James Watt and Martin Dickie: BrewDog
Focus: Scotland's largest independent brewery
James Watt and Martin Dickie, both 26
Bored of the industrially brewed lagers and stuffy ales that dominate the UK beer market, Brewdog founders James Watt and Martin Dickie (pictured), both 26, decided to brew their own “classic beers with a contemporary twist”. The firm is now Scotland’s largest independent brewery, and its numerous brands are listed in Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury’s and Oddbins, as well as being available in 15 countries outside the UK.
Revenues will be £1.6m this year, and the firm has plans to construct a new £3-4m brewery, which is expected to increase turnover to £15m from 2011.
Having hit £30m in turnover in 2014, BrewDog has grown to become Scotland’s largest independent brewery with a chain of bars across the UK and as far as São Paulo, Florence and Helsinki. 2013 saw the launch of an online share sale initiative – Equity for Punks. The scheme allows customers to buy shares in the business via its website for a minimum fee of £95. Shareholders receive lifetime beer discounts and invitations to its annual AGM. By October 2015, BrewDog was producing 2.2 million bottles and 400,000 cans per month. Both Watt and Dickie – who were named Keystone Law Golden Guns for outstanding achievement – were awarded MBEs for their services to the brewing industry in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours. The brewery launched a spirits arm Lone Wolf in May, producing a range of whisky, vodkas and gins. Last year, James Watt released his ‘rule-breaking’ business book Business for Punks.