My name is Donovan Bailey, and I’m a brewer based in Newton Highlands, just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. I’ve launched this Kickstarter campaign to get my business, Down The Road Brewery, off the ground. I’m hoping to raise $30,000, which will allow me to rent a facility, purchase larger brewing equipment, and get my beers into your hands within six months.
I started brewing when I was a teenager, mostly because I wasn’t old enough to buy beer in a store. But over the last twenty years, it has grown into my biggest passion. I’m a veteran of the U.S. military, and in the past I’ve worked in the construction and utilities industries, but I believe my true calling is as a producer of high quality ales and lagers that everyone can enjoy. The advent of Kickstarter and crowdsourced funding in general has given many people, who might not otherwise have had such an opportunity, a chance to realize their dreams and ambitions. It’s my hope that you’ll take a moment to look over my campaign, watch my video, and consider supporting this business so that I can bring you some of the best-tasting beers you’ll ever have.
Down The Road
My brews are founded on a fairly simple premise. For each style, whether it’s a stout, porter, pale ale or Belgian, I try to create formulae that adhere closely to the original purpose, while folding in my own personal twist. The idea is to produce something that more accurately reflects the intent of those who developed the style, but to still make something unique and interesting.
A lot of breweries today are inventing recipes with ingredients that often verge on the bizarre. I’ve seen beers that had chamomile, yeast from a hornet’s stomach, and coffee from cocoa beans digested by monkeys. I think it’s great that people experiment, and I hope these brewers continue to invent new formulae. For me the best brews are the simplest, and the real difference between a good beer and a great one comes down to technique and skill, not the strangeness of the ingredients.
The inaugural lineup of Down The Road beers include four recipes that I’ve spent years developing and testing, and they all adhere to the principle of celebrating tradition, but suggesting a path forward. These four beers will include a Russian Imperial Stout, a Double IPA, a Belgian Quad, and a Scottish 120 Schilling Wee-Heavy.
The T-34 Russian Imperial Stout is a dark, rich Russian Imperial Stout that is a built on a base of English malts and American hops. It’s malty with strong chocolate and coffee notes (along with notes of dried fruit), all backed by a fantastic mouth feel. Named after the Russian T-34 tank, one of the great tanks of WWII, this is one badass beer.
Wayne’s Wee-Heavy is a 120 Shilling Scottish ale. I created this beer as a Christmas present for my father, Wayne. He really loves a good Scottish ale, so I decided to craft one just for him. I went all out, using not just traditional ingredients but also the traditional technique. The result? A true Scottish wee heavy with a delicious malt profile, notes of toffee, raisin, and chocolate, and a hint of prune and dried apricot in the finish. I hope it reminds you of good times with your own dad.
My Quadruped: The Hop Monster Imperial IPA is a hop animal. The instant you open the bottle, you can tell what’s coming – a monstrous amount of hops! Quadruped has been dry hopped four times with the very best hops we could lay our hands on. It has a restrained malt profile that’s just there to support the hops. The first sip offers a taste of pine, stone fruit, and citrus. But it doesn’t end there! In the second sip, you’ll find tropical fruit on a background of hoppy dankness. This very dry beer will keep you anticipating the next sip
Angel’s Breath Quadruple Belgian Ale is so good that taste-testers asked where my Trappist Monastery is
located. You'll find hints of banana and clove in the nose. In the first
sip, you'll taste a lovely maltiness that carries over to a dried fruit
note and finishes with sweet dark chocolate that lingers on your tongue.
These four recipes will be the first DTR brews, but they certainly won’t be the last. I have formulae for several styles that I plan to roll out as time goes on and we develop more of a following. These include a nut brown, porter, summer ale, American pale ale and, my personal favorite, sours. My goal is to create beers that anyone can enjoy, from the hop-obsessed and Belgian-philes to the session drinkers trying to make it through another round of pub trivia.
Why We’re Here
As I said earlier, Down The Road Brewery needs help getting started. I simply don’t have the start-up capital to pay rent for a facility, or to purchase upgraded equipment that would let me brew 3 barrels of beer at a time (to start). In addition, I’ll need to perform some construction on the facility to convert it to a brewery and tasting room, and I’ll need to purchase ingredients and supplies.
The advantage of raising money through Kickstarter is that it gives customers a chance to know me, my beers and my approach to brewing. You can follow our progress here, on our website, and on Facebook and Twitter. You can be involved in the start of a great business. Over the next few months I’ll be making appearances at beer festivals and tastings all over New England. I’ll even have tasting sessions at my house, to which anyone is welcome to come and try my recipes. If you’re in the area you don’t have to just take my word for it that these beers are good. I’m more than happy to pour you a glass so that you can try them yourself. This way you’ll know where the donations are going, and what kind of brewery you’ll be contributing to.
The following is a loose breakdown of how the money will be spent. These figures are preliminary as things like rent and construction costs are a little hard to predict at this point.
$20,000 - brewhouse and fermenters. This will go toward purchasing kettles, a mashtun and fermenters that will allow me to brew 3 barrels at a time.
$8,000 - building out brewery, construction of tasting room. I plan to incorporate a small tasting room so that people can try our beers and fill their growlers. I have friends in the construction industry who can help defray building costs, as well as some help from family and volunteer supporters.
$2,000 - grain. I’ll be procuring my grain from local suppliers I have worked with in the past. I know their product and trust their quality. In addition, I’ll be recycling my spent grains and giving them to local livestock farms to use as animal feed. Water from the heat exchanger will be recycled as well.
I understand that donating to a Kickstarter campaign can be a risky venture, and that supporters don’t always see returns on their investment. However, I pledge to be transparent with how the money is spent and am open to answering any questions about this budget and how I obtained the figures. Ultimately, I want this brewery to feel like something that you helped to create, and in order to make that happen I want to keep you closely involved in and informed about the startup process.
What’s in it for you?
I’ve put together a set of perks for those who donate that I think will get you excited about this campaign. For smaller donations, we’ll be sending you things like coasters, glasses, stickers, and t-shirts.
For larger donations, we have hoodies, growlers, and free pints and cases of beer once it is brewed.
For our most generous supporters, I’ll be holding special beer tastings, dinners and brew sessions where you can learn about my process and help make a batch of DTR beer.
For the person who makes the biggest donation, they will be able to name one of our beers.
What happens next?
I’ll be keeping everyone posted on the progress of the brewery through social media and the various tasting events I’ll be hosting over the next few months. There are several steps I need to take before I can start selling my beer in liquor stores and bars.
Firstly, I’ll need to acquire my brewer’s license through the local, state and federal agencies that regulate the industry. This requires a lot of paperwork and a lot of waiting, and I expect it will take about 4 months to complete.
Secondly, I’ll need to secure a facility to brew. I’ve been looking at locations throughout the Boston area, including in Somerville, Hudson, Newton and Medford. The goal is to find a building that is easy to access, so that customers and fans can come in for tastings and events whenever I have them. Because one of the goals is to have a more direct relationship with my customers than is typical with a brewery, it’s very important to find a location that will give us the freedom to host these gatherings. That way, you can all come in and have a pint of my latest recipes as soon as they’re available.
Lastly, once DTR is funded and begins production, I’ll be networking with liquor stores, bars, pubs, taverns and restaurants in the area to have my beer tapped at a location near you.
It’s my hope that you’ll be able to participate in this project and help me realize a decades-long ambition. I truly believe my beers are among the best, and that I can deliver a product that can be enjoyed by anyone, even if beer isn’t normally your drink of choice.
The craft brew revolution has opened the doors for people like me to bring superior beers to the general public while pursuing our version of the American dream. I would like to make my own contributions to this great art, and most of all, I want you to be able to enjoy them. Please help me make this possible.
I’d like to thank you in advance for your support, even if you are unable to donate at this time. I hope that you’ll keep checking back on our Kickstarter page, as well as our Facebook profile, Twitter feed and website to find out how we’re progressing and when you’ll be able to pour a glass of our beer for you and your friends. Cheers!
Risks and challenges
There are three main issues that could delay the project, none of which would be catastrophic, but they could hold things up.
The first is a delay in permitting or licensing. If this were to happen, I could still promote my beer to local restaurants, bars and liquor stores. Having completed the Kickstarter fundraising would give me an advantage in these efforts because I could make the case to beer buyers that my brewery already has a loyal following with a lot of potential for growth. If I could get commitments from at least a few buyers, it would speed things up once the permitting issues were resolved. I would also move ahead with building the brewing facility and tasting room, so that these arre ready once I have my license.
The second cause for delay might be finding a suitable location. I don't anticipate this will be a problem, but if I'm unable to find a location around Boston that is both within my budget and in good shape, I would expand the search area to some of the surrounding communities. But the goal is to keep the brewery as close to Boston as possible.
The only other issue that might slow things down is if some of the equipment I order breaks or malfunctions. In that case I'd just send it back to the manufacturer in exchange for equipment that works, but I don't foresee this being a big obstacle. I could still do the promotion to local bars and stores, as I can brew samples on my home equipment to share with buyers.
Get your name, message, image of choice or other avatar (twitter handle, business logo etc) on the Down the Road Wall of Fame! The Wall will be prominently displayed in the tasting room for craft beer lovers to admire for generations. You will also get the pair of awesome DTR stickers
A Limited Edition, Kickstarter-Only Down the Road logo pint glass. Everyone will be jealous. You will also get the pair of awesome DTR stickers and one "signature" coaster that if you bring it to the brewery you won't go home empty handed. Just make sure that you can carry 64oz ;) Plus, you STILL get your name on the Wall of Fame!
A Down the Road logo t-shirt, only available through this kickstarter. Be the first person on your block to rock this slick tee! Includes both the pint glass, pair of stickers, 2 "signature" coasters, and Wall of Fame rewards!
A Down the Road logo hoodie, only available through this kickstarter. Be the first person on your block to rock this hoodie! Includes both the pint glass, pair of stickers, 2 "signature" coasters, and Wall of Fame rewards!
A Kickstarter-only limited edition Down the Road Logo growler! This design and style of growler will never be produced again! If you request, Donovan will autograph your growler with your message of choice! Also includes both the pint glass, pair of stickers, three “signature” coasters, and Wall of Fame rewards!
Get an invite to the Brews and BBQ soft opening of Down Road. You will get a ticket
the Brews and BBQ dinner at DTR. You can add a second ticket for $50. It will include pulled pork, beef brisket, corn bread, and home made sides. And no southern BBQ would be complete without pecan pie or banana pudding. Also includes the pint glass, pair of stickers, three “signature” coasters, a growler and Wall of Fame rewards!
I want to make the pot a whole lot better. For the first 40 people who sign up for this reward you will get the 2 tickets to the Brews and BBQ dinner. Also you will also be able to buy extra tickets for $50 in advance. And you will get all lower rewards!! That includes your name on the Wall of Fame, 3 "signature" coasters, a pint glass, a kickstarter exclusive T-shirt and hoodie. Act fast this is just for the first 40 people!!!
We will teach you to brew! Down the Road will show you how to brew beer from grain to glass. Come to the brewery. We will show you how to brew beer from the ground up. You will go home with 5 gallons of wort that you will finish fermenting at home. Once that is done we will come to your house and help you bottle and label the beer. Also includes the pint glass, pair of stickers, three “signature” coasters, and Wall of Fame rewards!
Get your name on the Founder's Bar. Our custom bar will prominently feature your name permanently etched for all the world to see. Imagine pointing out your name to fellow patrons in the tasting room you helped build, knowing that you made their beer possible. Also includes both the pint glass, pair of stickers, 4 “signature” coasters, and Wall of Fame rewards!
An invitation to our private Founder's Dinner following the soft-opening of the brewery. Featuring multiple courses and of course pairings with all of your Down the Road favorites, this will be a night to remember. Add $100 to your pledge for additional invitations. Includes all lower, non-limited rewards. Also includes both the pint glass, custom growler, pair of stickers, 4 “signature” coasters, and Wall of Fame rewards!
Name a fermentor! Your name, or whatever name you choose for our fermentor will be beautifully emblazoned on its side and your fingerprint will be on every pint that passes through it. Also includes a seat at the BBQ and founders dinner, the pint glass, custom growler, pair of stickers, 4 “signature” coasters, and Wall of Fame rewards!
Down the Road will throw you a private party for you and five friends. If you thought the Founder's Dinner sounded fun, just imagine it with just the two brewers and your closest friends. Different dishes and pairings. Add additional seats at the table for $250. Also includes a ticket to both the BBQ and Founders Dinner. the pint glass, custom growler, pair of stickers, 4 “signature” coasters, and Wall of Fame rewards!
Design a beer! Work with Down the Road to build a beer that will go on tap as a special release in Down the Road tasting room. Leave your mark on the craft beer community! At this level, you call the shots- have an idea for another reward you think is fitting? Let us know and we will make it happen!