A Baptist pastor, an entrepreneur, and a cost analyst decide to start a brewery. No punch line, that's our story!
UPDATE - Part 2 of the documentary is now available right here! Part 1 is the main Kickstarter video.
The above video (the main Kickstarter project video) is Part 1 of the documentary that Brandon Roudebush is creating about us. The video directly below this text is our original Kickstarter video. If you want to know more about us, feel free to watch both! When the next installments of the documentary are released, they'll be featured here as well.
UPDATE! - All those who back this project at the $100 level or above will receive a physical copy of the documentary - "Building A Brewery" - when it is completed.
Oh, hey there! We're Reclamation Brewing Company and we brew very tasty beverages.
Since starting our company, we've had one big goal... make ridiculously delicious beers for our community. We've done tastings, perfected our recipes, served our beer at weddings, completed the required legal work to start a business, and know that we have the brewing & business skills in order to succeed. So that we are able to allow more of you try more of our beers, we need some help expanding our operations and opening a tap room and brew pub.
How can you help? Here are just a few ways...
- The easiest way is just to back us monetarily. Plain and simple. We'll even give you something back in return (see rewards)
- Beg all of your friends to give us their money. If you do it right, all of your friends will hate you for bothering them too much. But what's more important - Your life-long friends? Or tasty beer? Think about it.
- Contact every media outlet in a 6 hour radius of you and tell them about how important we are to you. Then get them to collect money so you can give it to us. (Money is a pretty important theme here if you didn't catch that little fact)
- Sell most of your possessions, live in your car, and direct your income towards this project. But do it quickly, this campaign only lasts for 30 days!
- Rob a bank, escape from the police, launder the money (quickly, of course), create multiple bank accounts in which to deposit the money, and then direct it to us. We aren't proponents of breaking the law... but desperate times call for desperate measures.
There are plenty more ways you can help, but we recommend backing us through this campaign...
- Increase the size and capacity of our equipment
- Secure a larger location to produce and distribute our beer
- Complete necessary registration and licensing requirements
- Open a tap room where our beers will be available to enjoy
Kickstarter is pretty simple. We submit a project (in this case, expanding our brewery) and people (we hope you) pledge money towards the project. In return, we offer them some cool rewards made locally - make sure to see those rewards below or on the right side of the screen. If enough people pledge to help get us to our goal, Kickstarter takes a small cut, and gives us the rest. If we don't reach our goal, we get nothing and you aren't charged a dime.
Here are a few things...
Too frequently, the beer culture gets a bum rap. Although we’ve made some progress, we haven't yet fully recovered from the negative light that was cast upon us during the era of Prohibition. We’re striving to educate people about beer and its history. We want to help elevate the beer culture above the idea that beer drinking is only at home in some seedy subculture. Along with many fellow craft brewers, we’re striving to see people informed about the delight and deliciousness of carefully crafted beers. We want to expose their palates (physical and intellectual) to a more tasteful beer experience.
In days gone by, the pub was a place for the community to gather, make connections, share ideas and perspectives, discuss the world, and to have a great time together. When the founders of Reclamation Brewing Company visited Ireland in the spring of 2011, we noted that this was still the case in many small towns and villages. Our vision for the tap room and brew pub is that it will be a place where people can experience community, enjoy conversation, and discuss life and all things beer. If all you want to do is sit quietly and enjoy your deliciously handcrafted beer or even just grab a growler and head home, that’s cool too. We also want to invest in our community by using local merchants, craftsmen, suppliers, and business partners whenever possible. Even the rewards for your help with this project, our graphics and video work, and other things necessary for this campaign have been sourced locally to the best of our abilities. Also, at least 10% of all profits (and more than that when at all possible) generated by Reclamation Brewing Company will be donated to local charity. We want to be part of the long and distinguished history of brewing in America, and more specifically, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We want to see western Pennsylvania become a Mecca of craft brewing that attracts people from near and far to experience the satisfying flavors of artistically crafted local beers.
Yep! A theology of beer! The fact that you might be shocked we included this category is proof we should include it. The founders of Reclamation Brewing Company all happen to be followers of Jesus Christ and also happen to be brewers of quality beers. This may seem to be a contradiction in some people’s minds. But in reality, it’s not. We believe that beer is among the many good gifts with which God has blessed mankind. You don’t have to believe that to enjoy a good beer, but we would love to tell you why we do if you so desire. Basically, we’re persuaded that although the Bible condemns the abuse of alcohol, it doesn't condemn its proper use. In fact, we think it often commends it and appeals to an abundance of alcohol as evidence of God’s favor! Jesus’ first public miracle was turning water into fine wine. We believe this is just one of many Scriptural evidences that there is no incompatibility between being a Christian and enjoying a good beer. We believe that the Bible and history (from David in the Psalms to Jesus at the wedding in Cana to Martin Luther to the Baptist Pastor and distiller, Elijah Craig) confirm that there isn't any contradiction between enjoying a tasty brew and being a follower of Christ. Once again, we don’t think you need to believe this to appreciate good beer, but we’d be happy to continue the conversation over a pint!
The potential combinations which are available to brewers to produce flavors that delight and intrigue the palette are seemingly endless. Not only do we at Reclamation Brewing Company enjoy drinking a finely crafted beer, we also enjoy creating them. Our desire is to continue and expand the tradition of innovation for which craft brewers are known. From our high gravityPromised Land Ale to our Egan’s Irish Whiskey Barrel Stout (A.K.A. “JEALOUS!!!”- Ask us, we’ll be happy to tell you the story), to our Carey Me Home Double IPA and beyond (Bloody Mary, or White Sangria Ale anyone?), we strive to be innovators of new styles as well as new twists on old ones which challenge the way people think about and enjoy good beer.
Are you tired of asking for a beer only to hear that all the restaurant is serving is garbage? Corporate, formulaic beer has been the norm (thank God that's changing) and we know we can do better than that. People want more than just a buzz from their beer. They want flavor! Along with other craft brewers, we are seeking to reclaim beer drinking from the idea that it has to be a bland, boring, tasteless experience. We’re committed to the idea that beer should be good and a pleasure to drink! At Reclamation Brewing Company, we’re committed to using the finest, local, quality ingredients and the most meticulous processes to produce the tastiest and finest quality beers on the market. We’re not beer snobs; we just think beer shouldn't be crap.
When we started sharing our beer with others, they said it was delicious and that we should consider making it more widely available. We agreed, sharpened our recipes, refined our process, and began to increase our production. Then, we began to consider making our brews available for sale on a regional basis. The goal of opening a larger capacity regional brewery and brewpub was born. Our desires are to increase the size and capacity of our equipment, secure a location to produce and distribute our beer, complete the state and federal licensing requirements, and open a brew pub and tap room. We anticipate the brew pub and tap room being a place where our beers will be available to enjoy in a friendly environment with knowledgeable servers whose goal is not to simply sell beer, but to educate and inform others from novice to beer aficionado. We hope you’ll help us!
Reclamation Brewery Company is owned by John and Ben Smith (father and son) and longtime friend, Ben Duncan.
- John Smith was born and grew up in southwestern Ohio where he owned and operated a packaging business before moving with his family to Jacksonville, Florida for Theological training. John moved to western PA with his wife, Robbi, and his two children, Ben and Ashley in 1997 where he has served as pastor of a local church since that time.
- Ben Duncan has loved beer for a long time. He attended high school in Dayton, PA and began working thereafter. He's worked in several different areas, most recently in quality control and estimating. He's an avid traveler, beer recipe master and he may even play you a tune on the guitar if you ask really nicely!
- Ben (Dennis) Smith has always had a bit of a flare for business and entrepreneurship. After high school Ben attended and graduated from The Pennsylvania State University where he studied Business Administration and Marketing. He currently lives in Western Pennsylvania with his wife, Emily, where he works a day job while pursuing his Master's degree in Higher Education.
We began our drink production together by making wine but quickly changed our focus to beer making as we enjoyed the greater control of the process as well as the shorter time from brew to bottle to consumption. We hope to share with you what we’ve learned as you enjoy one of our tasty brews.
All of our rewards are listed on the side of course, but here are descriptions of a few just in case. (There are obviously more that you can see over on the right side of the screen. However, some are kind of hard to provide images of... like the stool, table, dinners, etc.)
We've got several beers we know you'll love. Keep in mind, these are just our full-timers. We've got plenty more ideas for seasonal beers!
Egan's Irish Stout - Dry, nutty, roasted coffee flavor, hints of caramel and toffee, moderate hop profile aged on a bed of oak chips that have been soaked in Irish whiskey. Light in body, but not lacking in flavor, give it a try and make your friends JEALOUS!!!
Spurgeon's Chocolate Milk Stout - Full bodied stout brewed with lactose, chocolate malt, oatmeal and a low hop profile help to accent the sweet, malty flavor of this brew. As it warms, it develops a caramel and coffee essence.
Promised Land Imperial Ale - Chilled, this is a light, refreshing ale with a slight citrus flavor. Given the time to warm, this brew really opens up and comes to life, revealing a warming malty, sweet flavor with a milk and honey finish. At 8.4% ABV, the Promised Land is calling you home.
Carey Me Home Imperial IPA - Heavy hop presence, grapefruit, orange and tropical fruit aroma and flavor. Slightly darker than a typical IPA, some caramel sweetness. Weighing in at a full 10% ABV, this isn't a brew to take lightly. If you don't enjoy it in moderation, you'll need a friend or two to help you home!
Second Breakfast Brown Ale - In typical English brown ale fashion, this is a medium bodied brew that has a moderate hop profile that favors currant flavors. Specialty grains including oatmeal, honey, biscuit and chocolate malts along with the addition of Assam tea will leave you longing for breakfast all day long!
Please be a part of making our goal a reality. We hope you will help us make our beer available for more people to savor and to learn that beer drinking ought to be enjoyed not simply endured.
You're giving us your money... we'll make sure we use it wisely!
If we exceed our goal of $35,000 we intend to get larger equipment, more furnishings and entertainment for the taproom, and (depending on how much extra we get) it will allow us to serve additional types of beer as well.
Remember - if we don't meet our goal of $35,000 - we get NOTHING and your card isn't charged.
How To Back Us
1. Click "Back this Project" on the top right side of the screen.
2. Select your pledge amount, and your reward.
3. Sign into Kickstarter (it's free and easy to join if you haven't yet)
4. Sign into Amazon (it's also free and easy to sign up for an account if you haven't yet)
5. Feel great about yourself and tell everyone you know! Since we aren't there to give you a great big hug - feel free to hug yourself. We'll make up for it someday in person!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We have no illusions that this will be easy. We know that expanding and running a business is a lot of work. We’ve got the past experience, as well as the knowledge to make it happen.
Any time you work with the government, there can be unavoidable issues and hold-ups. A possible challenge is the fact that we have to depend on their schedule to get licensed in Pennsylvania before we can even start selling our tasty beers. In the time between making application and being approved, we’ll be paying the expenses on a building we can’t sell beer out of. However, we’ve talked to a ton of brewers and brewing companies to make sure we understand the correct procedures and get a good grasp on the timeline, so we should be alright on our end.
It’s possible that no one at all will like and buy our beers. We know that’s unlikely, especially with all the good feedback we’ve gotten thus far… but hey, it’s a possibility.
The most likely scenario is that we will have too high of a demand to keep up with! As a matter of fact, this is already happening! We aren’t complaining at all, of course… but it is something that will probably wear us out!
We'll be self-distributing our beers for a while. This will take up a lot of time and resources. On the bright side, we already have quite a few bars, restaurants and beer clubs interested in carrying our beers!
We’re currently not able to sell our beer since we’re in the process of getting licensed. However, we do have quite a few tastings coming up in the near future (and adding more all the time) where you could taste our brews!
Tuesday, October 9, 2012 – Pittsburgh Beer Meetup at Carson Street Deli and Craft Beer Bar – 7pm
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 – Pittsburgh Brewmasters Tasting at Bado’s – 7pm
Thursday, November 1, 2012 - Pullman Baseball Park, Butler, PA - 5pm - Private Event
Saturday, November 10, 2012 – 3rd Annual Butler Brewfest – 6-9pm
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 – Bocktown Monaca – 6pm
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 – Bocktown Robinson – 6pm
We’ll keep this updated when we add new tastings!
If you live in the lower 48 States of the US – nope! However, if you would like to pledge some additional money to help out with the shipping we would be greatly appreciative! It would help us get more use out of the money we raise.
If you’re from outside of the U.S. only some of our rewards are able to be shipped to you. We apologize for this. For the rewards we do ship, a $15 fee applies. Thanks for understanding.
Get in contact with us. We’ll work something out with you one-on-one that’s comparable.
Yes! We will have any physical rewards you’ve earned to you by the promised date. However, things like the invite to the opening and your own table at the brewery will depend on how long it takes the state government to license us - we hope you understand that it's all on their timeline! We don’t expect it to be too long though!
We’ll be located in Butler County, Pennsylvania – just a few miles up the road from Pittsburgh. We’re currently in discussions with several facilities about obtaining a space for our production and serving space. Expect us anywhere between Cranberry Township and Butler, PA.
Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/ReclamationBrewingCo
Follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/ReclamationBrew
Tell everyone you know to help back us!!!
Yes! That it definitely true! Our friend Brandon Roudebush (http://thatbrandonguy.com and @ROWD) is filming a short, three part documentary about the starting of a brewery and the process of launching a Kickstarter. We’ll post each segment of the documentary as an update on this page, as well as on our website and social media pages. Keep your eyes open! To our Backers – you get the first look a bit before everyone else!
Update - the first piece is now our project video!
Thanks for asking! We obviously couldn’t pull this off without help from our friends.
Ryan Cerbus – Logo and help in a huge time of need!(@RyanCerbus)
Brandon Roudebush – Upcoming documentary and some graphic work including limited edition t-shirt design - also, some of the footage used for our Kickstarter video. (thatbrandonguy.com and @ROWD)
Renee Suhr – Mug Club mugs – (Straycatarts.com)
Brooke Franus from Pittsburgh Beer Meetup
Brian and Jennifer from Pittsburgh Brewmasters
Chris Dilla and Tera Bevilacqua from Bocktown
And anyone who has helped us get our name out there thus far.
A whole load of family and friends who have tasted our beers and given positive and negative feedback, and been supportive no matter what.
It’s likely! We can’t say for sure, but you just might see yourself in an upcoming video we release!
Yes. And we’re very proud of them.