it remains to be seen whether there are enough hops on Earth to sustain BrewDogs plans for World domination, no one can accuse them of not thinking big.

For the most part they have so far realised their ambitions, and their growth has been nothing short of meteoric, from lowly upstarts in 2007, to becoming the largest Independent brewer in Scotland and arguably the biggest name in the UK Craft beer scene in 2011. BrewDog have certainly made their mark.

So what do BrewDog say you’ll get for your money?
  • Benefit financially from our future growth through dividends and also an increase in the value of your shareholding.
  • Lifetime discounts in all our bars and on our online shop at www.brewdog.com
  • Exclusive first options on all our special and limited edition releases.
  • Being able to attend our (soon to be legendary) AGM
  • Being able to participate in brewing our annual "By Shareholders, For Shareholders" Beer.
  • Having your say in how the company is run and vote on key decisions online.
  • Your own BrewDog ID Card (for claiming your discounts)
  • A welcome pack with some killer, shareholder only BrewDog merchandise.
  • Literally become richer with every BrewDog beer you drink.


I think for some people the freebies and benefits outlined above would be enough to warrant the money, and for others it’ll definitely sweeten the deal. But putting that aside, is 'Equity for Punks' simply a shrewd marketing move and a way to drum up free cash, or a genuine investment opportunity?

Well, I'd argue it's both. The campaign itself shows BrewDog's talent for marketing and publicity, they've got the UK Press to listen, and I'm not just talking about bloggers: The Scottish Herald, The Scotsman and The Morning Advertiser are all giving coverage, and I've also been told that The Times City column talked about the venture as being worth a punt, although I've not got a copy myself so this may be hearsay. I can guarantee that over the next few days more well known News outlets will pick up on the story, and although everybody that hears about this is unlikely to invest, you can bet it’ll help sell some beer.

BrewDog are very good at marketing themselves, sometimes they rub people the wrong way but no one can argue that their methods work, and I genuinely believe that this is one of their main strengths. They market themselves in the same way as the best Craft Brewers in the US do; big, bolshie and brash. But it works.

However the problem with shouting for attention is that once you’ve got it you have even more to prove, and this really is the most important thing to remember: BrewDog make fantastic beer. Take their flagship Punk IPA, which is still one of my favourite beers. It's truly, unbelievable brilliant. Massively tasty, extremely hoppy, yet still hugely drinkable, and not actually overly challenging. It's the beer I give to friends who only drink lager, the perfect gateway beer, and yet manages to have enough going on to remain interesting. That in itself is no small feat.

If BrewDog continue to brew excellent beer whilst growing as they have done, then you should make your money back and more, but that is missing the point. If you believe in what BrewDog are doing, and believe that they are genuinely in it for the love of beer and not simply financial gain then you should invest. If you think the numbers don’t add up and it’s not a ‘good investment’ then you shouldn’t. The decision is up to you, and BrewDog have been extremely open and honest about what they are offering, and what they’re not.

...and in case you’re wondering, I fall into the first category. I genuinely believe in what BrewDog are doing, I want to be a part of their growth and I want to see BrewDog reach more drinkers and bring good beer to the masses.

What kind of Punk that makes me remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure, its going to be a fun ride.

10 comments:

  1. Not sure how to put this, but the apostrophe in Hear'Say was added by Nigel Lythgoe in 2001 for the purposes of the Popstars TV show. It isn't how the word hearsay is actually spelled.

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  2. Haha. What a brilliant grammatical custard pie to the face for me!

    Will change!

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  3. Feel free to wipe off my comments along with the grammatical custard (my favourite flavour).

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  4. It's ok. I'm all for transparency, and that is a mistake that made me laugh!

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  5. If Brewdog truly want to brings its beer to the masses, perhaps they should consider lowering their prices as they're possibly one of the most expensive breweries on the market - I'm amazed they need a share launch to raise capital.

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  6. I think brewdog are pretty expensive in pubs selling keg because it's a new thing, i.e. 'craft keg'. But in terms of how much they cost in a supermarktet I dont think brewdog are too expensive when you consider the quality of the beer and the strength.

    Personally I'd say a bottle of Punk IPA at £1.50 for 330ml is much better value than a bottle of Greene King IPA for the same (or often more) price, even if you are getting slightly more beer.

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  7. Bit late to this conversation but on a matter of price, £3.50 for a pint of 5am* in their Edinburgh bar is pretty damn good value when you compare to £3.80+ for a Kronenbourg or similar in other nearby bars.

    * £3.20 for a Trashy!

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    Replies
    1. Did you invest in the end? What are your thoughts down the line? Did dividends ever materialise for investors or is it more a members club with perks? Interesting idea I think.

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  8. Even as far as London prices go (expect around the £4.50 mark for Punk IPA or similar) I'd still rather fork out that than the same price for a mainstream watered-down lager elsewhere.

    It looks a fair investment; I feel like BrewDog's almost at a critical mass in its popularity.

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