This Aberdeenshire brewer is featuring on the league table for a record seventh consecutive time. Founded in 2007 by James Watt and Martin Dickie, both 36, it has opened nearly 60 bars in locations as far afield as Brazil and Japan. Scotland’s largest independent brewery, it was valued at £1bn in April 2017 when it sold a 22% stake to the US private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners for £213m — and it has since raised another £26m from crowdfunding. Its 95,000 ‘equity punks’ have bought shares through a public prospectus and own 20% of the company. Sales hit £111.6m in 2017 and, at its annual meeting in April this year, it told shareholders it was planning a stock market flotation as soon as 2020. Recent initiatives have included birthday “pawties” for dogs at its bars and a beer hotel in Ohio.
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