Since the turn of the year my Twitter timeline has been insufferably negative. As well as lawsuits and takeovers more recently this negativity has centred on Camden Town Brewery’s “Hells Raiser!” crowdfunding campaign. There seems to be two main areas of contention. Firstly, that the process isn’t transparent enough; and secondly, that the size of expected return on a relatively modest investment is too small to merit paying in.
I can’t comment with any authority on the first complaint, as given that I don’t intend to invest I haven’t looked at the Camden CrowdCube page in any detail. But if it is the case that the picture isn’t clearly laid out for potential investors I for one would be doing some serious research before parting with my money, and I’m sure Camden Town Brewery would be receptive to answering my questions and queries. I also know some people who have become “Hells Raisers!”, and as they are neither daft or blessed with riches I assume they did so in good faith.
The second issue, of the scale of return, is perhaps more pertinent. While this is a financial investment, however, I would imagine many are getting involved for emotional reasons. Passionate about beer in general and Camden Town Brewery in particular, they doubtless feel excited about being part of the brewery’s continued growth and success. And while I see this as positive, as a caveat I would say that while it’s natural to develop an affinity with your local / favourite brewery or beer, it’s always worth striving for objectivity. These are brands at the end of the day, and unstinting loyalty rarely serves either party well in the long run.
Me? I won’t be investing. But only because I have other priorities (not least my wedding in two months). I didn’t become an “Equity for Punks” shareholder either and it’s a lasting regret, but that wasn’t right for me at the time either. And while it makes perfect sense to scrutinise such ventures, if having done so we decide not to invest, can’t we be happy for those who decide to take a leap of faith and invest in their love of beer? I for one wish Camden the best with their expansion plans, and I am also slightly envious of those who are about to join them for the ride.
But more than this I just wish my beer-themed Twitter timeline was full of more positivity. As CAMRGB states in its mission statement, “Beer should be taken seriously but is essentially a drink to be enjoyed and celebrated with good humour.”