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A new web series featuring chats with lawmakers over their local craft beers: Ridding Washington of partisanship, one sip at a time!
A new web series featuring chats with lawmakers over their local craft beers: Ridding Washington of partisanship, one sip at a time!
613 backers pledged $36,651 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$36,651

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Stretch goal 1: If we get $38,000 it will fund the airfare to fly a crew to Colorado to shoot the state's diverse and rugged craft scene. Laslo works for Colorado Public Radio and their delegation is clamoring to be on the show (just wait for what he's got in store for them...)!

Stretch goal 2: If we hit $40,000 it will fund air fair for the crew to fly to the Northwest - the birthplace of craft beer.

Stretch goal 3: Alaska is friggin far! But Senator Lisa Murkowski wants us to follow her as she hits every craft brewery in the state. We want this so badly, but it will cost an extra $10,000 - so we need $50,000 to make the dream a reality!

By taking politicians outside of the typical media bubble and putting a local craft beer in their hands, Bills and Brews is aiming to rid Washington of partisanship one sip at a time. 

Our host Matt Laslo studied the alarming uptick in partisanship since the 1970s for his MA in Government and Public Policy at Johns Hopkins University. Bills and Brews is his attempt to portray lawmakers as they really are when they're not fundraising for the cameras. On the show, he discusses local craft breweries and their unique struggles and a little bit of politics. But more than anything else Bills and Brews is about getting to know a lawmaker - quirks, passions, regrets and all. 

Check out the first episode here: 

Each one of those main episodes is intended to have the broadest national appeal possible. We know that leaves both craft beer lovers and political junkies wanting more, hence our extended web extras. Under the main webisode at BillsandBrews.com we offer our base supporters in both the craft beer and political worlds plenty of (mostly) uncut footage for them to parse through (check out 'Extracts for Craft Lovers' and 'Extracts for Political Junkies' under episode one). 

Any investment after our initial $36,000 goes to expanding our vision. Bills and Brews belongs in local craft breweries across the U.S. – the campaign trail is already hop induced, so why hide that from voters? 

New to Kickstarter? It's a crowd funding website. We're taking on both the political and media establishment in Washington, so we decided to go directly to the people to get our resources. By helping fund us, you're giving us the independence to be creative (we have some fun tricks up our sleeves...), remain honest and to challenge the stale norms that have taken root in the nation's capital. Oh, and Kickstarter also returns ALL donations if we miss our minimum fundraising goal. The thought makes us nervous and sad, so we don't even think about it!

At BillsandBrews.com we also have a pretty snarky blog - Give Em a Brew Already! - that aims to call Washington B.S. exactly what it is: b*** s***. We believe American voters are smarter than our politicians give us credit for. Let's show them we don't need poll tested optics; just a real person, brew in hand. 

Our website also has a map of every lawmaker who sits on the Congressional Small Brewers Caucus, which will eventually link to all the lawmakers favorite craft beers or the ones they enjoy on the show. 

Producing the first episode of Bills and Brews was a beast (check out the finished product here!). Our professional, seven person crew worked ridiculously hard (and for free-ish!) to get this thing moving and we’re pretty proud of the result. As you can imagine, producing these videos costs a lot of money. The initial support we’re asking gets you five more polished episodes on BillsandBrews.com

The executive producer for Bills and Brews is Kyle D. Crosby who has worked on famous Washington films such as State of Play, White House Down, In the Loop and J. Edgar, and on everything in the T.V. world from Parks and Recreation to Comedy Central's Drunk History.

As a new media company, Bills and Brews is committed to transparency, hence our podcast: B and B. For now, it's just the uncut show interview. Fact check away! 

Backer Rewards

Coasters. There's nothing we love to see more than a craft beer chillin' on one of these and they're all the rage at bars across Capitol Hill. 

Stickers. Host Matt Laslo has one of these bad boys on his phone, computer, and desk. We'd love to see a picture of where you put it!          

Buttons. We even have a few Congressmen and reporters rocking the official B&B pin. Thanks for the support, Rep. McHenry!

Koozies. Keep your craft beers looking (and feeling) cool. 

LAZAPALOOZA: If you donate $28.00 or more, you get a free ticket to LAZAPALOOZA: The Bills and Brews Craft Beer and Band Fest. It's an all day event featuring DC's hottest bands and free craft beer. Can't make it? We're recording it so let us know if you want a copy. Details here: http://billsandbrews.com/lazapalooza/

Six-Pack Holder aka Tote Bag. These babies are great for carrying your local craft beverages, or fruit and vegetables if you're into that.

Pint Glass.  Drinking your local craft beer never looked so good. 

T-Shirts. All the cool kids in Washington are wearing them. You could be too.

Risks and challenges

Like launching any new media venture, there are real risks involved with starting Bills and Brews. For one we need viewers and to create a steady following, but our host's connections in the media world and his tens of millions of public radio listeners spread in all corners of the U.S. gives us a good leg up.

Another major hurdle is production schedule. We've promised a pretty ambitious schedule that may have to be dialed back - partly because we're not asking for an amount that gives us a full time production team; merely one that funds passionate and talented creators to produce the first six episodes. But if we have to move the actual episodes back we'll make sure to always have fresh, engaging content on the site to sustain our fans. Also, lawmakers schedules fluctuate and change at a moment's notice, so sometimes we'll have to just deal with the world as it presents itself to us.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Who doesn't love a good Twitter shout out? @BillsandBrews will tweet you some love.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    An eye popping Bills and Brews coaster and a tweet.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A sleek B&B sticker, plus two coasters and that personal tweet.

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    Pledge $17 or more About $17

    17.76 FREEDOM FIGHTER
    Be a true Patriot with this giving level (or above!): Now you get a special BandB Freedom Fighter bottle opener. And all the other BandB love listed above!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Forget the congressional pin. Show your support for craft beer and real politics with the official Bills and Brews button that congressional reporters are now rocking all around Capitol Hill. And everything previously listed.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A B&B koozie is coming your way. Believe us, they're cool - or at least your beer is - and they come in your choice of blue or red. And a button, sticker, two coasters, and twitter love.

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    Pledge $28 or more About $28

    You're coming to LAZAPALOOZA: The Bills and Brews Craft Beer and Band Fest.

    http://billsandbrews.com/lazapalooza/

    Oh, and you're taking home everything previously mentioned - a Bills and Brews koozie, button, sticker, coasters, and tweetage.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Now you can scoop your local craft beverages with the hippest six-pack holder around (aka tote bag = #shamelessNPRplug). And you get all the previous thank you gifts.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Cheers! The most badass pint glass around (available in red or blue) is heading your way, along with a six-pack holder (bipartisan tote bag!), koozie, button, sticker, coasters, and introducing a handwritten thank you note.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Now you're rocking the official Bills and Brews t-shirt (available in men's and women's sizes). And you get everything previously listed along with a personalized tweet from host Matt Laslo's personal Twitter account.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    No one wants to drink alone. You and a beer-loving friend can drink your craft brews together with a pair of our pint glasses (in red, blue, or one of each) along with everything else previously mentioned.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Advertise with us! At this level, you'll get 3 different size ads (must be approved by B&B staff) on BillsandBrews.com, including a banner ad on the home page, for a week.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    We'll make you famous - we're putting your name in the credits of an episode as a financial supporter of Bills and Brews! And we're doubling the offer and sending you two of everything - t-shirts, pint glasses, tote bags, koozies, buttons, and stickers.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Be Matt Laslo for a day! Or at least for a question, when we show your pre-recorded (and staff approved!) video to a lawmaker on an episode of Bills and Brews. T-shirts, pint glasses, tote bags, koozies, buttons, and stickers are yours too.

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    Advertise with us! We'll feature your commercial in an episode of Bills and Brews, as well as post 3 of your ads on the site for a week (all content must be approved by B&B staff).

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

    You're listed as a producer for an episode and get your name listed in the credits of a Bills and Brews episode as such. Along with all the previously mentioned rewards.

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    You're on the B&B team for a day! Come brainstorm with the crew for a production session in DC (flights on you!), offer your input, and then host Matt Laslo will take you and up to four guests on one of his famous tours of the Capitol where he'll show you the inner workings of the Bills side of the show. Later he'll take you to the Brew side of the show - his family-friendly local craft beer pub that has "Laslo" emblazoned in a plaque on the wall. You also get all the other awards.

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    Pledge $6,000 or more About $6,000

    Congrats, you've funded an entire episode! Laslo will drink your favorite craft beer during an episode of Bills and Brews (hey breweries, this is a great way to showcase your brews to a thirsty nation). And you still get Bills and Brews gear for ten staffers.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    You've blown us away! We'll bring the crew to your favorite craft brewery to interview the owner/ brewmaster and possibly a federal politician or two (if they can't make it we'll find a way to shoot them and include em). Sorry Alaska and Hawaii, but continental U.S. only.

    P.S. we'll deck out 10 employees or friends in Bills and Brews swag too.

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Funding period

- (33 days)