BrewDog: This well-known craft beer brewer doesn't want to benefit from the ill-gotten gains of your filthy corporate greed

 
Francesca Washtell
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The independent craft brewer amended its constitution to fend off big drinks businesses at its AGM last weekend (Source: BrewDog)

BrewDog's bark against the big drinks industry just got louder.

The fiercely independent, Aberdeen-based craft brewer amended its constitution so that it can never be sold to a "monolithic purveyor of bland industrial beer", at the company's AGM last weekend.

BrewDog announced the motion in a blog post on its website in December 2015. Titled "Nailing Our Colours to the Mother F*****g Mast: Taking a Stand for Craft Beer", the brewer voiced its intention to avoid a takeover or investment by big drinks manufacturers such as Diageo or Anheuser-Busch InBev and cited a number of takeovers of craft firms as the impetus behind the move.

"Global beer mega corporations, the ones who destroyed bastardised and commoditized beer over the last 50 years have been acquiring craft breweries left, right and centre," BrewDog said in its post.

It pointed to the acquisitions of London-based Meantime by SABMiller (which will be up for sale within a year of its takeover due to the AB InBev-SABMiller megabrew deal) and US-based Goose Island's takeover and subsequent brewing at an AB InBev brewery in Canada, among others, as falling prey to changes to margins and locking other "true craft brands" out of retail.

Following the adoption of the amendment, article 37.5 of BrewDog's constitution now reads: "The Board will exercise its discretion granted in Article 37.1 to refuse to register any transfer of any Certificated Share to a transferee who is a monolithic purveyor of bland industrial beer."

"Annual General Mayhem"

At BrewDog's "Annual General Mayhem" meeting last weekend the company also announced five new beers, an upcoming canned beer range, investment in building a sour beer facility in Aberdeenshire and announced it would be launching a distillery, Lone Wolf, that will begin producing bespoke spirits in the coming weeks.

It will also build a large brewery in Columbus, Ohio, with over $30m being invested to help meet the demand of BrewDog beers in America. ​

"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," James Watt, co-founder of BrewDog, said.

BrewDog's recent financial results, in which it reported a revenue increase of 51 per cent to £44.7m in 2015, helped propel the company to number 10 in the recent Sunday Times Fast Track 100 companies list. Sales in the UK surged by 131%, making BrewDog the number one craft brewery in the UK.

The bullish brewer has received mixed press in the last few months, after an appearance on BBC2's "Who's the Boss?" programme backfired on the team.

The company has also been notorious for its crowdfunding successes since it formed in 2007. Over the AGM weekend alone crowdfunding drew more than £600,000. Its latest round of equity fundraising, named Equity For Punks IV, has drawn in £16m.​

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