We've hit our goal!
It's great! I'd like to propose a toast to all of my backers! We've managed to hit our goal with a week to spare!
But for the next week you can still be a part of the action. $40,000 is only a part of the funding we're using to put the brewery together. It's enough to get licensing, to get kegs and ingredients lined up, to get our first couple of batches in the pipeline, and to get to market before the end of the year. The more money we put together, the fewer corners we cut and the more beer we make.
So here's one tidbit of information to entice you to keep giving: The t-shirt that backers receive will be unique and will never be available for sale from Mystery Brewing Company.
And an extra reward:
If we can hit $50,000 dollars in the next week, I'll include a 4oz. Mystery Brewing tasting glass for all donations above $20.
The Project: A Contract Brewery
What is a contract brewery? You may not know it, but chances are you’ve heard of one. Sam Adams jumps to mind. Brooklyn Brewery is another. Terrapin Brewery, if the South is your digs. They all started as contract breweries. These guys had a vision for a company and recipes for great beer, but rather than invest in a building and equipment right off the bat, they hired the staff at another brewery to do the actual brewing for them. That's close to what I'd like to do. The difference is that I want to do the brewing. In some ways it's like brewery nomadism: Show up on a weekend at a brewery that has space, brew a few batches of beer, fill the fermenters and leave stealthily in the night. Sure, some people might call it "renting," but that doesn't sound nearly as magical. It will seem as though the beer elves have arrived.
The Product: Artisanal Craft Beer
Fact: It's hard to create a consistent product when you're changing breweries. Yeast is an amazing organism that brings us the wonder that is great beer, but it is fickle. It reacts differently in different environments (even the shape and size of a fermenter can alter flavor profiles), but that's part of the art - and fun - of making beer. The fact is, no two batches of beer are ever identical, and I intend to capitalize on that.
This I promise: No two batches of my beer will ever be the same. There will be no set product line. Instead, I’ll have a constantly-rotating selection of beers. Think of it as a full line-up of seasonals. If a beer is popular? Certainly, I’ll make it again - but I’ll tweak it. I’ll always be asking myself, “How can I make this beer even better than it was before?” Each batch of beer will be dated and numbered uniquely, like you see on a bottle of wine or good liquor. Year to year, the beer will change (all beer does, even if breweries don't tell you it does), and I'll provide the tools for people to enjoy the changes.
The lack of a home base can have disadvantages. You can't have a brewery tour if you don't have a brewery. It's hard to hang out with your regulars at the bar if you don't have a bar. Because of this, I want to have an excellent, beautiful, communicative website that takes advantage of every aspect of modern social tools to put drinkers of fine beer in touch with me, the brewing company and the process behind the product. I've even been considering a few open-source recipes so fans of Mystery Brewing can brew their own at home or even have a say in what I brew next.
This kickstart is specifically about startup costs. I need kegs, bottles, and label art. I need ingredients and cleaning supplies. I need gas to put in my car as I drive around and self-distribute my beer. I need to be able to pay my designer to create packaging that reflects the quality of the product inside. But what I need most of all is to chase this passion and to be able to share it with others by raising a toast to the world with my own beer.
If my project is funded, you will get to ride along with me as I jump through the (many, flaming) hoops of federal licensing, work out tastings of recipe prototypes (which you can join in, if you're local to me), and see the reactions from others to my beer (if I can get them on film). You’ll get to see regular updates from me about how things are coming along. You’ll get to see label art and iterations of graphic design. You’ll get to see first-hand what it's like to open a brewery, albeit a non-traditional one.
Check out the right side of this page for a list of the rewards I’m offering in return for pledges. In order to make this dream come true, I’ll need to raise at least $40,000 by the end of July. The more money I raise over my goal, the closer I get to quitting my day job and making beer my full-time life’s work and, if I do well, your life’s joy.
The End Goal
Make my first batch of beer by the end of August, pour beer at the World Beer Festival (Durham, NC) in October, and throw a special release party the night before the festival for all of my awesome supporters who can make it.
Join me in my quest! It'll be a fun ride.
Erik L. Myers
- (68 days)