Another week, another brewery, another crowdfunding campaign.
It seems like not a week goes by without hearing about a new brewery in planning and the launch of their crowdfunding campaign. Don’t misunderstand me, I have absolutely nothing against new businesses taking advantage all the tools at their disposal. But, it seems like there is an extremely close relationship to startup breweries and crowdfunding sites like indeigogo, kickstarter, or Razoo.
One cannot blame these new companies for trying to entice people to kick in a few bucks. Starting a new brewery can be very cash intensive. And the truth is these creative funding sources work more often than not. Recent success stories include BauHaus BrewLabs, Sisyphus Brewing, and Hayes’ Public House.
There is even a company called Crowd Brewed that focuses on crowdsourced brewery investors. Crowd Brewed lets you buy a small slice of the company pie with a chance to see a return on a long term brewery investment.
To most breweries crowdfunding is more than just than some additional funding. Along with these campaigns comes added benefit of media exposure and word of mouth advertising. Breweries like BauHaus and Sisyphus have made it clear that their crowdfunding campaigns were to enhance their business plans with added value like patios and art. They added to their business plans instead of making crowdfunding a critical part of their business plan.
My only real concern with crowdfunding a brewery is with the campaigns that really need the money to get off the ground. The craft beer market is getting more crowded by the day. If a new brewery is underfunded or ill-prepared from the outset, the odds of successfully navigating all the remaining challenges faced by a small brewery are slim.