Kickstart A New Brewery-Pipeworks Brewing

Posted on December 17, 2010 by

When I sit down to write an article it is usually about one of very few things. Beer, homebrewing, brew pubs or some adventure related to the lot. However, today I want to take a quick minute to point something out to everyone.

When I’m not drinking beer or doing anything related to MBR, I find myself always looking at marketing and advertising. It’s just the geek part of me I guess and today is no different. While wandering around the internet one day I found this pair of dudes that are attempting to start a new brewery/pub in Chicago. It still seems like everyone and their mom is still trying to cash in on the craft beer revolution. It seems that a brewery is opening every couple of days and it reminds me of something I read in the book “Redhook Beer Pioneer,” where one of the writers says something like, “Breweries don’t open, they close.” There is absolute truth to this. The beer scene in Portland has told me that as fast as some of the pubs are opening, others are closing. In my opinion, its because of the lack of marketing. Pub owners have the mentality of “brew it and they will come,” but the cold reality of it is that there are so many choices that if you don’t stick out, you won’t succeed. There is a reason why Rogue, Dogfish Head, Sam Adam’s and the like are as big as they are, marketing, community and good beer. Sounds easy right? Well, the good beer part is, the rest takes a little saavy and a lot of hard work.

With that said, I’d like to point you to Pipeworks Brewing Company. These wacky dudes are in the process of raising money to open a brewery. What I’d like to highlight here is that this is not a conventional way to raise money. Usually a brewery opens because a bunch of rich guys pool their cash and invest in the idea. Its not as often that you see the little guy go after it. Plus, you don’t just ask people off the street to throw $5 at you…well, except in Portland where people ask you to throw quarters at them, but I digress. However, these guys have put together a way to get people to back them. It all starts with the video above. It gives you an idea of who they are, what they have done and their goal as a brewery. Its produced well and is fun to watch all the way through. Along with the video, they have this “Kick Starter” website which does a great job of displaying the goals, making it easily sharable and lists the rewards for backing. Plus, its easy to back them. I kicked in $5, and it was as easy as signing into Amazon. Don’t worry, you aren’t charged until they actually raise the $30k, so its not like throwing money down the drain.

The main reason I think this is a great idea is because of the community aspect. Almost all of us beer drinkers are part of some sort of beer community. If you’re reading this you are part of the MBR community for starters! Along with that, if you drink at your local brew pub, brew beer with a couple of friends or just like to interact with breweries on Facebook when they ask you “What are you drinking tonight?” you are apart of that community. And let me tell you about that community. That community is probably the most fickle, rude, snobbish, loud, loyal, passionate, educated, kind, hilarious, “I got your back” sorta people. That is why beer drinking and drinkers are so much fun to know and be with. We all some how get along because of beer. Pipeworks knows this too, that is why they are asking you, the beer drinker, to help. And why not? We all love beer, love local beer, love more options and what better way to feel like your apart of a brewery than popping in a few bucks?

I don’t know these guys, I don’t live in Chicago and I will probably never get a chance to try their beer, good or not. But I believe in their idea. I believe in what they are trying to accomplish as two dudes wearing Motorcycle helmets and using spatula’s to stir beer. It is the American Spirit and I can get behind that…plus its beer!

You can follow them on “Facebook” to check out what happens.

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  • Jorge Zarate

    I saw another brewer do the same, but I can’t remember his name… although he was doing more of a nano brewery and basically ‘renting’ equipment from different microbreweries…

    Good stuff…

  • Gerrit

    That was Erik Meyers of Mystery Brewing in NC! We met him last month!

    Great article!!! the last paragraph is the best! ha

  • Jorge Zarate

    Yes… that’s him… from…

  • Anonymous

    Glad you enjoyed it.

    I hope to someday visit you guys and see how things are going. I really was taken by this approach to starting a brewery, if you can’t tell. I hope all works out for you guys and good luck in the future. I’ll be keeping an eye on your goal!


  • Complete Geek

    I donated 5 bucks as well. Maybe one day someone will do the same for me. Plus I wanted a sticker :P

  • Anonymous

    Awesome! I did the same. And, I feel the same. Someday, I’ll be fundraising for my own pub as well and I hope peeps will have my back as well. Plus, its always nice to have more beer options. I personally believe these guys are on to something. If you get into brewing to be a millionaire, those days are done. If you get into brewing to make a living, well, you might be able to do that.


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