CRAFT beer firm BrewDog has doubled its start-up pot for brewing newcomers in what it claims is a broadside against "industrial beers".

The Aberdeenshire-based firm, which employs 1600, said it will boost new brewers with low-interest loans and help and expertise under its development fund of £200,000 a year

James Watt, BrewDog co-founder, said that aiding and uniting new small firms would help craft beer makers to thrive in the face of competition from "mainstream" brewers.

He said: "As a company we exist to make other people as passionate about craft beer as we are and it’s not just our beers it’s any good beer, so we kind of see everyone who is making good beer competing together against mainstream industrial beers, so we help other people start that journey, like we did when we set up business with two humans and a dog just over ten years ago."

HeraldScotland: Brewdog punk IPA

The development fund, first introduced on a smaller scale in 2014, involves elements of lending and equity stakes.

He said: "It would be potentially both, either loans or if it was equity stakes it would be minority equity stakes in those businesses."

Interest on loans would be minimal, Mr Watt said.

He declared: "We would not only want to help these companies financially but we would want to showcase their beer in all of our bars, we would want to help them with expertise and advice in markets in both the UK and exports, so it is only partly about the financial support but also what we can share with them based on our experience and which of our resources we can use to help them develop their business."


Mr Watt also said further expansion is planned over the next five years, with growth in the US and Australia already under way and in the pipeline for China.

He said: "It has been a pretty crazy, pretty intense 11 years since we started but we’ve now got a really good senior management team which is helping us continue to expand.

"Our American operation is going very well and we now make beer at a facility in Columbus, Ohio, and we just started construction on our Australian facility just this week and are very close to a deal to build something in China so I’m happy with what we’ve done so far but really excited about what we could potentially do over the next five years with the momentum and the fantastic team that we have."

The firm also hailed a warehouse hub near Glasgow that has created new jobs and unveiled a franchise plan for bars around the country in its new business blueprint.

He said: "I've looked at various options for that and it may have made slightly more sense for us to have the distribution centre in England but we were very keen to make that investment in Scotland and it is also 60 new jobs and we wanted those jobs to be in Scotland as well."

Its new hub at Eurocentral will be a key distribution point and potential new BrewDog franchise bars are set to appear in places like Ayr, Oban and North Berwick.

Mr Watt said: "We’ve been expanding a lot over the last few years and that new warehouse and infrastructure gives us a good platform to keep on expanding our business for the next five years as well."

In its fifth UK crowdfunding round, BrewDog has more than doubled its initial target of £10m but fallen short of the further £40m it then hoped to raise, with the fund standing at £23.9m from 46,528 investors with six days left of fundraising.

It takes the total raised across all five Equity for Punks rounds to £64.9m from 91,393 investors.