17 May 2010 @ 2:17 PM 

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears!

Eyes. Whatever.

I come here today to fulfill the final item from my first post of the year which is to say, I’ve launched my brewing company.

I’ve ended up doing things a little differently than I had originally thought I would. I started off the year thinking about going the nanobrewery route, having been sufficiently convinced after the long conversation on that post that it was a feasible startup strategy. I lack a garage, which, frankly, seemed like a huge detriment. Renting space means rebuilding space and if I’m doing that, brewing 1 bbl at a time seems a little ridiculous, so I scrapped that idea.

What I ended up finally settling on is starting out contract brewing. A few decisions went into this, one of which is that I can get started, now, while I’m still working my day job. You can tell me that it’s possible to do that while starting my own brick-and-mortar packaging brewery, but I’d argue semantics with you and then I’d remind you that I don’t have a partner in this project to share the workload. It’s me, baby.

I’m planning on doing a form of contract brewing that’s called “Alternating Proprietorship.” What that means is that the brewery that I contract with actually allows me to go in and brew the beer myself. Other breweries you may have heard of that are using (or have used) this concept are The Pretty Things Ale Project or Mikkeller. I can’t say that I purport to be as awesome as either of these formidable examples, but I’ll certainly try my hardest.

Since non-traditional startup seems to be part of my burgeoning oeuvre, I’ve also hooked up with a micro-investment site for part of my startup funds. What that means is that you can be involved in the startup of the company in small amounts. $10. $20. $50. Whatever. It’s a way of getting as many people as possible involved in the company as I can, a way for me to start building a community around the idea of the brewery, and also a way for me to able to give back to people who help with the startup funding.

As you can imagine, this isn’t nearly as much money as I need to actually start the company. I’m also pursuing traditional investment strategies, but this is exactly what it purports to be: A kickstart, a way to get the idea off of the ground and moving. It’s enough money to get me licensed and to get beer into people’s hands at least once.

I’d love to have thousands of people involved: a community built brewing company. It’s my dream. I hope you can join me. And tell your friends! There just might be beer available for everyone involved somewhere along the line.

I’ll post updates here occasionally, but aside from this post (and that nice little widget on the upper-right you see there) almost everything about the brewery will be happening over on its own website, and I’ll be keeping Top Fermented set on snarky commentary.

And now just ask yourself: What better possible way to celebrate American Craft Beer Week is there than funding a brewery?


Posted By: erik
Last Edit: 17 May 2010 @ 02:58 PM



Responses to this post » (4 Total)

  1. JayZeis says:

    Congrats! We have a new brew in Baltimore called Stillwater Artisanal Ales.Good luck with the new brewery, and hopefully in the future I can get some of your stuff/help get it into some bars.

  2. We’re looking at raising some cash flow too. I wish you the best, Erik. I’d love to hear more about what you are doing and how you are doing it.

  3. erik says:

    Well, hey – I’m happy to talk about my plans anytime, even though sometimes I feel like all I DO is talk about my plans. It’ll be nice to start executing some of them.

  4. Nate says:

    Congrats Erik,
    I’m thrilled to see you start this. Can’t wait to see your stuff hit the market!

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