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We're bringing unique, award winning cider to Charlotte's hip South End neighborhood.
We're bringing unique, award winning cider to Charlotte's hip South End neighborhood.
163 backers pledged $29,287 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$29,287

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What Is Red Clay Ciderworks?

Red Clay Ciderworks is a small start-up cidery specializing in small batch hard ciders made from locally sourced apples. Slated to be the first cidery in Charlotte, North Carolina, we're excited to join the exploding craft beverage movement and share our unique, award-winning ciders.

Jay's motivation to go commercial!
Jay's motivation to go commercial!

The Skinny

It all started many moons ago when Jay Bradish was living in Sicily, where he was invited to help the locals in making the next year’s batch of wine. The experience sprouted a new passion for all things fermentable, and Jay soon became fixated on creating the perfect hard cider. He tweaked, he toiled, and twenty years later, his obsession had paid off with several prestigious awards. To his wife Deanna's dismay, however, his hobby had laid claim to the entire garage, and several relationships had come under substantial strain; unable to keep up with demand, they were hearing grumbling from family and friends demanding to know when the next batch was coming!

Jay and Deanna workin' hard to keep everyone in cider.
Jay and Deanna workin' hard to keep everyone in cider.

Jay and Deanna knew they had a great product, and so after exhaustive market research and a business plan two-years in the making, they realized sharing their passion on a commercial level was viable. They cashed in their retirements, and with the support of thirsty family and friends, they’re chasing the dream and are just a few months away from being Charlotte’s first cidery.

The Goods
  • Queen City Common is our flagship cider. Well balanced between fruity and tart, it's semi-dry and lightly tannic with medium carbonation.
  • Hoppin' Good Thyme: Our dry hopped cider is infused with thyme and a top-secret ingredient or two. We'd tell you, but, well, you know the rest.
  • Boot Leggin' Bourbon Barrel: After aging for several months in bourbon barrels, this full-bodied cider comes away with a smooth, smokey finish.
  • Blackberry Bramble: This fruity, well balanced cider is the offspring of our Queen City Common and our house-made Blackberry Wine.
  • South End Sweet: Back-sweetened with natural juice--never sugar--this medium-bodied cider is for those who prefer a touch of lusciousness to their libations.

Current Status

Getting our name out there at Charlotte Oktoberfest.
Getting our name out there at Charlotte Oktoberfest.

We’ve done quite a few pre-launch promotions at local festivals and events this past summer, and although we’ve been met with amazing enthusiasm and excitement, everyone becomes a bit deflated when they realize our doors are not yet open. But we are close, and here’s where we stand:

Heeding advice from start-ups of yore, we found a space with plenty of room to grow into; the lease has been signed on our 10,000 square foot building in Charlotte’s South End, and plans for the build out are nearly finalized--we could start tearing down a few walls and remodeling any day now!

245 Clanton Rd Charlotte NC
245 Clanton Rd Charlotte NC

We’ve secured a loan for most of the equipment we’ll need to produce the 15,000 gallons we’ll make in 2015, and we’re in the home-stretch of our licensing process (shwooo!).
We have a few equity investors, but we still need a little more help, and we’re hoping that’s where you’ll come in!

How Your Generous Contribution Will Be Used

The funds raised will go to purchase an array of materials and equipment, but at the top of the list is a second GW Kent 15bbl brite tank for $11,495. This will enable us to carbonate more than one flavor at a time and get our product out sooner, improving revenue streams. The more cider we can make, the happier everyone is!
Next on our list is construction of our tap room. It’s not enough for us to just have awesome ciders; utilizing reclaimed materials, our goal is to create an inviting, comfortable space that’s easy to relax in. Also, profits are higher in our own tap room, so this is a critical component of our business plan.
Last but certainly not least is $5,000 to put towards the Kickstarter campaign and rewards; we can’t thank you enough for helping, but we can give you quality rewards! And speaking of which, this brings us to...

Logo Rewards

The Red Clay Ciderworks Sticker  All the cool kids have one!

The Red Clay Ciderworks Koozie  Ready your big cans--these are for Tall Boys!

Bottle Opener  Does it really need an explanation?

The Red Clay Ciderworks Pint Glass or Snifter  You know you want to drink cider out of one of these bad boys. And maybe a beer. We like beer too.

VIP Path Founder T-Shirt  Everybody's mom tells them they're special, but this shirt proves it. Pictured is our standard shirt but we're adding a special touch just for our backers. Ladies (fitted) shown but of course traditional men's available with same images. Black/Brown/Gray sizes XS-XXL

Red Clay Embroidered Castro Hat  (Red Clay Path Founder logo not shown, but it will look fantastic on this great hat!) If you don't want a growler, then here's a different option to wear your support. No worries, the logo will help ensure you're not mistaken for Fidel!

The Red Clay Ciderworks Growler Walk down the street with one of these jugs and see if you don't attract several new friends!

The Boot Print Tap Handle  You know that "Don't Tread on Me Black IPA" you've been meaning to make? Or that "Dead In Yer Tracks Doppelbock" you have no handle for? Well, go on and make 'em, because now you can impress your friends with a tap handle hand-crafted in the the shape of the RCC boot print but with a space for you to label what you're pouring. 
As much as we'd like to display an image of this, our local woodworker is just starting to hand craft these, which are guaranteed to be cool as all get out!

Team Red Clay Ciderworks thanks you from the bottom of our cider-filled hearts!

Cheers from Team Red Clay Ciderworks!
Cheers from Team Red Clay Ciderworks!

Risks and challenges

As a start up there are always risks, and as we keep telling ourselves for sanity's sake, "If this was easy, then everyone would try it!"
We're more than halfway through our permitting process; we've been granted our TTB (federal) permit, and we'll complete the state ABC permits once our build out is completed. It's a long process, but with the federal permit under our belt we are confident the state permitting will go smoothly.
As with all construction projects, there is a possibility of unforeseen delays or costs. We're working closely with our GC to minimize the risk and our budget has a contingency to allow for some adjustments.
We're purchasing high quality equipment, which helps minimize risk of mechanical failure. Raw Materials (apples) are abundant at competitive prices.
If you take the commercial accounts who've already committed and add all the excitement and hype we're hearing about our cider, then our biggest challenge will lie in keeping up with demand...and that's one challenge we're more than ready to take on!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    STICKER & NAME on PATH FOUNDERS WALL: A Red Clay Ciderworks Sticker and your name forever emblazoned on our Path Founders wall at the cidery. You will also receive a handwritten thank-you note expressing our eternal gratitude for helping keep the American Dream alive.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    TALL BOY KOOZIE & BOTTLE OPENER: In addition to everything above (thank you+sticker+Path Founders wall), you get a nifty bottle opener and a Tall Boy Red Clay koozie with our logo on it.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Choice of LOGO PINT GLASS or SNIFTER: All of the cool stuff above (thank you+sticker+Path Founders wall+bottle opener+ koozie) plus a Red Clay logo souvenir glass.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    VIP "PATH FOUNDER" T-SHIRT: All of the cool stuff above (thank you+sticker+Path Founders wall+bottle opener+ koozie+ glass) plus an exclusive Red Clay Path Founder T-shirt offered only to Kickstarter backers. This way our staff will know you are a VIP!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Choice of GROWLER or EMBROIDERED CASTRO HAT: All of the cool stuff above (thank you+sticker+Path Founders wall+bottle opener+ koozie+glass+t-shirt), but now you have to make a choice: pick either a Red Clay Pathfounder souvenir growler with its own koozie or an embroidered Red Clay Pathfounder Castro Hat.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    CUSTOM WOODEN BOOT PRINT TAP HANDLE: Everything above (thank you+sticker+Path Founders wall+bottle opener+koozie+glass+t-shirt+growler OR hat), plus you'll be able to pour yourself a tall coldie from your kegerator with this artisan wooden tap handle hand crafted by a local woodworker. We'll even leave you space to label what you're pouring when its not our cider.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    *FRESH APPLE JUICE: Everything above (thank you+sticker+Path Founders wall+bottle opener+koozie+ glass+t-shirt+growler OR hat+tap handle) plus 5 gallons of the very juice our tasty cider comes from (2014 pressing season). Drink it fresh with your family (we'll put it in 1 gallon jugs for you) or try your own hand at fermenting (sorry, fermenting supplies not included).
    *Pick-up only.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    PRIVATE CIDERY TOUR: Now we're talking! This package gives you and a friend the opportunity to yak it up with owner and cider maker, Jay Bradish, as he gives you a private tour of our cidery. As a going away bonus choose either a hand made RCC wooden tap handle or a light weight hoodie. Oh, and of course you still get all the goodies of the $100 pledge pack (thank you+sticker+Path Founders wall+bottle opener+koozie+glass+t-shirt+growler OR hat).

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    NAME A TANK: Make your own impression by naming one of our fermentation or brite tanks! Feel free to get creative; the name you choose will forever be displayed on a plaque permanently affixed to the tank. Even cooler is that you still get all the great stuff from the $300 pledge pack (thank you+sticker+Path Founders wall+bottle opener+koozie+glass+t-shirt+growler OR hat+hoodie OR tap handle).

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    DESIGN YOUR OWN FLAVOR RECIPE: We’ll make a small batch of whatever YOU think would make a great tasting cider and put it on draft in our tap room with your name on it! You and 4 friends will enjoy an exclusive pre-opening celebration the night we release it. This package comes with all the cool stuff from the$300 pledge pack (thank you+sticker+Path Founders wall+bottle opener+koozie+glass+t-shirt+growler OR hat+hoodie OR tap handle).

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    PRIVATE PARTY: With that kind of pledge we
    should celebrate! We’ll host a private party in the taproom for you and 10 of your friends! Great food and all the cool swag from the $300 pledge pack as well (thank you+sticker+Path Founders wall+koozie+bottle opener+glass+shirt+growler OR hat+hoodie OR tap handle.

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Funding period

- (30 days)