People like Montana. In fact, our state gets 10 times as many tourists each year as we have residents.
People also like craft beer. Both tourists and locals fill our 40+ breweries nearly every day to taste, talk, and unwind after a day on the trails, slopes, or water. Ranchers sit next to college students; Californians sit next to Montana business owners. One could argue that our breweries are the state's "melting pots."
Montana has a lot to be proud of when it comes to hand-crafted beers. The state is second in the country for the number of breweries-per-capita, and it is number one for barley production, planting over one million acres in 2013.
I started blogging about Montana beer 2 1/2 years ago, founding Montana Beer Finder. (Actually, I started before that, contributing pieces to Make it Missoula, Edible Missoula, and still now occasionally for Growler Fills).
During that time, I became a Certified Cicerone Beer Server, judged multiple Montana brewfests and homebrew competitions, and quite importantly, co-founded the annual Missoula Craft Beer Week with Alan McCormick of Growler Fills.
When I wrote Montana Beer, the goal was to highlight our current breweries, sharing their start-up stories and accolades, and give a short history lesson on Montana's 150-year brewing tradition. The book was well received and is still selling very well (in its second print run!). Its primary purpose is to tell people where to go and what to look for. What it doesn't really do is give people a way to interact with the brewery (and others) when they get there.
That's where the Montana Brewery Passport comes in. Like any seasoned traveler, bird watcher, National Park visitor, or craft beer geek, it's nice (and helpful) to keep lists of where we've been and what we've done.
The Montana Brewery Passport is a customized, convenient-to-carry (5" x 7") journal craft beer fans can use to keep notes on the beers they had, record their taproom experience, and earn a stamp from the brewery for their arrival.
Each brewery will have its own dedicated page, complete with address, website, and phone number.
Oh yeah, IT IS ALSO MADE OF 100% RECYCLED MATERIALS!
Once the Montana Brewery Passport has been published it will be available at wholesale pricing to any retailer or brewery that wants to carry it, providing a revenue source for local Montana businesses.
The Montana Brewery Passport will also be available direct to customers online and at select public events (i.e. brewfests).
We anticipate that each Montana Brewery Passport will retail for around $10, and each brewery will be provided (at no cost to them) a stamp to mark each visitor's passport. We will capitalize on each brewery's location by including interesting and relevant craft beer and Montana facts.
First print run: 1,000 copies
Size: 5" by 7", saddle-stitched, rounded corners
Cover/page stock: 100% recycled papers
Above and Beyond:
It will cost $5,500 to produce 1,000 copies and supply the breweries with their stamps and ink pads. If this project hits $6,500, we can produce 1,500 copies. If we $7,500 we can produce 2,000 copies.
Risks and challenges
The primary challenge will be making passports available to all the targeted retailers, as they will be self-distributed. However, by reaching out to and working with each of the state's regional tourism offices, the breweries themselves, and the Montana State Brewer's Association, we anticipate that the passports will be readily available and advertised to those who want them.
Once the funding goal has been met, the project can be completed fairly quickly. The publisher is already in place, and I am ready to complete the layout and design.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
I am now in the process of identifying some unique, fun swag items for those who complete the journey of visiting and collecting stamps from all Montana's breweries!
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