I'll have a beer and a packet of shares, please

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The Independent Online

A Scotsman walks into a pub and buys a 41 per cent proof beer and £10,000 in shares. Serious investors may laugh, but Scotland's largest independent beer maker, BrewDog, plans to offer shares in itself to its customers at new bars in England by the end of the year.

For the brewer that introduced super-strength beers served in stuffed squirrels, it is all part of its Equity for Punks finance scheme to help fund the opening of its first bar south of the border in Camden, north London, in December. This will be followed by five more across England in 2012. BrewDog also has plans for a new £7m brewery in Aberdeenshire.

"The banks haven't been lending to small businesses so we needed a way to finance our expansion," says the brewer's co-founder James Watt.

Since July, BrewDog has raised £1.7m from Equity for Punks both online and at its three bars in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. More than 5,000 people, including the customer with £10,000, have bought shares, said Mr Watt.

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