Scotland's most internationally famous craft brewery will soon land stateside. Ellon, Scotland-based beer maker BrewDog is opening a 42-acre brewing facility and taproom in Columbus, Ohio this fall, signaling the start of a major move into the U.S. craft beer scene.
To help fuel its American expansion, BrewDog has launched a crowdfunding campaign with the aim of raising $50 million in six months. While that may seem like a lofty goal, BrewDog is well-acquainted with such endeavors: It bills itself as "the world's first-ever crowdfunded brewery," having raised more than $30 million since 2010 through its "Equity for Punks" investment program.
As the Telegraph explains, "Each share costs $47.50 each and the minimum investment is two shares. In return, investors receive discounts in BrewDog bars, of which there are 43 across the world." By enabling more than 40,000 BrewDog fans to purchase shares in the company, BrewDog has been able to expand massively: Its Scotland brewery produces beer for BrewDog bars located across the UK as well as in international cities such as Barcelona, Brussels, Helsinki, and Sao Paulo; the company says it intends to open a number of bars here in the U.S., too.
BrewDog has made headlines over the years for a number of attention-grabbing stunts, such as offering Donald Trump shares in the company if he would bow out of politics. Company founders Martin Dickie and James Watt also star in a craft beer reality series for the Esquire network, aptly called Brew Dogs.
BrewDog's business practices have also drummed up a fair amount of controversy: Some have scornfully dubbed it the Sam Adams of the UK due to its rapid expansion, and financial analysts have warned that people who plonk down money for BrewDog shares may not actually see a return on their investment. For legions of BrewDog fans, though, it seems discount beer is reward enough.
• An Update From Ohio [BrewDog]