Beer lovers use the concept of crowd funding to run their own brewery online.
Ode Editors | September 2008 issue
If you enjoy beer, you’re only a couple of bucks away from running your very own brewery—together with tens of thousands of fellow beer lovers, that is. For $50, you can join British BeerBankroll, an online community aiming to create a brewing company and pub operated by members. The founders are raising $100,000 for the kickoff. Then members can start voting on the company name, marketing plan, advertising strategy and everything else that’s needed to compete with the big beer brands. Profits will be split into three parts: one to members, who’ll get “reward points” to spend in the online store; one to the company; and one to charity.
With this “new, revolutionary way to run a business,” as the website claims, BeerBankroll is taking the concept of “crowdfunding”—organizing a group of people online to fund a business—one step further. Sites like Sellaband, which enables musicians to crowdfund recording costs, and IndieGogo, which connects filmmakers and fans to create independent films, have spurred the trend. Newer ventures include Nvokh, a Los Angeles-based eco-clothing company that is run by its customers, and Catwalk Genius, an Irish fashion portal that allows you to invest $14 in any participating independent designer, with the hope of sharing in profits. Once 5,000 “shares” are sold, the money will be used to create a new collection. We’ll drink to that.