"Nothing like a little Dead Pony to start the day"
So began the 2014 Punk AGM. With those words, and a raised glass, CEO of Stone Brewing Company Greg Koch opened the fourth annual sudsy cavalcade of beer and music for our equity investors, held on Saturday at Aberdeen's AECC. More than 4,000 people came through the doors on the day (at least 3,851 more than our first AGM in 2011) and over the course of the ensuing twelve hours, depleted the bars of 93 different beers on offer. As the event went on, we also shared the outcome of our last twelve months, dropped sneaky previews of the year to come, shared tastings with some fantastic guest breweries and revealed which of James and Martin had milked a cow with their mouth.
It's been quite a ride over the last year, and our fans, supporters and investors have been right at the centre of it. In the last twelve months, we have:-
- More than doubled the size of the brewery
- Completed Europe's most successful crowd-funding initiative with the third round of Equity for Punks
- Opened new bars in Sheffield, Shepherd's Bush, Dundee, Gothenburg, São Paulo, and Tokyo
- Launched the first BottleDog, in King's Cross
- Filmed two seasons of 'BrewDogs'
- Opened a bar in China
- Maintained our position as the fastest growing food and drinks company in the UK
We now have a network of 18 bars around the world, employ 300 members of staff, are supported by 14,568 equity investors, and export our craft beer to fifty countries, having recently signed off on our 50th (hello Panama!). These numbers are amazing – but they reflect the continual dedication of our BrewDog team, our supporters, and the increase in production due to the new facility we built at Ellon. Our 100HL brewhouse was a huge investment, but as the people of Panama have shown, it's one that is needed to simply keep up with the escalating demand for our beers.
But, we aren't going to slow down anytime soon. In true Punk AGM-style, we laid down our plans and targets for the next twelve months, which include:-
- To brew 90,000HL of craft beer
- Increase our fermentation capacity to 23,400HL per month
- Establish an Investment Fund to support new craft breweries
- Open UK bars in Clapham, Cardiff, Liverpool, Brighton, Glasgow, Leeds, and more
- Launch BottleDog Birmingham, Leeds and Glasgow
- Open overseas bars in (amongst others) Berlin, Rome, Florence and Helsinki
- Launch a trading platform for our shareholders
- Release our new-look packaging for our bottled beers
- Bring 'BrewDogs' to TV screens in the UK
Expect more detailed announcements about all of these points (and more) in the months to come.
If you've been to one of our AGMs before – or even if you haven't – you can probably imagine that it wasn't exactly a typically grey business event for listless financial geeks. There was great music, Hello My Name Is Vladimir re-enactments, honeymooners, spontaneous renditions of Total Eclipse of the Heart, and the funniest Meet the Brewer event in history.
If you were unable to make it up to Aberdeen, here's what else went down at #PunkAGM2014, from the mouths of those who were there…
"I congratulate each and every one of you, for the work that is being done. Craft beer is changing the face of beer in this land. Without everybody's enthusiasm, we couldn't have got to where we are today; and thechange is amazing, is it not?"
- Greg Koch, CEO Stone Brewing Co
"The best beer today? It has to be Brew By Numbers Cucumber and Juniper Saison. It's amazing, that cucumber flavour. I really, really like it."
- Chris, Equity for Punks Investor
"We've got such an awesome partnership with our hop suppliers; we spend a lot of time to make sure we've got enough, but also that we've got the best hops that are available on the market."
- Martin Dickie, co-founder of BrewDog
"The investment fund for other breweries is a fantastic idea. Investing in others shows a massive amount of confidence in the industry."
- Calum, Equity for Punks Investor
"I had a pine marten living in my attic once."
- Craig Middleton, founder of Cromarty Brewing (and now stand-up comedian)
"Everything for us comes back to what's in the glass, what's in the bottle. Ultimately, the only thing we want to do is to make other people as passionate about great beer as we are, and that underpins all our plans, and it underpins everything we do."
- James Watt, co-founder of BrewDog and extreme cow-milker
Oh, and even guest-of-honour Simcoe had something to say…
PS. We understand that there was an unacceptable queue length for the bars at various stages throughout the day. For this, we are incredibly sorry. Our AGM has grown in size every year so far and we were blown away by the volume of attendees in 2014. It overwhelmed us, and we let you down, but we promise we will be 100% prepared for next year. Sorry to those who had to wait a little longer than they'd hoped to get their hands on some great beer, we will more than make it up to you in 2015…!
Posted in - brewdog-news
- An amazing time was had! I seriously couldnt fault a thing! The queues seemed to cause some discussion after it all, but personally, it didnt bother me. The BrewDog tasting session in itself was fantastic... one of a kind! And cheers for the photo opportunity near the end of the evening! Im stoked i finally got to meet you both! To you guys and all the staff, cheers for everything, and most of all, thanks for the amazing beers! Roll on #PunkAGM2015! MartinW33326.06.2014
- A bloody good effort by all at Brewdog.
I will be back next year and hope to have a longer spell tasting a wider range of beers.
- People who ask if BrewDog will ever make wine (every.freaking.year) should have their shares confiscated. mrtavora26.06.2014
- Agree with the suggestion that the timing of tastings should be arranged before booking. I was looking forward to the Cromarty tasting (love their beers almost as much as yours!) but had to miss it because it was past my home time, i.e. before I was dragged away by the wife! Actually I was pretty full of great beer by then... K3nPunk26.06.2014
- MFC Chicken are a must have band for next year. Cromarty tasting great fun. Perhaps a bit more going on immediately after the business talk, a can bar and a few more tasting sessions would make a really good day even better next year? LeithPunk25.06.2014
- Gutted I couldnt make it this year, its now marked in my diary (phone, head etc) ready for next year. DanTimmins25.06.2014
- An admirable effort to put on a very different AGM - really enjoyed the tasting session and the music. Get the bar queues sorted out is like a mantra but one which shouldnt be ignored. llamalpaca25.06.2014
- Me and my buddy had a fabulous weekend despite the queues it did help us stay sober longer we also had a fab time in brewdog Aberdeen next year I hope to get to talk to James and Martin as every time I tried they had just finished with someone and I felt guilty about bothering them thanks for everything Kal25.06.2014
- Brilliant day out and now got everyone asking how they can get a share so they can come next year.... BAWS SCOTLAND25.06.2014
- Awesome day! You guys rocked it. Long queues yes but it gave us time to meet other beer loving punks! Cant wait till AGM15
- A bounce house and bumper cars for all future AGMs!!!!!! Special you must be this sober to play rules, enforced by a midget with a breathaliser! You know Im right...... @todd_philips25.06.2014
- So when are the boys heading to Chicago?
If they need a place to crash I have plenty of room..thanks L.Allenplumber. leeallen24.06.2014
- Would be good to see a video of the speeches for those of is who couldnt make it.. Patrick24.06.2014
- Great day the mashtag finished me off note to self eat more drink less .. jet packs where great .. roll on next time pg1976 $24.06.2014
- Awesome day, big queues meant buy loads of beers at once, no problem roll on next year Paulzy!24.06.2014
- Well, my other half and I had a really great day and the long queues allowed us to meet a few new people. The choice of beers was really fantastic, the tasting with Greg was a hoot (and loved the belgique aged on red wine barrels) and Idlewild were amazing.
Thanks, looking forward to next year!Paul C24.06.2014
- Awesome day despite the queues at the bar.
Plus 1 vote for barriers or some form of organised queues like at the online shop stand for next year. And I definately think a can bar as people arrive would be a great idea as I missed the start of the business update as understandably everyone wanted a drink upon arrival. Perhaps the option at the token bar to exchange one for a can upon arrival?
Food queues were pretty bad as well, maybe a few independent vendors dotted around next year would help?
Didnt put a dampener on things though as I had a great time.
Stone beer tasting was awesome, and the bands were great. Counting down to next years AGM already!W6csmith24.06.2014
- Great day out guys, queues seem the topic of the day but I didnt let it get me down, instead I just chatted to the folk around me in the queue and the time flew by.
Sorry for putting you guys on the spot with my question at the tasting session about becoming so big that you are in danger of becoming the thing you set out to destroy, thought you handled it well lads, looking forward to next year already :DMick Lawrie24.06.2014
- Had the greatest weekend ever at Aberdeen! First time at EFP and I met great people and drank almost too many good new beers. I definately will come back next time. Cheers! jpwarg24.06.2014
- Had a great day, the queues were bad but a good way of moderating drinking too much high ABV beer ;)
One additional note - there were a few people (us included) who werent able to make the later tastings due to other commitments. It wouldve been good to know the order of the day when choosing a tasting as it would have let us still make one. As it was, all tastings had sold out and we were told we couldnt move to an earlier one.
See you next year!malts24.06.2014
- Queues just meant time for a chat with new friends! The business is outstripping all growth expectations I had. Well done to all staff at BrewDog. Oh, and thanks for the hug James, I intend to be at every forthcoming AGM too. So looking forward to more hugs!! Love hops and live the dream. Coty04224.06.2014
- Bottledog Birmingham is on the card?! Amazing. SimonG24.06.2014
- The queues were bad but a simple queuing lane would have solved the issue as there wouldnt have been any pushing and shoving and there wouldnt be any frustration of feeling like people were jumping the queue or that you were being overlooked by the staff.
All in all a great day though and considering the frustrations with the queues, I didnt see anybody causing any trouble. Staff and attendees were all friendly and just intent on having a good time.
Considering the number of people and the volume of alcohol consumed, it just goes to show that high strength beer can be consumed responsibly by responsible adults.KennyBody24.06.2014
- Whoever came up with the idea of selling cans of punk via the merch stall wants a pat on the back. Also thanks to the magic rock guys for introducing me to Gueuze beers PeleC24.06.2014
- Another great AGM. Long queues were an inconvenience but by no means a disaster and the bar staff were great. It felt like a much broader craft beer celebration rather than just Brewdog focused. Well done to you all for putting together such a good day. djw24.06.2014
- Loved meeting Greg, shame about the queues but they could have been much worse! Cheers and see you next year! GregFan24.06.2014
- Yaya I made it into a blog! ^-^ EFP FTW 24.06.2014