April 12, 2013

Crafting a Craft Beer Investor Community

Across the pond a couple years ago, Scottish brewery BrewDog made the radical choice to source capital from its passionate customers instead of banks. Termed “Equity for Punks,” BrewDog offered 90,000 B shares online to the general public with a required minimum investment of 4 shares for £95. In return for the investment, BrewDog offered a financial return as one component of a broader membership experience that included shareholder discounts and participation in an annual shareholder meeting.

The “Equity for Punks” investment crowdfunding campaign was a huge capital and branding success for the brewery. The campaign sold out within 6 months, raising over £2 million from nearly 6000 investors. Moreover, the campaign created a huge buzz that resulted in brand advocates.

The laws that made Equity for Punks possible will soon be in place here in the U.S. What does this mean?

  1. Startup and smaller breweries will have access to a desperately needed new source of capital;
  2. Regional breweries will be able to brand small by selling shares to customers online and inviting them to become a part of the brand;
  3. Craft enthusiasts will have a new investment opportunity and experience.

Investment crowdfunding is not legal until the SEC passes final rules implementing the JOBS Act. I will detail the status of the new law in my next post. However, right now our focus is on mobilizing a disruptive community of craft beer investors prepared to act once final rules are in place. The new site launched this week is about building a new kind of investor community, one that makes it possible for all craft beer lovers to invest in what they are passionate about. Join our community and help advance the craft category!

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