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Backslope Brewing is a brewery and taproom that provides unique craft beers, great customer service, and a community gathering place.
Backslope Brewing is a brewery and taproom that provides unique craft beers, great customer service, and a community gathering place.
152 backers pledged $15,230 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$15,230

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Backslope Brewing is opening in Columbia Falls, Montana in the summer of 2015. Opening a brewery is something we've dreamed about for years, but never thought we would have the opportunity to do. Darin has over a decade of brewing experience, and Carla has over 15 years of customer service and management experience. Darin currently works for the US Forest Service as a Trails and Stock Manager and is an elected member of the City Council in Columbia Falls. Carla manages a popular Montana Coffee Traders cafe and volunteers as the president of the ImagineIf Library Foundation. We are so excited to build a business that enables us to stay active and involved in our community.

Brewing equipment in our new space!
Brewing equipment in our new space!

We worked hard and saved money to use in the next phase of our life, which we thought was going to be an addition to our little house in downtown Columbia Falls. However, we had an opportunity to bring great beer to a great town, so we used our savings to purchase a used brewing system and devoted our time and energy to opening a brewery. We are excited to use our skills, time, money, and experience to make Backslope Brewing a successful small business.

We have submitted our licensing paperwork and are in the process of setting up our location. We currently have a four barrel system and need to add a few pieces of equipment to increase the efficiency of the system. We anticipate a great response from the community and we want to make sure we are ready to meet the demand when we open our doors.

Our mission at Backslope Brewing is to create a positive experience for everyone who drinks our beer or visits our tasting room. We want to add to the welcoming feeling we found in Columbia Falls when we moved here. Columbia Falls is an incredible town tucked away in the Northwest corner of Montana just outside of Glacier National Park. We are committed to creating a gathering place in this community that brings together residents of the Flathead valley and shows excellent hospitality to our visitors.

Packing mules up the North Fork, where Darin has some of his best beer ideas.
Packing mules up the North Fork, where Darin has some of his best beer ideas.

Our Beer

Backslope Brewing will strive to keep 5 beers on tap at all times: Pale Ale, IPA, Kolsch, Porter, and Stout. We will also have seasonal and rotating taps, including Scotch Ale, Ginger Beer, Imperial IPA, Imperial Stout, Barley Wine, and various Belgian styles such as Dubble, Tripple, and Saison. We have also acquired a few barrels from a local distillery, (thanks Glacier Distilling!) and will be running a small barrel aging program.

One of the benefits of being a small, local microbrewery is that we can be responsive to local demand and tastes. We will be brewing fresh, tasty beers to meet demand, and we will be responsive to our customers tastes and needs. We think we have a great rotation of delicious beers lined up for your enjoyment, but if our community is hankering for a different style to be on tap more often, we can make that happen. By helping to fund this project, you can help assure that we are never dependent upon banks or outside interests, but rather to you, our customer, our neighbor, our community.

We are already meeting our challenges and overcoming with great community support, those tanks don't move themselves!  Tanks have to exit their old space via the window as they are too big for the door.
We are already meeting our challenges and overcoming with great community support, those tanks don't move themselves! Tanks have to exit their old space via the window as they are too big for the door.

How will contributions be used?

The brewing system we purchased is adequate, and we know we can make a quality product with this equipment. However, acquiring a few other items will make our process smoother, our product more consistent, and our customers’ experience much more enjoyable. Your contributions will be used to purchase a high quality brewery pump, more serving kegs, a new brew kettle, high quality brewing hoses, and several other small but essential brewing components. Any level of contribution to help us meet this goal and add to our equipment is greatly appreciated. And, if we exceed our goal, those extra funds will help up continue to deliver high quality, consistent beer with the purchase of a hop back, larger serving tanks, an improved tap system, more kegs, and more whiskey barrels for our barrel aging program.

It may not look like much yet but it will soon.  More windows, a patio, and new frontage coming soon. See architectural drawing below.
It may not look like much yet but it will soon. More windows, a patio, and new frontage coming soon. See architectural drawing below.
This is exciting!
This is exciting!

Get Involved in Backslope Brewing

If you would like to become involved in Backslope Brewing just follow these simple steps. Decide which pledge option you would like to choose. You can also pledge for multiple options. Click on the option(s) you prefer and let Kickstarter guide you through the process, which involves using an account on amazon.com. If you don't have an account you can create one. It's free and easy, just visit their website and they will guide you through the process. If you already have an amazon account then you are ready to go.

Remember that no one will be charged until we reach the deadline and have achieved our goal of $12,500. If that goal is reached by the deadline you will receive an email confirmation asking for your shirt size or other pertinent premium information, as well as an address for shipping. You can also decide to pick up your rewards at the brewery once it is open. Then, amazon.com will charge your card and all your rewards will be on their way to you!    

After that you can follow our progress on FACEBOOK, www.facebook.com/backslopebrewing

We believe our town needs both the tangible and intangible benefits a brewery provides: we will serve great locally made products and spread the amazing experience that comes with enjoying a really delicious beer. And we will also create a space that enables people to feel connected to each other and their community-a place to relax and unwind after work or a hard day of play, a place to have informal business meetings and create networks, a place to chat with visitors passing through, a place to meet up with friends, a place of pride for the community.This venture is filled with possibility and we invite you to join us in making it happen.

Risks and challenges

In order to be adequately prepared for this venture we spent a lot of time talking with other brewers and business owners in Montana and asking about their experiences and the challenges they faced when they started. The major challenges that were shared by everyone we spoke with were the delays, some construction related and others related to the inevitable bureaucracy of the brewery licensing process. Another challenge for brewers is having an incredible successful opening and not having enough product to meet demand, but we plan on brewing copious amounts of beer before we open and getting on a high-octane/low-sleep brewing schedule to help us keep up with demand.

Of course, the biggest challenge will be all of the hidden stumbling blocks that you never think relate to your business. We are confident we are as prepared as possible to meet our challenges and obstacles. If we missed one and we have an unexpected obstacle we will deal with that with the same calm, measured approach we took to get where we are today.

The challenge we are asking you to help us meet is that of staying self-funded and free of debt so that we can maintain our independence and not have to make decisions based on paying off our debts rather than based on what we think will be best for our products and our customers. Thank you!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A big thank you, a Backslope Brewing sticker, and your name on our Slope Builder list on Facebook and Slope Builder plaque displayed in the taproom.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Our thanks, a Backslope Brewing pint glass, and your name on our Slope Builder list on Facebook and Slope Builder plaque displayed in the taproom.

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    45 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Our gratitude, a Backslope Brewing growler, and your name on our Slope Builder list on Facebook and Slope Builder plaque displayed in the taproom.

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    33 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A big Thank You, a Limited Edition Backslope Brewing t-shirt, and your name on our Slope Builder list and Slope Builder plaque displayed in the taproom.

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    13 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    A hearty Thanks!, a Limited Edition Backslope Brewing t-shirt, a Backslope Brewing growler, a Backslope Brewing pint glass, and your name on our Slope Builder list and Slope Builder plaque displayed in the taproom.

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    22 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    Enough for two: Our heartfelt thanks, a Backslope Brewing growler, two Backslope Brewing pint glasses, two Limited Edition t-shirts, and your name(s) on our Slope Builder list and plaque.

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    17 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Many, many thank yous, a rafting trip with Glacier Rafting at Great Northern Resort in West Glacier, a Limited Edition t-shirt, Backslope Brewing growler, and your name on our Slope Builder list and plaque.

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    Limited 1 backer
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  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    Many, many thank yous, a guided Horseback Tour for 2 with Swan Mountain Outfitters in West Glacier, a Limited Edition t-shirt, Backslope Brewing growler, and your name on our Slope Builder list and plaque.

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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    Many, many thank yous, a guided Snowmobile Tour for 2 with Swan Mountain Outfitters, a Limited Edition t-shirt, Backslope Brewing growler, and your name on our Slope Builder list and plaque.

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Our gratitude, two tickets to an invite-only, pre-opening sampling event, a Limited Edition t-shirt, Backslope Brewing growler and pint glass, and your name on our Slope Builder list and plaque.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    We have no words for our thankfulness, and we offer you a private party for you and 10 friends, a Limited Edition t-shirt, Backslope Brewing growler and pint glass, and your name on our Slope Builder list and plaque.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    An amazing amount of gratitude and you can collaborate with the Head Brewer to choose your own style of beer made by Backslope Brewing, and put on tap with your own story (for a special anniversary, birthday, graduation) displayed during its run. Also, the t-shirt, growler, pint glass, and recognition on the Slope Builder list and plaque.

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Funding period

- (30 days)