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Hartford will finally have its own craft beer destination - Hog River Brewing Co. - brewed with experience, passion & innovation.
100 backers pledged $28,100 to help bring this project to life.

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$28,100

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Hog River Brewing Company
Hog River Brewing Company

The Beginning: 

My name is Ben Braddock - Founder, Owner and Brewer of Hog River Brewing Co. Thank you for taking the time to check us out. My craft beer story started more than 7 years ago when I was working my insurance gig in Hartford, CT. I was fed up trying to climb the corporate ladder and without a vetted plan, I walked into my boss' office and gave my two weeks notice. The goal - find a job, any job in the craft beer industry. 

With no money and no job, I cancelled the car insurance and cable and contacted every brewery along the east coast looking to volunteer my time.  

Craft Beer Experience:

Enter Thomas Hooker Brewing Company in Bloomfield, CT. I worked for free cleaning kegs for a few months until I was brought on full-time to work the bottling line and manage orders. A few months later I was on the brew deck and sent to Siebel Institute in Chicago to hone my craft. 

After 3+ years in a production setting it was time for a change. For the past 5 years I've been brewing some of the best beers in CT at Willimantic Brewing Company with my friend and mentor, David Wollner. Along the way, friendships in the craft beer community have formed, industry connections made, and many beers brewed and consumed. It's time to branch out on my own - and create the craft beer taproom Hartford needs.

The Brewery: 

Our vision for Hog River Brewing Co. is to be deeply entrenched in the Hartford community. We want to celebrate what is great about this city then and now, and bring some of the city's history to life. Starting with our name - a nod to the river that once flowed through the city and was buried in tunnels in the 1940s. Hog River is the slang name, as it's also known as the Park River.

Hog River, Hartford, Conn.
Hog River, Hartford, Conn.

We've settled on a 4,000 square foot unit at 1429 Park Street, Hartford, CT. Those of you who have been around CT beer for a while might remember the old Troutbrook Brewing Company. Our location is a stones throw away from that location, in the first floor of the former Hartford Rubber Works plant, also known as the Barridon Building. The lease was signed in April and equipment is scheduled to arrive in December. We hope to brew some beer come Spring, 2016. The brewery is conveniently located off Exit 44 on I-84. We offer free, well-lit and safe parking. Driving not your thing? The Parkville CT Fastrak stop is at the end of the street. 

Our unique space is loaded with character and is home to our 7 barrel brewery and taproom. We'll have seating and standing room for upwards of 100 customers. The decor is rustic industrial with modern touches. We are striving to make Hog River a home-away-from-home for those seeking high quality craft beer and prefer a relaxed environment and good conversation.   

Food...we're not in the business of running a restaurant. You know the drill by now - food trucks, BYOF and take-out. Feeling lazy about it? We've got that covered as well. There is a restaurant 20 paces down the hall.

Hog River Brewing Co. - 1429 Park Street, Hartford, CT
Hog River Brewing Co. - 1429 Park Street, Hartford, CT

The Beer: 

I suppose by now you're wondering about the beer. We have high standards and a low threshold for imperfection. We plan to have one house beer - a German-style Kolsch Ale - conditioned in it's own tank until ready to serve. The rest of our beers will constantly rotate throughout the year ranging in style from classic to innovative to funky and barrel-aged. If a beer runs out on draught, we'll have a selection of bombers and 750s to drink in-house or take home for your enjoyment. We hope to fill our 16 draught lines with our house made beer but we want to make non-beer drinkers happy as well. We'll offer 1-2 craft ciders, wine and locally-crafted soda. 

Your Generous Contribution: 

Opening a brewery and taproom in Hartford is what we're passionate about - we've been working towards this goal for years, gathering the required capital to open the doors. But we still have work to do to get this off the ground. The funds raised in this campaign will be used to build out our taproom. You will see your money at work the second you walk into the taproom. The bar will be made from reclaimed wood, the stools from industrial piping and the historic manufacturing equipment in our space will shine like the day it was installed over a 100 years ago. When you enjoy a beer in our taproom you'll feel like it's yours  - and you'll know that you helped it come to life. 

Original metal-trim presses installed over 100 years ago in what is now the brewery space - and inspiration for our logo.
Original metal-trim presses installed over 100 years ago in what is now the brewery space - and inspiration for our logo.

I hope we have you on board! Either way, come on in for a beer and chat for a bit. I think you'll enjoy it! 

Thank you,

Ben Braddock

Risks and challenges

Opening a brewery comes with some risks. We don't think we'll encounter too many game changing issues, but we would like to make you aware of potential pit falls.

1) Licensing -

We are required to obtain Federal and State licensing to make and sell beer. This is a very lengthy process and we are waiting for our approvals. It is extremely unlikely that we'll be denied but a delay could occur if errors are found in our application. In this case, we correct them, send the corrections back and wait a little longer.

We have hired an attorney who specializes in brewery licensing to expedite the process.

2) Buildout -

Our lease is signed and we've initiated our build. Like any build, we are at the mercy of building inspectors. We don't anticipate any issues but there is always a risk that we are delayed while we get construction, plumbing and electrical inspected.

3) Rewards-

Please note that the $250, $500, $750 and $1,000 donation levels require Hog River to be up and running. We have put tentative delivery dates in each category, but please note that these dates are subject to change. We'll keep you posted at every turn along the way. We'll be sure to send out the lower level rewards by the dates set forth in their corresponding categories.

As you area aware, there are risks associated with opening any business. We are doing our due diligence to open and operate a successful business. Regardless of the risk and challenges we come across, we're moving forward. Your generous contributions will be used solely for the purpose of opening Hog River Brewing Co.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Every dollar counts! You see our potential and we appreciate it! To show it, we'll send you a Hog River Brewing Co. sticker only available to Kickstarter contributors.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Brewery stickers are cool but so are brewery coasters. Not only will we send you a Hog River sticker to slap on your car, you'll also receive a kick-ass Hog River coaster for your beer room table. This is not your average brewery coaster - it's crafted from thick cork making it durable enough to guard your Heady or throw at the person who tries to steal your tasty libation.

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Want to be part of the Hog River craft beer drinking team? Yes you do! And you're in good company. To do so, you'll need a classy Hog River bottle opener to open your Hog River 22 oz and 750ml. bottles purchased at the brewery.

    Yes, of course you get the sticker and coaster, too!

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Do you spend all your spare time at local breweries drinking their tasty suds? We do too! And we always leave with a fancy glass to show our support. At this level you get all the aforementioned gifts as well as a one-of-kind Hog River branded 20 oz. English nonic pub glass to drink our hand-crafted beers from. This is not your average 16 oz. generic pint glass - we don't have time for those clunky beer buckets! Get this unique, oversized glass before it's too late.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    If you're anything like us, you love to show your support for local breweries! After all, this isn't easy work! For your generous contribution we'll be sending you all of the previous gifts as well as a fancy Hog River t-shirt to complete the package.

    We can order M and F sizes. We'll contact you after the campaign to obtain the details.

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Hog River Brewing Co. Mug Club

    Now let's get down to business. Imagine yourself drinking a delicately crafted Local 35 IPA in our taproom also known as Hartford's Living Room. Don't like IPAs? That's ok, we'll have many styles to please the palate.

    The atmosphere is rustic, industrial yet modern. The vibe is super relaxed and unpretentious. The music is on in the background and the beer is flowing for you and your pals. Show the crowd that you're a founding member of Hog River with your own 20 oz. Hog River mug.

    As a Kickstarter mug club member you get all the aforementioned gifts, a lifetime mug club membership and mug fills for the price of a pint. We recommend you hop on board here because mug club memberships renew annually once our Kickstarter campaign ends.

    The mug club makes an excellent holiday gift for the craft beer fanatic in your life. Mugs will be available upon opening but we can send you a spiffy membership card to present on the big day, if necessary.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Rock Star Status

    Think you have what it takes to be a rock star brewer? We're going to let you prove it. Besides, we'll be looking for some help in the brewery before long. At this level you get all the lower level rewards and an amazing experience you'll be able to tell your grandchildren about.

    Hog River is offering the opportunity to participate in a collaborative brewing effort with Head Brewer Ben and the other Rock Star contributors. Together, we'll roundtable beer style ideas, discuss ingredients and come up with a kick-ass beer name. Once the ingredients are sourced, we'll get back together to brew up this crazy concoction. When the beer is ready, gather your friends for a party in the taproom to celebrate the fruits of your labor. And, if that's not enough, we'll put your beer out in the market at select accounts so you can impress your nerdiest beer buddy. Cheers to that!

    What's the catch? There isn't one. Just give us a few months to dial in our brand spankin' new brewing system. In the meantime, enjoy your mug club membership in the taproom!

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Hartford Rare Beer Society

    Do you have a soft spot for rare beer? How about all-access private parties where you get to tour our beer cellar and share not-for-the-public bottles with other craft-beer obsessed folks? Or maybe you need a holiday gift for the craft beer fanatic in your life? Well, you're in luck! Hog River can offer you all of the above and more.

    At the $1,000 level you purchase a membership to the Hartford Rare Beer Society. Here's what you get for becoming a Founding Member - hold on to your pants, folks.

    * All the previous gifts
    * Lifetime membership limited to 20 society members
    * Custom membership card made from a barrel stave with your membership number
    * 2 private, catered all-access parties per year. During the party, society members will have full access to our barrel cellar beers as well as a bottle share.
    * First notice of all rare beer releases. Call ahead to reserve your bottles or pick up before they are made available to the public. (4 bottle limit)
    * Hartford Rare Beer Society logo shirt - for society members only

    If you're purchasing as a holiday gift, let us know and we'll send you a spiffy membership card to present on the big day.

    We need a little time to get some of these rare beers brewed and aged. We tentatively plan to throw the first party at least 6 months after opening. In the meantime, come in and enjoy that mug club membership!

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Funding period

- (30 days)