What Is The Brenner Brewing Company?
The Brenner Brewing Company is a brewery-in-planning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It all started on a sunny spring morning four years ago while homebrewing a batch of beer in front of my art gallery, Hotcakes. I realized that for 8 years people had been coming to my arts events for the beer in the keg more than the art on the walls. Then it hit me. I needed to flip the whole process. Instead of luring people into my art gallery with free beer and then trying to convince them to buy art, I should sell the beer and use my brewery as a vehicle to support and promote local artists and musicians.
Long story short... I closed my gallery, had the nonprofit I co-founded (MARN) hire a new Executive Director, enrolled in an MBA program at UW-Milwaukee, and starting taking brewing classes at the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago and the Doemens Akademie in Munich.
Fast Forward to present day... I'm an MBA and a diplomaed Master Brewer, I've written an incredible business plan, and I'm meeting with potential investors a couple times a week. I still have a lot of money to raise before I can open the brewery and start selling beer, but until I find all the right investors necessary to turn this dream into a reality, I am brewing as much beer as possible and donating it to friends who have art galleries and other small local businesses to use for their events. This summer, I would like to promote the brewery at even more events around Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago, and Minneapolis, but without your financial help, my ability to do events will be very limited. Right now nothing is more important than getting my beer in the hands of potential investors, so please consider supporting my dream of opening a community-centered, art-focused brewery in Milwaukee.
More Information About Brenner Brewing
Brenner Brewing Co. Website
Brenner Brewing on Facebook
Brenner Brewing on Twitter
Brenner Brewing Co. on UnTappd
What You Get For Your Money
I've set up a bunch of different rewards for you to choose from. Most are high-quality swag with the Brenner Brewing Company logo on them. I also created some really cool experience-based rewards. If you're looking to get into homebrewing or upgrade to all-grain and want a diplomaed Master Brewer to walk you through the process, take a look at the $175 and $350 pledge levels. All the rewards make great gifts for your beer geek friends and loved ones. In particular, the $70 pledge gets you and a friend a package of merch mailed to each of your houses. So take a look around and let me know if you have any questions. I REALLY appreciate your support in helping me make my dream of opening a community-centered, art-focused brewery in my hometown come true!
What Your Money Will Be Used For
A lot of you found out about the Brenner Brewing Company by drinking my beer for free at an art gallery or nonprofit fundraiser. I will be using all your generous donations on Kickstarter to buy supplies and upgrade my beer dispensing system to one like the pros use at beer festivals. There's nothing more important right now then getting my beers in the hands of potential investors, and having more reliable, higher-quality equipment will make it possible for me to start promoting the brewery at beer festivals and do a lot more free beer tastings for nonprofit fundraisers and at art galleries. Any money I get above the $10,000 will be put directly toward getting my brewery up and running. Lawyers, accountants, brewing equipment, and supplies are super expensive!
How Does This Work?
It's pretty straight forward. 1) You click on the reward level indicating how much you would like to donate. 2) Click on the "Continue to Next Step" button at the bottom of the page. 3) Click on "Continue to Amazon" 4) If you have an Amazon account, log in. If not, enter your email address and select "I am a new customer." then click "Sign in using our secure server." 5) Follow Amazon's Instructions. 6) If I hit my target of $10,000, your credit card will be charged on June 17. If I only make it to $9,999, you aren't charged and I get nothing. Make sure you have money available on the card on the 17th. 7) I mail you your Brenner Brewing swag.
Frequently Asked Questions
You're A Brewer. Why Aren't You Giving Away Beer As A Reward?Giving away alcoholic beverages is strictly prohibited by Kickstarter. Sorry. I do a lot of free beer tastings that are open to the public though, and you're welcome to come by and try my beer there.
How Do I Tell You What Size T-Shirt I Need?
If I'm at or above my goal of $10,000 on Sunday Jun 17, 8:00pm CDT, Kickstarter will charge your credit card, and at that point you'll be asked what size T-Shirt you want and what address you want your stuff sent to.
If I Come To One Of Your Tasting Events Can I Just Buy The Swag From You There?
I won't be purchasing any of the stickers, pint glasses, bottle openers, or t-shirts, until the Kickstarter campaign is over.
If This Is A Fundraiser, Why Are You Giving Away So Much Stuff?
I've gotten a bunch of feedback that people would rather see the money go to getting the brewery open than paying for pint glasses and bottle openers. Donation and reward levels were all based on what I thought was the best way to get as many people as possible involved in this project. Kickstarter lets each donor choose how much you want to give and what reward you want. You can choose not to get a reward and just donate, or you can give more than I'm asking for a reward. For instance, you can donate $100 and choose to only receive the $20 level reward. I've personally backed over 70 Kickstarter campaigns, and while it's fun to help people make cool projects happen, it's also nice to get a little something to remind you about the project. I'll let you decide.
Why Won't You Ship Me A Pint Glass?
I can't imagine a pint glass would survive the trip, and I don't want to disappoint people when a box full of glass arrives on their doorstep. If you're dead set on having one shipped to you, add $5 to your donation, and I'll put it in a plastic bag, bubble wrap the heck out of it, and write fragile on the box. No complaints though if it still shows up broken.
What's It Like To Brew On That Brew Sculpture?
I made a little stop motion YouTube video of my brewing process.
What Do You Think About Will Ferrell Doing Old Milwaukee Ads?
I think it would have been a lot cooler if he would have done a dozen commercials for small local breweries instead of for a beer brand owned by a marketing company run as a hobby by the sons of a billionaire in LA. So... I made my own spoof commercial.
What Kind of Beers Will Brenner Brewing Company Produce?
Below is partial list of beers Brenner Brewing is planning to produce. All the beer names are still works in progress.
Star Belly Amber Hybrid was originally a California Common, but after a late addition of cascade hops, some darker roasted malts, higher temperatures in open fermentation tanks, and reduced yeast cell counts, we ended up creating this incredibly complex and easy drinking masterpiece.
Moon Baby India Pale Ale starts with a much maltier base and bitterness on the low-end for contemporary IPAs. A Spicy hop taste and floral hop aroma is balanced with subtle citrus notes. Wheat is added to give a bigger mouth feel and a frothy head. This beer is all about balance.
Bacon Bomb Rauchbier is a blend of German beechwood and Wisconsin cherrywood smoked malts. Noble German hops and fresh black pepper add a subtle bite. The yeast strain keeps the body light to balance the huge flavors and nose, making it perfect for food pairing without being overbearing.
My Flanders Red is oak aged for up to 18 months with Lactobacillus, producing a biting and crisp flavor. The sourness is complimented by delicate raspberry and plum flavors. A well made sour beer is a beautiful thing.
My Hopfen-Weizenbock is not your traditional German style weissbier. Made with pilsner malt and wheat roasted in Wisconsin. Subtle banana flavors come from the Weinstephan yeast, but four times the hops as usual make for a beer you won't find outside München.
Witchcraft Imperial Stout is made with locally roasted coffee, locally sourced buckwheat honey, molasses, and nine different malts. It is then oak aged in wooden barrels with vanilla beans for six months to mellow this 13% ABV monster into a smooth drinking delicacy.
Bohemian Prophet Pilsner is made with Czech malt and Saaz hops, just like in the old country. A subtle natural carbonation and spicy yeast character take you back to a time when every village had a brewery and lagers actually had flavor.
Glücklich Pils is brewed to make my Northern German ancestors proud. It's brewed with barley malted in Wisconsin and Noble German hops, but what separates this beer from all others is the small percentage of acidulated malt added to drop the pH of the beer giving it a refreshing bite. Perfect for summer beer garden drinking.
What's an Art-Centered Brewery?
As most of you know, I was one of the co-founders and the longtime Executive Director of the Milwaukee Artist Resource Network (MARN). I also owned and ran Hotcakes Gallery for almost five years. Even before that though, in the early 90's, I made my "living" playing over 200 shows a year in a Milwaukee-based cover band, John the Conqueroo. Obviously, supporting local artists and musicians has always been at the heart of everything I've done, and I don't want the brewery to be any different.
If you look at the image below, you can see a very small part of my plan to integrate music and art into what the brewey is. I not only want to show the world that Milwaukee still does make the best beer on earth, but also has an incredible community of hard working artists and musicians that deserve international attention. As each of Brenner Brewing's "12oz Ambassadors" gets into the hands of someone outside Milwaukee and eventually outside of Wisconsin, we'll show the rest of the world what we're up to here... Amazing Beer, Amazing Art, Amazing Music, Amazing People.
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