PUNK is a word you hear a lot in the context of Aberdeenshire craft-beer maker BrewDog. There is the company’s flagship beer Punk IPA, its four Equity for Punks crowdfunding rounds, and its co-founder James Watt’s book Business for Punks, in which he proclaims that “our business is built on the punk mentality”.

“At its core punk is about learning the skills you need to do things on your own terms,” Mr Watt explains in the book’s prologue.

“Our approach has been anti-authoritarian and non-conformist from the word go.”

When we talk on the phone earlier this month Mr Watt - who speaks so quickly and so directly that a conversation that would normally last an hour is over in 20 minutes – admits that he and co-founder Martin Dickie, who have been best friends since their school days, had no clue what they were doing when they set the business up just 10 years ago.

“I had no experience at all and no idea what the hell I was doing,” recalls Mr Watt, who, despite taking the title of BrewDog captain is in fact the company’s chairman and its largest shareholder.

“I didn’t know how things were meant to be done but it meant we went ahead and did things on our own terms.

“It turned a lot of conventions on their heads, but naivety turned out to be our strongest suit.

“We had no option but to make it work.”

In that context punk became BrewDog’s ethos almost by default, although Mr Watt is clear that, like any punk worth their salt, he has never been in the business of learning from others.

“I think you have to figure it out for yourself,” he explains.

“If you’re not smart enough to figure it out for yourself then you’ve got to question whether you should be running a business.”

It is thanks to such attitudes that Mr Watt came in for some criticism last month after BrewDog announced that it had received a £213 million cash injection from US private equity house TSG Consumer Partners.

Not only did the deal value the company at £1 billion but it gifted Mr Watt and Mr Dickie a windfall of around £50m each, leading to claims that the business had abandoned its punk roots, gone corporate and sold out.

Rubbishing this, Mr Watt says he “doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks or says”, adding that “so long as we’re happy and believe in what we’re doing that’s all that matters”.

“If we’d sold out I’d be sitting on a beach somewhere,” he adds.

“In a way it’s the opposite of a sell out because I remain the largest shareholder in the company.”

The more obvious point, of course, is that BrewDog has had a corporate mentality right from the off and far from letting down its backers - most of whom bought into its crowdfunding rounds because they love its beers, not because they are seasoned investors – it has simply started to make good on the early promises it made.

Having turned to crowdfunding to enable it to grow, the business has now taken the TSG investment to help it get in shape for a stock market listing, something Mr Watt says “has always been our path”.

Though its growth has been stellar – from a standing start in 2007 it turned over £71.9m last year – BrewDog needs access to a much wider capital base if it is to achieve its goal of revolutionising the UK beer market.

“We’ve done a lot in the UK but craft beer is just two per cent of the UK beer market – in the US it’s 15 per cent,” Mr Watt says. “We want to get to that 15 per cent in the UK.

“We want to continue changing the face of the UK beer scene - that’s what motivates us.”

Translating such ambition into reality does not come without its challenges, with Mr Watt noting that thanks to BrewDog doubling its headcount to 1,000 in the last year “everything is creaking at the seams”.

“The biggest challenge today is to try to ensure that we don’t only maintain but enhance the company culture during a period when we’re adding a lot of people to the team,” Mr Watt says.

“We’re doubling in size year on year at the moment.

“We need to add a lot of people and we need to be sure that they believe what we believe and buy into our alternative way of thinking.”

Not that you could tell from his appearance on BBC show Who’s The Boss, when he came across as a single-minded control freak, but Mr Watt is committed to making the lives of BrewDog’s employees as pleasant and fulfilling as possible, with the company offering everything from paid brewing and sommelier courses to an equal share of monthly profits to all staff.

It even gives staff a week off work if they get a new dog. This latter idea, which the company dubs pawternity leave, was dreamed up by the manager of one of its Aberdeen bars, who was rewarded for his contribution with a week-long visit to the company’s new brewery in Columbus, Ohio.

“We want to empower our employees and engage them and make sure they make the best decisions possible for the company,” Mr Watt says.

“We’ve got a host of resources to give people the chance to develop. Our retention is very good.”

It all sounds a bit, well, new age and inclusive.

But if this is the new face of punk, perhaps the establishment could start learning a thing or two from the anarchists.