Cahoots Brewing has been a dream in the making for over two years. The concept behind Cahoots is that everyone can be involved in the brewing process. As beers are planned and made, anyone can vote for what type of beer should be made and anyone on the site can contribute designs for bottles, recipes, or other ideas for the brewery.
The Philosophy of Cahoots Brewing is pretty simply. Produce
high-gravity, high-flavor, high-quality beers AND allow the community that we serve to be a part of the process. We want to make beer that is for
the people, by the people. That’s why we utilize forums and polls to
determine what styles of beers will be made, label design, logo design, and even
recipes. Brewing is fun, and we want to share as much of the process with all of
you: our fellow Cahooters!
The Pilot Batch
No S'more Imperial Stout. It started as an
attempt at making a s’more flavored beer. After under-loading it with chocolate
malt, and a grain bill mistake that ended with two too many pounds of munich
grain, it turned out to be an exceptional beer.
In fact, it turned out to be a better beer than we had hope for. A
beer to rival some of the best imperial stouts you may have tried. It's
no s'more, but that's alright with us. It weighs in at 9.0% ABV and 60
IBU. It has a sweet taste with hints of chocolate and coffee. The
toasted vanilla comes through nicely as this is made with vanilla beans
soaked in islay single malt scotch. It has a very clean mouth feel and
taste and pours thick with a lasting dark head.
The stated goal is to raise $7,500. However, our stretch goal is to raise $20,000. Here is what we'll do at each level:
If we raise $7,500, we'll complete distribution of the inaugural batch and start on our second batch of 15 barrels of beer.
If we raise $12,500, we'll produce twice as much beer in our next batch. This will allow us to reach more people and expand the Cahooter community.
If we raise $20,000, we'll produce twice as much in our next batch AND we'll produce what we call our "little" beers. A little beer will be a lower ABV version of the first beer we produce and we'll provide these for free in bottles with the purchase of our bigger beers. This is just our way of giving back.
The Bonus Rewards
The biggest reward is knowing that you're helping bring craft beer to more people and in turn helping people to expand the palettes and enrich the lives of countless people. But, since we all like goodies too, let's look at a few Add-on options that you can add to our other reward levels:
Where We Are in the Process
So far we have set up the company and have already brewed the inaugural batch. We will be distributing the beer in November around the Chicago area and already have a few pre-orders. With the limited initial run, supplies are very limited. We just received our pull-handles too:
We're hoping that some of you will visit our kickstarter site after already getting to taste the first sips of the first batch. If you like what you've tried, please consider contributing to the cause.
For me, the dream really started when I was a kid and I learned to brew beer from my dad. I started brewing when I was around 6 years old. My dad
was a homebrewer and allowed me to participate since an early age. I
remember watching the carboy in the closet every few minutes to see if
the tube that was in the bowl of water was starting to produce bubbles.
Finally, after what felt like an eternity to a 6 year old, when each
batch was complete, I would get to taste it.
Later in college, I started brewing on my own. My dad
gave me a refresher, and a few boxes of empty bottles to get started.
He taught me that the most important thing in making beer was
cleanliness. "As long as everything is clean, your beer won't be
horrible... it may not be good, but it won't be horrible". As I
continued to read more and more about brewing, I learned that he was
right. The easiest way to ruin a good beer is contamination. Thanks to
his great advice, I never had to pour out a beer. But, it did take me over a decade to get my recipes just right.
As a beer enthusiast, I like unique beers. At Cahoots, you'll
find just that. Our first beer will be No S'more Imperial Stout. It started as
an attempt to make a S'more Beer. It ended up being a beautiful
Imperial with hints of peat and smokiness, caramel, vanilla, and
chocolate. It's easy to drink but high in gravity (alcohol).
Ultimately, I am not starting a brewery to make money. I am
starting a brewery, because I love to brew. Breaking even will be a win
for me if I get to provide beer enthusiasts with an enjoyable brew or
expand the palette of those just getting into craft beer.
Video Guru - Shawn Tegtmeier Brewing Buddy - Lucas Moser Incredibly Supportive Wife - Amanda Adkison
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk is that people may not like the concept of social media-driven brewing. The feedback that we've received is that people do like the idea and everyone wants a chance to share their home brew recipes or use their design skills to create a logo or bottle art.
Today, we are still doing tasting with different bars, but we have the following places that have committed to carry the beer. We'll update this list every few days:
- Standard Market Grill - Lincoln Park
- Standard Market Grill - Westmont
- Lake Street Kitchen and Bar - Oak Park
- Poor Phil's - Oak Park
- Whole Foods Halsted - Lakeview
- Whole Foods - River Forest
- Marion Street Cheese Market - Oak Park
We're currently brewing in Zion, IL as Gypsy Brewers. We'd love to have our own location sometime in the near future, but we want to see how everyone feels about our beer first. Initial feedback is BEYOND positive. We do offer our top backers the chance to come and brew with us as honorary brew masters.
Absolutely! We are planning tap weeks for each new beer. As a backer, you'll be added to our mailing list and informed of where and when these parties are taking place. If you want to sit with us and spend an evening enjoying the beer together and learning more about what we're doing, we've added a backer level that will include all prizes AND dinner and drinks with us at one of these tap parties.
Great question: for now, please follow us on Twitter (@CahootsBrewing). We will be posting links to all of our contests and polls there. You can vote in polls without being a member, but to submit designs or recipes, you have to join the community on our website at http://cahootsbrewing.com. We're hoping that we have enough success to drastically overhaul our website soon.
The POUR ME A GLASS Cahooter Reward will provide you with your very own, custom, collectable Libbey Cahoots Brewing Goblet for enjoying Cahoots Brews in the future. The Goblet will have the Cahoots Logo and say "Pilot Batch" as a commemoration of your involvement in making this dream a reality.
The I'M A CAHOOTER Cahoots Reward level will land you a custom brewery T-shirt with the Cahoots logo on the front and the words "I'm a Cahooter" across the back. Now you can tell everyone that you support Cahoots Brewing and confuse people at the same time!
The DRINKING IN STYLE Cahooter Reward gets you a goblet for enjoying your favorite brew and a styling Cahoots T-Shirt to wear while enjoying that brew. Now you just need to pick the brew to fill it with. May I suggest Cahoots No S'more Imperial Stout?
The LET'S HAVE A PARTY Cahoots Reward will get you 4 custom Cahoots goblets for enjoying your favorite local brew with 3 of your closest friends. Actually, why not tell your 3 closest friends about this deal, so that they can each sign up too and you can throw a party for 16!
The LET'S HAVE A PARTY TOGETHER with ALL PRIZES FOR TWO Cahooter Reward will land you the previous Reward times two PLUS an invitation for you and a guest to join the Cahoots Team at one of the upcoming tap parties.
The BREW MASTER Cahooter Reward: With this reward, you will receive all other rewards PLUS be an Honorary Brew-master and invited to participate in the brewing of a subsequent batch from Cahoots within the 1st year. Brewing will take place in Northern Illinois, and all transportation to and from the brewing will be at the reward receiver's expense.