Los Angeles-based Crowns & Hops – also known as Dope & Dank – will receive £200,000 through the Scottish brewer’s initiative, which will see BrewDog make similar funding available to develop small craft breweries, brands and start-up businesses every year.
In addition to financial backing, BrewDog will assist brewers sourcing ingredients and brewing materials, offer its state-of-the-art laboratory for beer analysis, and introduce partners such as Crowns & Hops to its international sales network under the scheme.
Through the fund, BrewDog will help Crowns & Hops establish its first brewpub in Inglewood, California, as well as bolstering the production and distribution of its line of signature beers. On top of this, BrewDog will produce Crowns & Hops’ beers alongside its own products at its brewery in Ellon, Scotland, for distribution in the UK and overseas.
The Scottish brewer will also help Crowns & Hops manage two crowdfunding campaigns launching this year that will seek to establish a collective of brand investors who share the passion and goals for authentic cultural representation in craft beer.
Time for cultural ownership
Founded by craft beer enthusiasts Beny Ashburn and Teo Hunter, Crowns & Hops aims to highlight the lack of diversity in current global craft beer culture and open the industry up to a more diverse audience by challenging stereotypes that people from minorities don’t drink craft beer.
“We’ve grown weary of asking for our presence to be acknowledged in a community that has never truly embraced us,” Hunter explained. “So instead of waiting for it to happen organically, we’re doing it ourselves, and creating a community that will become a [magnet] for those that are searching for it.
“The spontaneity and creativity that exist in brewing is the same that exists within great jazz and hip-hop. We hope to stay true to the excellence of the craft in a way that brings the best products to our community. Always.”
BrewDog has also revealed that as part of its partnership with Crowns & Hops, Ashburn and Hunter will front a show on BrewDog’s digital TV network offering a behind-the-scenes look at their company’s culture and operation.
Moreover, this spring will see the release of Crowns & Hops’ signature beers – an IPA, a Pilsner and a stout – with launches to be supported by a series of tasting experiences, events and festivals across the United States and the UK.
“The time is now for cultural ownership,” Crowns & Hops co-founder Ashburn added.
“Responsible, authentic culture curated for the people by the people.
“We are thrilled to partner with BrewDog to help make this vision a reality.”
Critical look at culture
“Beny and Teo’s passion for changing the world of craft beer is infectious,” BrewDog co-founder James Watt commented.
“The Crowns & Hops movement is inspiring brewers, bars, and beer enthusiasts around the world to take an honest and critical look at the ways craft beer culture has consciously and unconsciously excluded people of colour.
“When I first met them, I was completely blown away by how unapologetic and uncompromising they are, and it opened my own eyes to a very serious issue we have in craft beer.
“It’s these qualities that made us such great partners, and I can’t wait to see what they can achieve with BrewDog’s support.”
In February 2019, BrewDog appointed the former managing director of Red Bull UK, Andy Shaw, as its inaugural CEO of beer.
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