In the end it was typical Brew Dog: a good, original, interesting idea, overhyped so ludicrously that the reality was a bit of a letdown, but having created enough debate and discussion to make you suspect this is what they intended all along.
If this blog is the only thing you’ve ever read on the internet, you may be unaware that yesterday, after teasing us for months, Brew Dog announced the launch of Equity for Punks, essentially an IPO offering fans of the beer the chance to own a tiny sliver of the brewery. The money raised by the share issue will finance the building of a new brewery.
It’s certainly had a mixed reaction. The shares are stupidly overpriced – the 10,000 shares represent 9% of the total equity which, at £230 a share, would mean the brewery itself is worth around £23 million. It’s not.
But that’s not the point. I doubt Brew Dog will sell all 10,000 shares, but the people who are buying are buying something more than a 0.0009% stake in the most exciting brewery in the UK. The people buying are people who don’t normally buy shares. They’re buying this share because they want to align themselves with something interesting and iconoclastic, to be part of an adventure. Think of it less as a share, more like a T-shirt or badge saying “I’m one of these cool, interesting people who’s part of this cool, interesting thing.” And remember the lifetime 20% discount on the beers too.
Will I buy my share? Probably. The only thing I’ll say though is that if the shares were a tenner each, I’d probably have bought £500 worth. Many Brew Dog fans won’t be able to afford the £230 price of entry. There’s an exclusivity here that’s not very punk. It’s actually going to be a stretch for me, but I don’t want to miss the ride.