Scotland’s largest independent brewery, based in Aberdeenshire, is featuring on the league table for a record eighth consecutive time. Founded in 2007 by James Watt and Martin Dickie, both 37, it has opened nearly 100 bars in locations as far afield as Brazil and Japan. It was valued at £1bn in April 2017, when it sold a 22% stake for £213m to the American private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners — and it has since raised another £26m from crowdfunding. Its 120,000 “equity punks” have bought shares through a public sale and own 20% of the company. Sales hit £171.6m in 2018, including £32m in duty. Recent initiatives have included a new “beer school” with an onsite brewery in Manchester, and the first beer brewed at 40,000ft, which is sold on British Airways flights.
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