Money, it is a subject we can’t ignore when it comes to the growth of the beer industry. The usual path goes like this: a brewer starts small at home, then expands by brewing somewhere else. It is here that (successful) brewers have to make a decision: do we keep brewing as much as we do now with the risk of not getting the potential profits or do we expand even further. When the latter option is chosen a new problem arises: how to pay for all of this? Do we keep brewing somewhere else meaning we don’t have full control or do we take matters into our own hands.
Starting your own brewery and/or tasting room is not cheap. We are talking hundreds of thousands of Euros, not something you make in a few years by just selling bottles of beers in small batches. And also not something people tend to have just laying around.
Following your dreams means looking for outside funds. The option often chosen is that of a bank who sees that the plan the brewer has will eventually work and will make them money as well.
A second option is to go look for investors. These investors generally like to take a little more risk, but often you as a brewer have more obligations towards them as well. Investors tend to have bigger chunks of change to invest.
A third, and maybe most in line with the craft-beer ethic, is to let the public fund you. Crowdfunding is a relatively new and popular way of looking for investments. Breweries in the past have worked with loan certificates, saying that the investor will get the money back, or will get the equivalent liters of beer, or a special brew every year. What is most important about this type of funding is that there is no outside meddling of banks or investors.
Online crowdfunding is these days the preferred method. For those of you unfamiliar with how it works: on the website the person/company needing the funding makes a pitch and gives the details on how you get the money back. Over how many years, the interest rate and if there are any other interesting perks like free beer, tours, discounts etc. You can give anything from in most cases €50 up to €1000s if you feel so inclined.
Lately, three initiatives were started on the website crowdaboutnow.nl. Two were for now well-known breweries Oersoep and Kompaan. Breweries that easily are in the top 20 of Dutch breweries, if not higher. But also breweries that convey a do-it-yourself attitude, who are in it for the art and not the bucks.
But it isn’t only breweries you can find on this website.
You might know Susan Heitinga and her Proeflokaal Mout from earlier collaborations on articles. Her dream is to open a Dutch Craft Beer only bar in Groningen, the second one in the country after the Arendsnest in Amsterdam. She already has experience in Beer Café’s and has traveled throughout the country the last two years to experience firsthand what the burgeoning Dutch craft beer scene is like. This was done with love and interest for Dutch Craft beer and its brewers. With the rising interest in Groningen and the Netherlands this bar would be a welcome addition not only to his city but to beer culture in the country in general.
So here is my pitch for Mout.
Brewers of the Netherlands! This place will be great for you, another bar that might sell your beer, and one that will be even more eager to sell Dutch beer. So no competing with those standard Belgian boring tripels or German weizens. Here you will find people not bound to any contract with a big brewer but with genuine interest in what you make.
And if you’re a lover of good beer, well, do I really have to tell you? Groningen was already a good destination for beer lovers, but it will become a great one if Mout opens. And for only €50 or more you can be a little engine behind the Dutch Craft Beer revolution, of which Mout will likely be a stronghold in the years to come.
So go to https://www.crowdaboutnow.nl/proeflokaalmout and help out.
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