In the 1800s, the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn was home to dozens of breweries, producing millions of barrels of beer annually. By the mid 1970s, mass-market industrial breweries bullied the market and there were no brewers at all left in Bushwick. Thousands of jobs were lost and the neighborhood fell into decline, but today there’s a revitalization underway that’s electric. We’re inspired by the traditions of the past, energized by the spirit of Bushwick today, and with your help, we will bring brewing back to Bushwick.
Meet the Co-founders
Marshall and Eric, the guys behind Braven, are passionate, adventurous entrepreneurs who love brewing. Friends for over thirteen years, they share a collective vision for Braven and know how to succeed as a team.
Marshall S. Thomspon – At the age of 24, Marshall opened and operated his first business, a popular men’s clothing store that quickly earned a dedicated following and received no end of local and national press for its English style and modern vibe. He received an MBA from Fordham University with a focus on marketing and has a distinct talent for putting together the right players to bring his ideas to life. Marshall’s love of family, history, and travel give him a unique perspective and make him a respected member of the business community.
Eric Feldman – Eric is a seasoned business professional with extensive experience in process development and oversight. Since receiving a JD from Georgetown University Law Center, he has worked in the high-stakes, high-pressure world of commercial law and knows how to get results. Eric loves to write and perform comedy around New York City, and he channels this artistic energy into every step of the brewing process.
The Beers and Brand
Braven started four years ago during a serendipitous conversation between Marshall and Eric when, at the same moment across town, both of them were struck with the desire to begin homebrewing together. They treated brew days like holidays and people clamored for more each time they popped the bottles. Soon Marshall and Eric’s hobby became a passion and gave rise to the dream of sharing Braven with Bushwick and the rest of the city.
What’s a Braven?
The Braven is a mythical creature, the chimera of a buck and a raven, two symbolic animals with roots in Marshall’s family history. The bold buck, a symbol of his mother’s side of the family, and the crafty raven, a representation of his father’s, combine to create the Braven, and by extension, our “Bold & Crafty” motto.
“Bold & Crafty” represents not only the beers we will make but also the brand itself. It’s our mantra. It’s our compass. It’s how we strive to live every day. Brought to life by the incomparable design team at Two Arms Inc., the Braven embodies the creative elegance with an edge that defines our brand.
What kind of beers will you make and how can I get them?
Focused on creating crisp, perfectly balanced ales and lagers, Braven’s beers will be the ideal addition to any party, day or night. Braven’s flagship offerings - Braven White, a hop-strong, easy-drinking wheat IPA, and Braven Black, a sessionable, dark spin on the IPA - will soon be available in cans and on tap at your favorite bars, restaurants, and wherever your favorite craft beer is sold.
We will also be opening an on-site taproom where visitors can experience a constantly rotating roster of exclusive beers only available in-house. From seasonal berry altbiers and golden pilsners that evoke Bushwick’s historic brewing standards to an orange habanero chocolate stout inspired by the tastes of the neighborhood today, Braven’s seasonals and one-and-dones will be cultural experiences as well as delicious beverages. In order to get the taste profiles just right, we’ll add a master brewer to our team so that we can express the nuances of our small batch production on a bigger scale.
How can I help?
You can help us in two ways – pledging money so that we can meet our Kickstarter goal and sharing the campaign with your friends and family.
Right now we’re able to make Braven on a small scale but the money we raise through Kickstarter will help us fire up the big time production so we can brew enough to distribute to everyone who wants to get their hands on our cans. It takes time to actually build out a brewing facility in Bushwick, but we want to start making Braven right away. To make that happen we’ll brew our first batches in partnership with an established brewery until we can get our own equipment nailed down and the license on the wall.
Pledging is easy:
1. Create a Kickstarter account.
2. Log in using Facebook, Amazon, or your email and password.
3. Choose how much you want to donate and select your reward level.
4. Share our dream of bringing brewing back to Bushwick via Facebook, Twitter, email, phone calls, texts, whatever!
We can’t give away beer (everyone asks!), but we can get you awesome Braven branded prizes, like gear, exclusive parties, and top end brewing experiences.
Here’s a sneak peak at some of the sweet merch you can get for your contributions, including:
Everyone who pledges $150 or higher earns an invite to the exclusive Backers party, a special thank you event dedicated to everyone who backs the Braven Kickstarter campaign. Pledge $500 or more and you can join us on brew day and be a part of producing a full run of suds that will be served in-house. Pledge $1,000 or more and we’ll work with you to craft a full recipe from grains to glass that will get poured for the public. You want more hops? Add in some more orange peel? You make the call. Imagine walking in to the taproom and watching your friends rave about the beer you designed.
And for the ultimate memorialization of support, if you pledge $2,500 or more we’ll name the mash tun or brew kettle in your honor. That means that every single batch of beer we produce in-house will have your mark on it, and everyone who buys a pint will cheers your name with every sip.
Special thanks to…
Our video story was hard work to put together, and we couldn’t have done it without the contributions and support of our team:
• Scott Gabriel – our director, the man behind the camera
• Bowery Boys – their New York Beer History podcast captures the feeling of what Bushwick brewing used to be and drives us to get that feeling back
• Two Arms Inc. – giving style to the Braven vision from the very beginning
One of the most inspiring aspects of establishing Braven in Bushwick is the acceptance and love we got from other members of the local business community. We’re amazed by their style and craft and couldn’t be happier to have them as friends. These aren’t just locations we scouted for the video – they are where we eat and drink and hang out on a daily basis, so special thanks to:
• AP Café (426 Troutman St.) – Their sorrel (spiced hibiscus punch) is life changing
• The Sampler (234 Starr St.) – With eighteen taps and a library of bottles, it’s a craft beer lover’s dream
• Northeast Kingdom (18 Wyckoff Ave.) – This place alone is worth moving to Bushwick. Seriously! Pack up your stuff and get out here!
And to you! Your pledges and shares will turn this dream into a reality, and each and every one of you can be a part of the Braven team. Our next toast goes out to you – Cheers!
Risks and challenges
Starting a brewery is a complex operation, but Braven isn’t afraid of a good challenge! Nothing worth doing is easy, right? In order to get the physical brewery space, we need to line up the location, equipment, and permitting so that when we hit the Go button we can move forward without a hitch. From start to finish, the whole process can take 12 months or more. To get Braven out to you sooner, we’re also working to establish a large-scale brewing partnership to get the brew kettle bubbling and the production process rolling. Setbacks can occur during the build-out schedule, from licensing agencies, and in the brewery partnership process, but we have the dedication and commitment to break through any roadblocks along the way.
Reaching our goal here on Kickstarter will really kick things into gear. If we reach our campaign goal, you’ll get all the awesome Braven merch you earned as a reward for pledging. And while we work tirelessly to turn the Braven dream into a reality, stay tuned for Braven events and experiences in the coming months.
We hope that you join us – this is just the beginning of our adventure together.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (33 days)