About this project
WE HIT OUR STRETCH GOAL of $35,000! Scroll to the bottom to see our stretch rewards!
Los Angeles Ale Works is a brewery based in Los Angeles, California. For over 3 years we have been hard at work business planning, refining recipes, designing our brand, and acquiring the proper licenses for the first phase of our project, gypsy brewing. After purchasing our kegs and marketing material and paying for the initial batches, we are ready to take this project to the next level.
The contract or gypsy brewing phase demonstrates that our business is real and beer is salable but it is a means to an end. In order to bring the operation to the next level we will need to secure equipment, a location, commercial licenses, and sizable capital that will allow us to build out our brewery. Here's where you, the craft beer drinker, come in. We will be doing a combination of private and Kickstarter fundraising. This will allow the community to be involved in the project from the ground up. After all, what is beer if there are no people to drink it?
All money generated through Kickstarter will go towards securing brewery equipment and fulfilling the various rewards for backers. If we meet our goal of $25,000 by the end of our campaign, your donations will then go through. Hypothetically, if we don't reach $25,000, your credit card will not be charged. To pledge your support all it takes are following these four easy steps!
- Create a Kickstarter account
- Log in using your email and password (or Amazon account information)
- Donate! Select your reward level. $1.00 minimum; no maximum.
- Share our project with your friends online and in person!
Who Are We?
We are enthusiastic, dedicated, and award-winning homebrewers who love brewing beer and bringing it to the people we care about.
- John Rockwell comes from a business finance background in commercial real estate. He currently works at an energy audit company that focuses on making businesses run more efficiently in their work spaces. John is a certified BJCP judge, which makes him a serious quality control specialist. Nothing gets by his palate.
- Kristofor (Kip) Barnes works at a major film studio as a business analyst in customer relations. He's learned the art of building relationships with his clients. He's an accomplished gold-medal-winning home brewer who focuses intensely on new recipe creation and managing the brewhouse. Kip founded Bierkast.com and is also a founding member of the LA Beer Bloggers.
Both John and Kip spend 99.9% of their free time brewing beer, tightening the business plan, studying the science of brewing, and getting involved in LA Craft Beer events!
Fun Fact: Both John and Kip met each other in the USC Marching band
Who Do We Look Up To?
One of Kip's favorite breweries in Los Angeles is Eagle Rock Brewery.
"It's hard to pick a favorite because there are so many awesome places, but Eagle Rock Brewery and the ERB team have been at the forefront of LA Craft Beer for the last 3 years. Their mix of creative brewing, positive community action, and love of craft beer is a serious boon for all of LA. Plus, they are just plain nice!" - Kip
John's favorite brewery in Los Angeles is a toss up between Craftsman and Taps Fish House & Brewery.
"Craftsman is a pioneer in the LA beer community and was here before the boom. They are extremely creative and have consistently great beer. They are a true small batch brewhouse. Taps has an amazing respect for the classic styles. They are one of the more underrated brewers in the area, but you'll be hard pressed to find a better kolsch or cream ale. Good food too!" - John
What is our Goal?
Over the long term we plan to raise enough capital so that we can make beer for a living. We are currently balancing gypsy brewing with our day jobs, which is exhausting, but still awesome. If we can raise enough money (beyond Kickstarer) to open a brewery of our own, we can focus full time on making tasty beer for the awesome Los Angeles beer drinkers!
Realistically, we need to raise a lot more than we’re asking for here to execute our dream brewery. We will be reaching that goal through private equity investment, personal and business loans, fundraising events, and social media fundraisers like Kickstarter.
Our goal on Kickstarter is $25,000, which is and isn't a lot. In this situation we have to buy very expensive equipment. While this goal is modest compared to our total financial needs, it is a huge step in the right direction, as equipment purchases are some of the largest expenses when opening a brewery.
Why should you donate when you can just go down to the supermarket or pub and get your favorite beer? Several reasons:
- Drinking, eating, listening to music, and filling growlers at a brewery is awesome!
- The Karma you get for supporting a local brewery is incredible! All backers, who pledge $25+, will be permanently recognized on a laser engraved plate on our fermentor.
- You want to be a part of the magic!
- It creates Jobs! Maybe even your job!
Los Angeles Ale Works will focus on not only getting the surrounding community involved with the brewery, but will also get involved with local philanthropic organizations. We want everyone to not only like the beer that we make, but believe in the brewery and the people that are making it. What better way to do that than to get everyone involved?
Where will my money go?
Your money will go towards the following:
- 15 BBL Fermentor $10,500 + tax
- Commercial Keg Washer $7,450 - $14,450 + tax (Manual vs. Semi-Auto)
- Freight & Installation $4,000 - $8,000 (vender estimate)
- Kickstarter Rewards
As we said before, we are ramping up by gypsy brewing. By aiding us in securing equipment early on, you'll be helping us grow. We plan on sharing space in an existing local brewery until our facility is built. Sharing is caring and also means we can brew our recipes, collaborate, and get our product to you sooner rather than later.
If we manage to raise more than we plan, here are a few other things we'll be spending the money on:
- Semi-Auto Keg Washer - This is a top of the line Keg Washer. It's twice as expensive as the manual one, but the semi-auto feature allows kegs to be automatically cleaned which cuts out the otherwise time consuming manual washing process. More time = more beer focus.
- 15 BBL Jacketed Brite Tank - This is used to store and carbonate the beer after fermentation. This will free up fermentation space to allow for more beer production.
- Education - There are a number of brewing certifications and classes out there we want to take. Certification means more knowledge. More knowledge means better beer. We know a lot already, but you can always learn more.
While we can't give away free beer, per California State & Federal Law, we can entice you with backer-only parties, swag, and exclusives. You’ll notice that some of our rewards can be fulfilled immediately (swag!), while others - that need us to open a brewery first - require a little more patience. Either way, rest assured they are all fantastic!
The community tap will be a handle dedicated to serving community voted beer. Think of it as another seasonal that gets voted on by the people. If everyone wants a triple Belgian IPA then that's what we'll make! If everyone is tired of palate-obliterating hoppy-ness and would rather spend the evening with the charming Queen Elizabeth, then English-style bitter it will be. These beers will be small releases that will be available to our backers first! Consider it an extra thank you for all the love and support.
Each reward level has a specific number of votes attached to it. Each vote can be used to make various beer related decisions that we open to the public. It's simple, really - the more you pledge, the larger your say. We will open up voting to all backers and members of the Shangri-LAAW club - 1 vote per person. By pledging to our Kickstarter, you will have extra say because you believed in us early on.
Admittance into SHANGRI-LAAW
Our mug club. An Eden in a concrete jungle. Entrance to Shangri-LAAW has been shrouded in mystery, but you'll have first dibs as a backer at the $350 level. Space will be extremely limited, first come first serve, and invite only. Experience coveted bottle releases, rare tastings, special guests, unending happiness, and discover the undiscovered truths of Shambhalaaw.
Admittance to Shangri-LAAW is marked at specific reward levels. Years do not compound. Please keep in mind that this membership will not commence until our brewery is open, so patience is key. That being said, we will work to include the group in as many of our preliminary events as we can.
BOTTLE CAPS: Los Angeles Ale Works bottle caps! We'll give you one for every vote you have - depending on your reward. Hold on to these, you'll find out later! These beautiful caps are made by our friends over at BottleMark.
STICKERS: Another locally sourced piece by one of our favorite craft beer supporters - Stickerworks! We have tons of these cool stickers and would love to give them away to people that want to contribute!
COASTERS: Double-sided coasters that look friggin' awesome! Tired of that nasty ring you leave on your nice teak coffee table? Look no further than our fine coasters.
T-SHIRTS: We are starting out with hand silk-screened shirts, which are locally sourced by a screen printer in Los Angeles, Mischief Brigade. Why aren't we going with the big guys? Because the little guys rock! Each shirt is unique and hand made. Consider it the homebrew equivalent of T-Shirts.
GROWLER BAGS: These bags are awesome. They are insulated and screen-printed with our logo! They are designed to fit the 64 oz growlers that we will eventually have, but hold up to three 22oz bottles right now! We are sourcing this through a small family run business called GrowlerCooler.com.
*4-PACK BEER HOLDERS: These hand crafted wooden carriers are designed to hold four 22 oz. bottles. They are LAAW branded and made with love by skilled woodworkers that we are lucky enough to be able to bribe with beer. There are only a few of these in existence.
LA BEER HOP: An exclusive party with Kip and John and the guys at the LA Beer Hop, the premier beer tour company in Los Angeles. Come see LA through our beer colored glasses.
*BEER BOXES: These beautiful hand crafted wooden boxes are designed to hold twenty-four 12 oz. bottles. They are painted black and have our logo on them. There are only a few of these in existence, in fact we love these boxes so much a small tear will be shed with each box we give away, thus they are a high level reward for our most dedicated backers. Our handy friends Mike and Dan put these babies together, and boy are these boxes sick.
*TAP HANDLES: You need to pull the handle to get the beer. Think of it as a unique trophy given to you for the awesome contribution you made. Hey, if you have a kegerator, you can even use them. This was a team effort. The whole LAAW crew assembled these by hand; they are each unique and not made in a factory.
*Please keep in mind that some of these reward levels require extra shipping, which will be calculated when rewards are ready to go out. These costs will be dependent upon your location. International backers are welcome, but extra shipping will be required. If you are local, we can more than likely get it out to you sans shipping.
*Please note that some rewards are experiences in Los Angeles and travel and lodging are not included.
*Please note that some rewards are specific to the reward level as there limited quantities. These rewards are denoted with an *asterisk*
THE LAAW CARD: It's exclusive. It's unique. It's the Golden Ticket. If you are in possession of this card, and very-very-very-very few people will be, you will be entitled to Elite Access. We can't tell to what...or how...or why. But if you have it, you will have proven that you are willing to Follow the LAAW to the ends of the earth, and that, we can never forget.
RELEASE PARTIES & LAUNCHES
We will hold special events for our backers when we open our brewery, but this is something that you'll have to be patient for. In the meantime, there are plenty of local events going on.
If you are able to make it out to one of our Los Angeles release parties for Gams-Bart, you'll have an idea of what we are going for.
On February 23rd we'll be having a launch at Koreatown's premier beer bar, Beer Belly! On the 24th we'll be having a launch at the California craft-focused gastropub City Tavern in Culver City. Other events in downtown are slated in the coming weeks as well including, but not limited to, Far Bar, Spring Street Smoke House, and Eagle Rock Brewery.
Special thanks to the guys at Ohana Brewing Co for making this all possible. We love you guys! Keep up the great work!
LA ALE WORKS BEER
Our first gypsy-brewed beer is GAMS-BART, our Bavarian Style Roggenbier. It's one of our favorites, and we hope it becomes one of yours too. Here’s a summary of the rest of our line-up:
GamsBart - Bavarian Roggenbier - This multi award-winning beer is an intensely traditional German style ale similar to a Bavarian style Hef. We use rye and roasted rye and ferment on the colder side which brings out the clove flavors from this traditional yeast.
Dampfmaschine - California UnCommon - This is a classic California "steam beer" style ale, only it's accented with rye and late hopped with magnum hops.
Lievre - French/Belgian Saison - This multi award-winning saison is brewed will seasonal citrus peel, spices, and Indian sugar. Funky and friggin' tasty.
Buttress of Windsor - Coffee Rye Porter - This porter has a generous portion of rye added to its grain bill and is cold infused with locally roasted coffee. It's complex, hearty, but also incredibly soft like a feather duster.
Das Kolsch - German Kolsch - John is a Kolsch nut, and this is his baby. A well made Kolsch is hard to find, and this one is as traditional as we can make it without being in Cologne. Soft water, perle and hallertau hops, German pils, and a splash of wheat.
Karma Kolsch - Thai Tea Infused Kolsch - We take our Kolsch and infuse it with traditional restaurant style Thai Red Tea. The tea and spices are assertive, but also blend nicely with the delicate style underneath.
Ketsara Soda - Thai Tea Soda - That's right, soda. We want to have something for everyone. We love beer, but we also want to have something for those of you trucking your friends around during brewery tours or those that just appreciate craft soda. Palm Sugar and Thai Tea - Sweet and Simple.
FUN FACT: Soda played an important role for breweries trying to figure out what to do with themselves during Prohibition. We want to make a point to pay homage to that time in history, but put a spin on it and produce small batches for the tap room.
Mugen Kurosake - We also hope to brew a black rice sake. We'll need a commercial wine license for this one because the government has mistakenly identified sake as wine when it is, in fact, beer.
And More: Imagination is the limit. Find out more about our line-up at www.losangelesaleworks.com!
We have received numerous awards for our beers including a prestigious bronze medal at the National Homebrew Competition's (NHC) Final Round in 2012 for our Bavarian Roggenbier, Gams-Bart. A medal from the NHC, part of the Brewers Association and National Home Brewers Association, is the highest possible honor a home brewer can receive.
We recently took home a two gold medals at the Pacific Brewers Cup 2012, one for whiskey barrel aged Roggenbock and another for our California Common, Dampfmaschine.
We've also received numerous first place medals for our Lievre Saison and sodas.
Here are some other awards – Local, California & National:
Los Angeles Ale Works is fortunate to have on our team one of Seattle’s premier Branding and Design experts, Ken Barnes. For more than thirty years Ken’s insight and expertise have guided work for some of today’s biggest brands. His portfolio includes Starbucks Coffee, The Seattle Seahawks, Papa Murphy's Pizza, and Nordstrom, and his work for brewers includes Pyramid Ales, Henry Weinhards, and the newly opened John Harvard’s Brewery in Cambridge, MA. His keen eye, industry knowledge, and incredible imagination have brought the Los Angeles Ale Works brand to a whole new level. We are incredibly lucky to have him.
You can find out more about his current branding, design, and architectural work at BSR Brand + Environment - www.bsrbranding.com.
We're in the news! Check out some of the things people have been saying about us.
LA Times - Daily Dish, John Verive - March 15, 2013
LA Times – Money & Co, Stuart Pfeifer – March 1, 2013
L.A. Ale Works is ready for its Close-up
KCET - Food, Farley Elliot - Feb 28, 2013
Beers in Paradise, JoeTheYounger - Feb 22, 2013
4 Los Angeles Brewery Kickstarter Campaigns: Invest in Your Beer Future LA Weekly, Sarah Bennett – Feb 21, 2013
New Craft Brewery to Debut Beers at Culver City’s City Tavern Culver City Patch, Kelly Hartog – Feb, 21 2013
Los Angeles Ale Works - SoCal Brewery's First Beer Drop
Thrillist, Thrillist Los Angeles, Kevin Alexander, Feb 21, 2013
Soda, Anyone? THE REJUVENATING TONIC BAR (Must be AHA Member to Read or buy physical Copy)
Zymurgy March/April 2013, Drew Beechum - Feb 21, 2013
Craft Beer & BBQ at Bludso’s
Food GPS, Barbecue, Sean Inman - Feb 21, 2013
Fight (for) the LAAW
Beer of Tomorrow, John Verive – Feb 20, 2013
Beerinfo.com Front Page – Feb 20,2013
Two L.A. Breweries Crowdsourcing Start-Up Funds on Kickstarter
L.A. Magazine, Randy Clemens – Feb 18, 2013
LA Ale Works - An Interview
Beer Search Party/Food GPS, Sean Inman – Feb 2, 2013
Top 6 Los Angeles Breweries to Watch in 2013
LA Weekly, Sarah Bennett – Jan 7, 2013
Bierkast – Bam Fest 2012 *We appeared at LA Beer Week & Bam Fest 2012 where we served our award winning Ketsara – Thai Tea Soda.
Bierkast – John Rockwell, Oct 19, 2012
Los Angeles Ale Works Readies its First Brew
Grub Street, Handley Tomicki – Aug 6, 2012
Food GPS - Interview: LA Aleworks founders John Rockwell + Kip Barnes
Food GPS – Joshua Lurie Aug 2, 2012
So there you have it! The ball is rolling already, but help us speed it along, by giving it as big a nudge as you feel comfortable with. You will not be disappointed. Thank you in advance for your support! See you soon! Cheers!
For more information about Los Angeles Ale Works visit us at www.losangelesaleworks.com or check out our facebook and twitter #FollowtheLAAW. You can also visit our blog hosted by Bierkast. Follow the LAAW!
What is Kickstarter
Kickstarter is a "crowd sourcing" website that allows creative people to reach out to their friends, family, neighbors, and prospective customers to help get their ideas off the ground. If the total pledges don't reach the goal, then the project is not funded at all.
The pledges aren't an investment in the business in a traditional sense (sorry, no company shares being offered here!) but you do get some cool stuff for helping us out (check out the list on the right hand side). Not to mention you’ll be instrumental in ensuring that there is LA Ale Works beer on tap for years to come!
**STRETCH GOALS & STRETCH REWARDS**
*Cardinal & Gold - Some of you may have seen that we added a new reward level called Cardinal & Gold at the $117 level. This'll snag you a limited edition Cardinal & Gold version of the LAAW shirt. What we failed to mention was that it also gets you a Cardinal & Gold sticker. All those pledging above the $117 level will have the opportunity to choose which one you want.
Stretch Reward #1 $26,000
UNLOCKED: LAAW Voting Event for Glassware
At $26,000 everyone at the $50 dollar (and up) pledge level will be getting a pint glass.
What will they look like? You’ll decide with your voting power at the end of the kickstarter. We’ll provide several different choices and you can all vote and decide what our next glass is! How cool is that?! It’s all about working together to make this brewery happen.
Now this is where it gets fun!!
Step 1, we open up new donation levels:
$75 Pledge - get a classic keychain bottle opener printed/engraved with LAAW
$150 Pledge - get a fidel/steamer hat with LAAW embroidery
Step 2, set stretch rewards that take these new reward levels and make them ridiculously awesome!
Stretch Reward #2 $30,000
UNLOCKED: Custom LAAW Professional Bottle Opener
At $30,000 everyone at the $75 dollar (and up) pledge level will be getting a customized LA Ale Works bartender style bottle opener. Forget that keychain bottle opener, this is no toss away trinket! It will become your household go-to bottle opener. There’s a reason all professional bartenders use it. A true collectors item, these will be a small batch orders only made for the kickstarter.
In addition to this, everyone at the $75 and up level gets an extra bottle cap (+1 vote)!
Stretch Reward #3 $35,000
UNLOCKED: Custom labeled LAAW Growler
At $35,000 everyone at the $150 dollar (and up) pledge level will get a 64-oz screw top amber glass growler. Custom printed with the LAAW logo in white. These babies will be awesome and we can’t wait to give them out. The only catch is that you’ll have to be patient. These will be given out next year prior to our facility opening. Think of it as your own private mug club in a bottle.
In addition to this, everyone at the $75 and up level gets 2 extra bottle caps (+2 votes)!
Also!!!! KARMA KOLSCH. Our Thai Tea Kolsch will be released along side Gams-Bart. Having 2 fermentors will give us the ability to have two simultaneous beers.
THANK YOU EVERYONE! WE COULDN'T HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOU! CHEERS!
Risks and challenges
We are very familiar with the brewing industry and have taken great lengths to immerse ourselves in both the culture, consumer arena and the manufacturing side. That being said, even those who are most prepared may face difficulties.
On the Gypsy side of brewing, finding a willing partner is always an obstacle to overcome. Expansions, facility upgrades, or other issues having to do with the host brewery could lead to production delay. Brewing with new facilities is like dating, you have to find the right fit and our beer ideals need to line up.
As we move from Gypsy brewing to our own facility there are many potential roadblocks along the way. Permitting through the city and state can take anywhere from 6 - 24 months. If we are unable to secure private fundraising our journey will also be delayed. We will still plan on moving forward, but at a slower pace.
Shangri-LAAW is a state of being rather than a physical space within the brewery. Similar to Eagle Rock Brewery's club or the Bruery's Reserve Society. There are a fixed number of spaces available and memberships renew annually.
Experiences will include: discounts at the tap room on beer and swag, a personalized take-home glass, coveted bottle releases, rare tastings, early access to special events ( +1 guest), special guest speakers, and unending happiness. We are fine tuning the perks of the membership and we expect them to evolve over time as we dial in what makes for the best experience but be certain that it will be special. We will also be listening to our patrons to find out what they would like to see more of - which will utilize the voting system.
Please keep in mind that this membership will not commence until our brewery is open, so patience is key. That being said, we will work to include the group in as many of our preliminary events as we can.
Support this project
- (35 days)