I guess it was only a matter of time until we saw Kickstarter pitches for breweries. There have been several brewery-oriented campaigns in Oregon so far, with mixed results. There are two campaigns in Central Oregon that I am aware of, and I am sure there will be more on the way before long.
In case you haven’t heard of Kickstarter, it’s a web-based crowdfunding platform where you can pledge personal funds to help a business. Each campaign has a goal associated with it, and it only “funds” if they make their goal. In other words, if they don’t make their goal, they don’t get your money. Campaigns typically have rewards associated with different levels of giving which are determined by the business raising funds – backers don’t get a share of the company.
Rat Hole Brewing wants to expand and move to Sunriver, but their campaign failed to meet their goal. I’m not really surprised, since I haven’t had the best experiences with this brewery so far. I found both the quality of the beer and the service at the existing pub in Bend to be lacking.
If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at brewing your own beer, but you’re not ready to try it at home, Immersion Brewing aims to help. Promising great equipment and assistance from master brewers, Immersion plans to offer two-hour brewing session followed by bottling and custom label creation. At the end, you take home about 48 bottles of your beer. In addition to their “B-I-Y” (Brew-It-Yourself) experience, they plan to serve beer from an onsite ten-barrel system and food from their “family kitchen”.
The “B-I-Y” concept is interesting. Since fermentation takes 2-3 weeks, this isn’t something that is likely to appeal to visitors from outside the area – it’s for Central Oregon locals. Kickstarter backers can get an early bird deal on a brew session for $170, which works out to about $3.50 per bottle. Normal pricing isn’t listed yet, but I would guess that it’s significantly more. I guess if you are preparing for a special event (like a wedding or significant birthday) this could be a way to make a unique beer to commemorate the occasion, but otherwise I am not really sure people will be lining up to brew on a regular basis. I’m interested to see how this experiment works out, and look forward to trying some of their beer when it hits local taps.