It is no secret that Pennsylvania is flooded with creative start-up breweries. Statewide, lovers of brewing are planning to turn their passion into their work, and often look to the community for support. There are a number of ways to fund a startup, from bank loans to angel investors, but perhaps none is more indicative of success than a loving community that gives without expecting a monetary return.
Crowdfunding is a growing trend among craft breweries that are strapped for cash, managing day-to-day surprises and looking to network. Three notable crowdfunding campaigns in the Pennsylvania beer world are for Aston Abbey Brewing Company, Brew: The Museum of Beer, and Wissashickon Brewing Company.
Aston Abbey Brewing Company
Aston Abbey Brewing Company seeks to bring traditional Belgian style brewing to Aston, Pa. In order to raise funds and secure a local network of fans, Aston Abbey has been campaigning with Kickstarter. It’s one of the newest members of the Brewers of Pennsylvania, and we’re excited to have them on board. As the website reads, “Our beers are unfiltered, unpasteurized and unrepentant.”
Owner and brewer Chuck McKenna leads Aston Abbey with a golden heart, saying, “Beer makes people happy, and I love to make people happy.” His friendly focus on community and building from the ground up shows honesty and integrity, while the brewery’s concentration on Belgian style beers shows a true love for tradition. Notable perks include membership in the properly named “Monk Club,” which will offer discounts on brews at the taproom your donation helped construct. Raise a glass and say Prost!
Brew: The Museum of Beer
The epic Brew Museum recently launched its IndieGoGo campaign with plans to open in Pittsburgh. Pointing out that “beer is at the heart of—and may have been a major factor in—the birth and development of civilization,” the crew behind Brew: The Museum of Beer knows community.
Now ready to launch their idea, Joe McAllister, Matthew Sherwin, and Denis Meinert are looking to beer lovers far and wide for support. They recently launched their campaign to ask for the public’s help in building their 50,000-square-foot complex, which would target 400,000 visitors a year. This museum would be the first of its kind, and feature interactive exhibits that tell the history of beer from the beverage’s role in civilization 10,000 years ago up to our current craft beer movement. The Brew Museum will also house its own operating brewery, bar and restaurant. Notable perks for getting involved include beer mug earrings, a leather beer holster and a hoodie with a built-in beer holder and bottle opener. Take a gander!
Wissahickon Brewing Company
Wissahickon Brewing Company sought help from its fans after a few surprises and unforeseen costs overran the original bank loan. The owners have seen generous support, especially offline. Aside from donations through GoFundMe, owner Tim McGill said, “there’s been a mixture of folks asking for employment to outright offering to volunteer just to be a part of our craft brewery build and operation. The community response has been overwhelming, actually.”
If you’re looking to donate, Tim recommends the “Devil’s Pool” perk. Named after the infamous swimming hole only a few miles from the brewery in Northwest Philadelphia, Tim says, “Devil’s Pool, which offers all prior gifts mentioned plus a two-hour open bar for you and 11 friends, is pretty off the charts! How much damage do you think 12 craft beer lovers can do in 2 hours? There just might be a famous Philly food truck on site as well to make the experience beer heaven on earth!” Jump on in!
Help out these amazing brew projects if you can, and most importantly, support them by giving them a visit and drinking their beer when they open!
The Brewers of Pennsylvania is a nonprofit trade association that brings together leaders of Pennsylvania-based breweries in order to promote and protect the brewing industry in the state. Established in 2011, the Brewers of Pennsylvania serves the consuming public of Pennsylvania by encouraging brand diversity in the market. We believe in the nobility of brewing and hold dear the great traditions and history of Pennsylvania brewing.
Wissahickon photo credit: Pete Gill