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!
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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