Courtesy of BrewDog

The price of beer on the “Hop Exchange” tap is tied to the value of the FTSE 100.

Mike Pomranz
October 19, 2018

As I write this, the FTSE 100 Index—London’s equivalent of the Dow Jones—is currently up about 29 points, meaning any afternoon drinkers who have decided to drop by for today’s grand opening of BrewDog’s latest London pub will be paying about two pence extra for every pint sold on the bar’s Hop Exchange line. Yes, the stunt-loving Scottish beer brand has tied the pricing on one of its draft lines to the London stock market with prices rising or (hopefully) falling at the same percentage in real time.

It’s a fun concept if not necessarily a game-changer for those looking to save on beers. Even on October 19, 1987, the infamous day known as “Black Monday,” the FTSE only dropped about 10 percent—meaning one of the worst plummets in history would only save you about 50 pence off a £5 pint.

Still, BrewDog has definitely established itself as one of the best breweries when it comes to generating publicity—and this “Hop Exchange” draft line, as it’s called, is no exception. The new bar, which is in London’s Canary Wharf section (their tenth in the city), even has a digital FTSE ticker tracking the Hop Exchange tap on the wall. As for what beer you’ll find there, the brand says it will rotate. In total, the pub features 20 different taps serving a mix of their own stuff and guest beers from their favorite breweries. BrewDog is best known for their flagship Punk IPA, as well as things like the session IPA Dead Pony Club and an IPA made with grapefruit called Elvis Juice, which inspired its own strange publicity stunt after Elvis Presley’s estate complained about the name.

Meanwhile, tying a draft line to the FTSE isn’t the only financially-noteworthy part of this new bar. The Canary Wharf location will also be BrewDog’s second to go cashless and first-ever location to accept cryptocurrency via Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash.

“We’ve always prided ourselves on our desire to keep innovating,” BrewDog co-founder James Watt was quoted as saying. “We’ve done it with beer, we’ve done it with our business model, and now we are championing a new way of paying for a pint. Our Canary Wharf bar is the bellwether of a payment revolution.”

So don’t forget your credit card! Unless the FTSE 100 plummets all the way down to zero, in which case, ostensibly beers would be free. Though at that point, you’d probably have a lot more to worry about than how you’re paying for your pint.

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