Behind the Barn Door: The Haw River Blog

filed under: Kickstarter, Events, Beer Culture, Sustainability
posted by: Ben Woodward

Help Kick Us Right Over the Finish Line!

In a couple of weeks, Haw River Farmhouse Ales is launching one final round of fundraising to add a few pieces of special equipment, using as our crowdsourcing platform of choice. For quite some time, we've been a bit hesitant to consider something like Kickstarter, since it's arguably used by many startup breweries these days as an afterthought, many times without much effort or respect for the folks being asked to open their wallets and jump into the mix. In addition, we'd already held a "crowd sourced" fundraising effort of sorts through our Barn Raiser Founders program, which many of our dedicated fans, close friends and family members took part in (and we're thankful for every one of you!). But during that drive, we also heard from a few folks who wanted to be a part of the effort, but couldn't quite squeeze a Barn Raiser box into their budget.

And since then, we've been pouring at events and picking up new followers who have recently heard about us, and we wanted them to have a chance to be involved as well. We're having fun doing this, and it's about to get really awesome, so we wanted to put together a true "crowd sourced" effort to allows folks to become involved with Haw River and help to make a true difference in how we plan to do business.

We're only days away from starting construction on the brewery floor, getting the drains and plumbing put in place so we can seal the floors and lay down polyurethane to prepare the space for installation of our equipment (which has been manufactured by Premier Stainless and is on the way as you read this!). As you can probably guess, opening a brewery is not an inexpensive effort; and even when you DO secure the startup funds necessary to get your doors open, there are always certain aspects that you'd love to have in place from the start that may not necessarily fit into the initial budget.

So in a few weeks, we're launching our own Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to help make Haw River Farmhouse Ales a more responsible, more sustainable brewery. Without the campaign, we'd still be on track to open up in a few months (unofficially, we're shooting for February or March of 2014… that may change, of course, but that's where we're aiming at this point). But we thought it'd be a really great way to have all our friends, fans and followers become an integral part of what may help make Haw River Farmhouse Ales an even greater effort.

Our goal is to source a few small pieces of equipment and set up a few programs that'll help us be more responsible from the very beginning: a solar pre-heater for our water, a grain mill run from the power generated by a bicycle, high efficiency hand dryers instead of paper towels in our bathrooms, a conversion kit that'll allow our delivery truck to run on used vegetable oil from our customer's kitchens, a small scale CO2 collector to help us reuse waste gases, and the establishment of a transparent local ingredient chain to help us truly support our community and the people who work and live around us.

Without these things in place, we plan to make great beer, and have a great time doing it. But with everyone's help through our Kickstarter campaign, we'll make great beer in an even greater way, and we'll be able to thank each and every one of our donors every time we run that grain mill from a human-powered battery, every time we purchase a bushel of fresh, organic figs from down the street, and each time we shut down our boiler a little earlier because the sun has already gotten the process started for us.

And because we know money doesn't grow on trees, we've put on our thinking caps (or our creative helmets?) to come up with some truly unique and fantastic rewards for becoming involved. Your name on our website? Well, that's not very fun—we're gonna show you off to the world by thanking you publicly in a national beer magazine! And just slapping our logo on a shirt and throwing it your way? Not really rewarding at all, is it? We've got a whole lineup of custom designed stuff we'll be offering, as well as bonus reward levels you'll be able to tack onto your donation to create a truly unique reward for helping get us on the right track. The whole point of this thing is to have fun, so let's have fun. But let's all do it as a team with a greater respect to our communities, to our neighborhoods, to the planet and to the future of our industry.

So stay tuned for the launch of our Kickstarter campaign within the next week or two! In the meantime, we'll trickle a few of the details and rewards out via various social media networks soon, so make sure you're following us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. We're looking forward to having all of you onboard as we reach our goal, either by securing a few rewards for yourself or a friend, or by simply spreading the word! With everyone's help, we can make Haw River Farmhouse Ales even more awesome than before!