Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Doggy Style


Equity for Punks is apparently much more than just having a share in a brewery. After all, I could buy shares in Marston's if I was stupid. I've have never in my whole life bought shares before. At 2am this morning twitter alerted me to the fact that equityforpunks.com was live and I could buy shares in BrewDog - thanks @robserowski. I decided to do so, after all it's not every day you get to be one of the first of 10,000.

I then started to look at what I'd bought. I downloaded and printed out the very lengthy document of 36 pages to assess. My brief financial assessment is here. On paper I was beginning to doubt my investment, although in the grand scheme of business a couple of hundred quid is nowt - I've been robbed of bigger sums by rogues, but that's a different story. You have to remember what made me jump in immediately and buy some, without thinking. It's the whole BrewDog story; the innovation and the boundary pushing and the viral marketing. If you look at what they are planning you see that anybody who buys shares is buying into more than just a load of stainless steel.

There are two geezers who developed a billion dollar vodka brand that I've never heard of, well maybe that might be good. More importantly they are developing a brand new site where a completely energy self-sufficient brewery is planned. Interestingly, Sierra Nevada are ahead of them there, only in California you can benefit from solar panels, I'm guessing in Aberdeenshire windmills might be more appropriate.

A new brand of beer is planned. Each brew will be individual and packaged in numbered bottles. Called Abstrakt it will be more art than beer, whatever that means. In half champagne bottles1 and could be very interesting. Their Zephyr is now fetching significant sums on the Ebay. The new brand will be launched in January. Hopefully this might well be something that will catch the attention of the restaurant trade and bring greater kudos to the beer world.

Equity for Punks promises to allow fans of BrewDog to be involved with their brewery through the web site. It will be interesting to see how much notice they will take of 10,000 fans, but still it does carry on their interactive theme. I'd just encourage James to comment on other peoples blogs slightly more often - having to poke him very hard with a pointy stick to provoke response can be fun, but I like to be nice to people as well.

I'm still a bit sorry that the news wasn't something revolutionary in brewing, but I suspect I'm being unfair. BrewDog are revolutionary in brewing every day they brew, so that wouldn't be new either. I'll have to settle for a new business model, although to be fair you could smack me round the head with a new business model and I'd still not recognise it. That's why I'm only a poor brewpub owner and little BrewDog share holder and not the director of BrewDog. It's because I haven't got a degree in business law, so all the guff that James has produced to describe the business model is just gobbledygook to me.

So I've bought into the growth of BrewDog; A national brand that is certainly anything but bland. I sell some of their beers here in bottles. I think I might just look at selling more. I feel they are part of the answer to the complaint I have about beer and food that I have talked about before. I think there is more they could do along the lines of beers for food, perhaps as a shareholder I will get involved in helping there.

Their image is progressive and trendy, just what the beer world needs and a significant part of their success. Perhaps for some it is too trendy, I've heard people say that, but that's OK, it's not the stuffy old generations that are the future of the beer world.

So I remain sceptical about the financial benefits of such an investment. A city advisor who has commented on the value puts them more at £50 each if you ignore the beer discount. I'd tend to agree after my own brief look. For some the discount might be worth a bit, but most people have managed to get that anyway, I wonder if they will stop the promotional codes now? But it really is about more than just money. It is buying into a concept about beer that is the real deal. It remains to be seen if 10,000 people get it.

That, I think, is enough blogging for one day. I'm off to London soon to join the party tonight. I get the feeling slightly that I've been hoodwinked, but I'm going to enjoy it anyway. Loads of beer people that I know are going to be there. I suspect a whole lot more that I don't know about will be too.

Of course you can check out the details of the scheme yourself on http://www.equityforpunks.com/

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1Green bottle? bad move I suggest.


10 comments:

Mark, Real-Ale-Reviews.com said...

Sorry we can't see you there tonight Dave, the Real Ale Reviews team were looking forward to a jaunt to the capital to drink beer but the carpet was pulled from under our feet. I think I might just have a bottle of Punk or Atlantic IPA whilst I think of you all enjoying the beers in London!

On the investment side of things, for me the numbers don't quite stack up, but it's an investment in more than a company, in a similar way that myfootballclub was an experiment and (for some) a passion.

Haven't decided if I'll take the plunge yet. I thought the announcement might be something like this and had sort of agreed that £50 would be a reasonable amount should it be called upon, but over £200 is a little steep just at the moment.

John Clarke said...

So, being allowed to buy one arguably over-priced share is "the single most exciting, influential and ground-breaking thing to happen in the British brewing industry for decades" is it? Hmm, I have to say I am less and less impressed by the hype surrounding, and generated by Brew Dog. I do get the horrible feeling thay are starting to believe their own publicity. What is it that come sbefore a fall? I forget but I'm pretty sure we're knee deep in it here.

Tandleman said...

Me too John, though I do sincerely hope not, though they are surely treading a fine line. It is nonetheless good to see a Scottish Brewery doing such interesting things, speaking as a Scot that is, but a tenfold increase seems a little like overweening ambition.

I do hope a lot of this buttering up of bloggers wasn't just an exercise in leading them by the nose to this point, though in fairness that wouldn't get them much dosh, but it does get them a lot of free publicity.

It's a strange one.

Wurst/Whorst- Brewing Arts Instructor, CEO APRK said...

Brewdog will be the next Stone. Clever marketing and beer that's not brown and full of caramel flavor. They are bringing the arts back to the UK. Look at Prescotti, he was inspired and started Steel City Brewing. Dave? Time to get a 80 IBU beer under your belt.

BeerBear said...

I, like Dave, jumped in early to the whole share purchasing, and don't regret that I did. OK, the shares are overpriced, we can all see that but I didn't back BrewDog in the hope of huge financial returns, I backed them because I believe what they are trying to do, and have always tried to do is great for British beer. My hope is that others will follow in the innovative brewing ethic laid down by these two guys (and canine), and push the boundaries of beer, so we all reap the benefits.

It is completely understandable that people don't have that sort of money to throw about, and I think from the mixed reaction received BrewDog will realise they have outpriced a lot of the hardcore fans. I just hope they don't alienate the loyal fan base that has made them what they are today.

Anyway, my point is, I've invested (I think donated may be more appropriate but lets forget the whole semantics thing for now) and I hope that in the coming year we get to see more world class beer from BrewDog.

Velky Al said...

I will admit that had I still been living in the EU, I would most likely have stumped up the cash for a 0.0009% share in BrewDog. However, it't not really that revolutionary is it? Shock, horror, company sells shares!

What would have been truly revolutionary would have been to sell 10000 shares in the company and give everyone 1/10000th of a co-operative. Though given beer geeks propensity for arguing and splitting (something like Scottish presbyterians) in groups I doubt anything would ever have got done.

You could also argue, and I say this as a non-member, that still the most influential thing to happen in British brewing is CAMRA and the saving of cask ale. As for Abstrakt, well is it really that different in concept from Fuller's Vintages? Thomas Hardy's annual beers?

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Fishter said...

On the other hand, you could look at the investment as a way of getting a 20% discount on Brewdog beers (on their website).

Simply put you need to buy 8 cases of Punk IPA to get your £230 back.
(12 bottles for £12 - £2.40 discount, £230/£2.40 ~= 96 bottles.)

Not a wholly unreasonable amount of beer to buy in a year.

Paul Garrard said...

I must confess I'm tempted although not yet taken the plunge. I like their beer and their two fingered approach. I suppose you could make poorer 'investments'.

Barm said...

Fishter, your sums are wrong. You need to buy 96 cases to save the cost of a share, not 96 bottles.