I've been following the Brew Dog "share float" stuff with great interest and not a little incomprehension. I haven't coughed up £230 for what seems to be a chimera; no not the fire eating monster, or the antibody, but the "fanciful mental illusion or fabrication."
There is much to admire about Brew Dog. The cocking of snooks at the authorities, the viral advertising, the excellent attitude to beer and what it should be like and most importantly what it shouldn't be like and, of course, their cutting edge beers. And they are Scottish; not from the posh part of Edinburgh, or Glasgow wide boys, but from Fraserburgh for God's sake. What's not to like? Nothing of course.
What is ground breaking, (some may say odd) is the way they are using their viral advertising to lure supporters in to buy their share issue, "Equity for Punks". It is clever, it is interesting, it isn't sold as an investment, more a sort of "give us some money now and we'll be nice to you and maybe give it back to you sometime in an unspecified future" kind of way. It is open, it doesn't make false promises and all is therefore well. Or is it?
The reaction of some bloggers and followers of blogs is along the lines of mass - well not mass - maybe "selective" would be better - hysteria. Sort of "You are nice guys, I love your beer, here's my money". It is either noble or foolhardy, but maybe tilting at windmills in such cynical times isn't such a bad thing, though it seems to this writer that these shy Scots have the chutzpah of Del Boy. In an unassuming way of course.
Has anyone asked the obvious question which is " Why does the brewery need to be ten times bigger? Will that make the beer better? Will it increase innovation? I have an analogy. Anyone remember Pete's Wicked Ale? Pete Slosberg was the Brew Dog of his day in the US. He broke moulds, he innovated, he became the second biggest craft brewer in the US, then in 1998 he sold the lot to the giant Gambrinus Company who make his beer in a non innovative way, in whatever brewery they care to. I dare say its still pretty good beer, but you take my point. It isn't innovative or cutting edge anymore. It is though big and Pete has presumably got lots of money out of it.
Not that this need apply to Brew Dog of course, but I'm just saying, that's all. Strangely though even I'm slightly infected. There is a tiny bit of me that wants to chip in too. Seems I've also been touched by the virus, but I'll resist.
Much is made by Brew Dog of their new shareholders, but I've never heard of Skyy Vodka and if they've got a billion from selling it..............?
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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