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A new craft brewery in the heart of a historic mill. Help us add a custom-built tasting room so you can enjoy our beer at its source.

Banded Horn Brewing Company is a brand-new craft brewery currently under construction in Biddeford, Maine. We’re thrilled to join Maine’s rich craft beer scene and can’t wait to share our brews with the public. This is where our Kickstarter project comes in. We’re looking to raise $20,000 to build a high quality tasting room directly on-premises in our brewery, where people can stop in, take a look around, ask us questions, get to know us, and most importantly, sample our beer.

The origins of Banded Horn begin like many great ideas do, with inspiration, camaraderie, and a bit of adventure. Back in 2006 Banded Horn founder Ian McConnell and his cousin Ron Graves (now a brewer at Banded Horn) were driving to visit friends and the topic of libations came up in conversation. As they drove through Gray, Maine, they passed the Hop Shop, the only local homebrewing supply store at the time. Noticing this, Ron mentioned to Ian that he always wanted to brew his own beer. At this point, the needle fell off the record for Ian, and his response was priceless: “You can actually do that?”

Thus began Ian’s journey into the brewing world. He and Ron, both native Mainers, homebrewed constantly, perfecting traditional styles and veering toward the zany and creative when the muse struck. After about a year, Ian decided to move from the visual splendor of his home state to the vibrant metropolis of New York—Brooklyn, to be specific. By now he was hooked. He simply loved brewing beer: the ingredients and the process, the creativity and the stringent parameters for optimization, and, of course, the finished product and sharing it with others.

A short time after Ian arrived in Brooklyn, he stopped by the fabled Sixpoint brewery to purchase homebrewing ingredients. After numerous trips and many beer-centric discussions, Ian was offered an internship. It was here at Sixpoint that Ian truly learned the art of craft brewing. His skills sharpened and he moved up the ranks, from intern to part-time employee to full-time and, eventually, to head brewer, responsible for the entire brewing process. Throughout Ian’s rise, Sixpoint was also rising, and is now one of the definitive craft breweries on the east coast, if not the country.

Let’s be honest, though: Ian is and always will be a Mainer at heart. While the experience and connections he gathered at Sixpoint were truly invaluable, he knew that he eventually needed to head back north to share what he learned with the state he loves so much. And Ron had been busy homebrewing, preparing for this moment.

This leads us to present day and Banded Horn Brewing Company. Finding the space in the 150-year-old Pepperell Mill was the perfect bit of luck to complete the saga. The location is absolutely stunning and infused with character, from the huge pine beams and columns to the views of the pristine Saco River, which serves as their water source. The historic city of Biddeford has welcomed Banded Horn with open arms as its only brewery, and locals continue to build the buzz, delighted about finally being represented in the craft beer landscape.

Given our historic location, we're taking great care and spending a lot of time and effort to keep a turn-of-the-century industrial, grandiose aesthetic in the tasting room. We plan to build a bar using reclaimed timbers from the very mill complex where we are located. These beams came from a building that was built in the late 1800s. They are about a foot thick and were milled from mature southern yellow pine and Douglas fir trees that were already well over one hundred years old. This aged wood conveys hundreds of years of history! The bar top will be the focal point of the tasting room, and it will be accented with a draft tower that also will be constructed with reclaimed piping from the mill. 

Centuries old wood that we will reclaim from the mill for the tasting room.
Centuries old wood that we will reclaim from the mill for the tasting room.

Banded Horn aims to prove that a single brewery can not only master traditional styles from around the world, but can also produce cutting-edge beers that defy traditional classification. Ian and Ron take pride in their belief that a brewery should be regional, not global, and exemplify the character of its region. The equation is simple: Always local. Always fresh. Always made with love.

The tasting room will be an extension of this philosophy. We will repurpose materials from the mill to create a unique space that celebrates the history of our site. The tasting room is, indeed, a vehicle for consumers to sample Banded Horn brews and purchase a growler or two, along with brewery merchandise, but it’s much more than that. It’s an opportunity for the community to get to know Ian and Ron, to strike up a conversation, and to see where and how Banded Horn beer is crafted. It’s our way of connecting with the community: Banding people together. One beer at a time.

We wouldn't have a tasting room without our enthusiastic, tireless, beer-loving horde, the Kickstarter supporters. So it's only fitting that we first open the doors of the tasting room to them. I'm inviting anyone who pledges $25 and above to this special event. It will be exclusive to Kickstarter supporters, who will receive an invitation via email once we have a date.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Building a brewery and creating a new brand has been and continues to be an intense challenge. Finally we're nearing the end of that long road and by the time this Kickstarter campaign is complete, Banded Horn will be producing amazing beer.

This project will supply the funds needed to build a small tasting room at the brewery. The obvious risks are always present: building costs, equipment costs, long lead time delays, and licensing (which can be hampered by government issues, like the current shutdown). But we are adept at dealing with unforeseen issues and clearing all of the required hurdles.

The real challenge for us is that if this campaign fails we will be forced to build a tasting room several months to a year after the brewery opens, using funds that would otherwise have been devoted to expanding brewing capacity and bringing more great beer to Maine and beyond. And the public will miss out on witnessing our early days. We want beer enthusiasts to have the opportunity to visit us, get a firsthand look (and taste) of our beer, and cheer us on as we evolve from a fledgling craft brewery to a soaring mainstay.

FAQ

  • Banded Horn is the fulfillment of Ian McConnell’s vision for a small craft brewery. Ian has been a professional brewer since 2007, and he always dreamed of running his own brewery in Maine. All funding for the brewery comes from silent partners, so we are able to maintain the ethos that the quality of the beer always comes first. That’s why we are here, to brew great beer. We answer to no one but ourselves when it comes to the beers we want to brew and how we want to brew them.

    In July of this year, Ian signed a lease for a 5,500 square foot room in the Pepperell Mill Campus on the banks of the Saco River in downtown Biddeford, Maine. A short time later, the Banded Horn team was able to procure a used 25-hectoliter (about 22 bbl) brewery and moved it 2500 miles from St. Albert, Alberta, to its new home. The vast, historic mill is an ideal spot for a brewery that celebrates all things local. We believe that breweries should be regional, not global. Our plan is to distribute beer only within 500 miles of our brewery.

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  • Given our historic location, we're taking great care and spending a lot of time and effort to keep a turn-of-the-century industrial, grandiose aesthetic in the tasting room. We plan to build a bar using reclaimed timbers from the very mill complex where we are located. These beams came from a building that was built in the late 1800s. They are about a foot thick and were milled from mature southern yellow pine and Douglas fir trees that were already well over one hundred years old. This aged wood conveys hundreds of years of history! The bar top will be the focal point of the tasting room, and it will be accented with a draft tower that also will be constructed with reclaimed piping from the mill.

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  • The tasting room will provide us with a public front. During most of the week, we will be a beer factory, tirelessly crafting the best beer we possibly can and shipping it throughout the entire state of Maine. But for the few hours, two to three times per week, that our tasting room is open, we can focus on connecting with the public for a little while. Anyone who enjoys beer will be able to come in and see the brewery and sample our beers. This will give us a closer relationship with the local community, our customer base, and craft beer lovers from all over New England and beyond. And for now, at least, the growlers and hand-bottled beers from the tasting room will be the only way to drink Banded Horn beers at home.

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  • This mill space has a life of its own. The sheer scale of it is absolutely amazing. It's a relic from a bygone era in American history and it's not likely we will ever build anything quite like it again. That said, it's easy to over romanticize the glory days of thousands of people tromping to work each day, standing at a machine driven directly by the sheer mechanical might of the Saco River, and later by the three-story steam plant (installed in the 1930s), for hours and hours, probably watching the clock.

    The mill space in Biddeford was once the heart and soul of the city, employing thousands of people. Much of it sat empty for the last few years, but the current revitalization effort that Banded Horn is a part of represents a rebirth for the mill as well as the city. Once empty, grimy rooms are now homes for small businesses like ours. Mass industry has been replaced by passionate artisans, bringing their trade to market and providing jobs, and a breath of fresh air to a city hungry for new life.

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  • Very soon we will be incredibly busy brewing beer, but we have the right people and plans in place for the tasting room build-out to happen pretty quickly. The current goal is to have the tasting room open around mid-December.

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  • It will be open 4-8 p.m. every Tuesday and 12-4 p.m. every Saturday. As demand increases we will open the tasting room doors on other days of the week. Eventually it will be open every day.

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  • Absolutely! Anytime the tasting room is open we will be filling growlers to order.

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  • We will have all the Banded Horn staple beers, including Veridian IPA, Pepperell Pils, Eldir (our rauchbier or German-style smoked lager), among others. Every time we brew a one-off specialty beer, we will reserve a few kegs for the tasting room, too. And we’ll have tasting-room-only pilot beers. The lineup will be different just about any day you visit, and there will be something exciting and new for even the most well-traveled beer enthusiast. We will also sell limited run, hand-bottled beers that will only be available at the brewery. This tasting room will be a veritable smorgasbord of great beer!

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  • We won’t have a dedicated staff that only works in the tasting room. It will be run by the same people who design, brew, and sell our beer. Part of the experience of visiting the tasting room will to meet the Banded Horn team and talk beer.

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  • Of course, it’s all about the beer, but while you’re sampling our latest offerings or grabbing your weekly growler, you’ll also have the chance to pick up t-shirts, glassware, stickers, bottle openers, and any other merch we dream up.

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230
Backers
$21,866
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  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    53 backers

    Set the tone. Not only will you receive an official Banded Horn vinyl sticker to display wherever you wish, we will list your name on our website, thereby making you a member of The Banded Horde!

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  • Pledge $50 or more
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    65 backers

    For those who are thirsty. What better way to drink Banded Horn beer than in an official Banded Horn pint glass? This will be complemented by a stainless steel bottle opener, the size of a credit card, so you can slip it right in your wallet. You will also receive the $25 pledge reward.

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    57 backers

    Starting to get real. Receive a limited edition Banded Horn American Apparel t-shirt, a Kickstarter-only item that will unify all donors at this level (one style for men and one for women, available in all sizes--you pick!). Consider yourself banded. You’ll also receive the same as the $50 pledge reward.

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    19 backers

    They did not just... We did. Well, maybe there is a better way to drink Banded Horn beer: In your very own official ceramic mug. Recall the glory of past conquests, fill your mug, and hail the victorious dead! We’ll also commemorate your generosity by honoring you on a plaque which will be displayed prominently at the brewery. You'll also receive the $100 pledge reward.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    4 backers Limited (16 left of 20)

    It gets personal. You and a friend will enjoy a tour of the brewery with one of the Banded Horn brewers. You’ll witness each step of the craft brewing process at the historic Pepperell Mill. You'll also receive the $250 pledge reward

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    1 backer Limited (19 left of 20)

    Well...it got serious. There’s drinking Banded Horn brew in a pint glass, and a mug, but why not go all out and drink it in your very own Banded Horn? A throwback to the warriors of yore complete with a handcrafted leather band featuring the Banded Horn logo. This is the ultimate drinking vessel for members of The Banded Horde. You will also receive the $500 pledge reward.

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  • Pledge $2,500 or more
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    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    Date night. You and a plus-one are invited to celebrate the grand opening of the brewery. This exclusive celebration will take place right where we make the beer. Enjoy lively conversation and some shop-talk if you’re so inclined with the brewers and key people involved with the making of Banded Horn. You’ll also receive the $1000 pledge reward.

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  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    The gold standard. Fulfill your dream of designing and brewing a beer at a craft brewery. You and a friend will collaborate with us on a delicious new Banded Horn beer. You’ll work with the brewers to come up with a style, a recipe, and a name. Then you’ll spend a day at Banded Horn brewing that dream beer. Think of it as a one-day intensive course in brewing. Please note that travel and accommodation are not included. You'll also receive the $2500 pledge reward.

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Funding period

- (29 days)