The Scottish brewery is promising to split a substantial portion of earnings between workers and charitable causes.

By Mike Pomranz
Updated August 30, 2017
Courtesy of BrewDog

Beyond simply making good beer, Scotland's BrewDog has built its reputation around acting unconventionally. At different times, those tactics have ranged from comical stunts—like the owners changing their names to Elvis or pledging to open a bar across the US/Mexican border—to unorthodox business maneuvers—like offering paid puppy leave to dog-loving employees and raising the vast majority of its capital through crowdfunding. File this latest decision closer to the latter: Yesterday, BrewDog announced that the company would be sharing its profits "forever," with 10 percent going to its employees and 10 percent going to charity.

The BrewDog Unicorn Fund, as the brewery calls it, is described as a commitment by the brewery to "give away 20 percent of its profits every year." A recent post on BrewDog's blog explains, "We are going to share 10% of our profits evenly with our entire team, and furthermore, we are going to donate 10% of our profits each year to charities directly chosen by our team members and by our Equity Punk community." According to the brewery's current projection, the fund could be worth more than $58 million in the next five years alone, which means that the brewery's "1,000-strong workforce" could stand to see thousands of dollars' worth of additional income each year.

"In our tenth year at BrewDog, we hope to inspire a new kind of business with the Unicorn Fund; one that doesn't measure profit in purely monetary terms," BrewDog co-founder James Watt said in a statement. "Our mission for the next decade at BrewDog is not simply to redefine the beer industry, but to redefine industry itself."

The U.K.-based brewery has made a huge push here in the United States recently, beginning with a newly opened brewery and taproom in Columbus, Ohio. BrewDog USA Managing Director Tanisha Robinson explained the impact of the fund on American workers. "As we grow here in the states, each of our bars will have their own Unicorn Fund to give back to their local communities as well as worthy global causes," she said. "Right now, we're 110-strong and growing our U.S. workforce daily, along with 9,000 newly recruited U.S. Equity Punks, all of whom will be responsible for the positive impact of the Unicorn Fund in the years to come."