On February 1, one would-be local craft brewery launched a Kickstarter in the hopes of crowdfunding their dream. April 1st was the do-or-die date – if a Kickstarter campaign doesn’t get 100% of its funding by the deadline, they get nothing. It’s no April Fool’s joke – the Oval Brewing Company funded over their goal, with 196 people backing anywhere between $1 and $1,000, bringing them to a grand total of $31,010 successfully funded.
I checked in with Oval Brewing Company President Adam Benner to find out what comes next.
“It takes about 2-3 weeks for Amazon to process the payments and transfer them to our bank account,” said Benner. “During that time, we’ll be surveying the backers and getting their shipping addresses/shirt sizes/etc. Once we receive the funds, we’ll be placing all the orders for the rewards from the project.”
All Kickstarter campaigns offer “rewards” for backers – for Oval backers, rewards range from branded stickers and swag to the chance to create your own beer, artwork and all, at Oval. Backers above a certain level will also be invited to a special party April 21, during the Spring Game weekend.
“When we first wrote the rewards we wanted to give something back right away, as opposed to having to wait until the doors open. We felt a “We Did It!” party would be a great way to do that,” said Benner. “We will have some of our beers on hand, as well as some of our non-Oval favorites… We can’t wait to see everyone, and to be able to thank them in person for the amazing outpouring of support over the past couple of months.”
So where’s the $30k going?
“On the brewery side some of the money will be going towards all the regulatory and bureaucratic fun it takes to open a brewery,” said Benner. “Lawyers, architects, contractors, engineers, etc., to have everything drawn up the right way…. So far we have been paying in beer, but the Kickstarter will let us pay a little better.”
Benner says they are still searching for a physical location for the brewery, which will determine how much work lies ahead with renovations, but expects to be open by late 2012 or early 2013. “We are doing our best to get the doors open earlier, but at the same time, we want to do this thing right,” he said.
The Oval website has a rather ambitious list of nine different beers the startup plans to offer, ranging from a Belgian dubbel to fall and winter seasonals.
“At launch we plan on having the Song Girl, Back 9, and at least one of the IPAs – Underdog or Stiffarm – and gradually bring the rest up,” Benner said. “The others will be released seasonally, or at various times throughout the year in the tap room. Each of our beers kind of starts out in the same way. We identify a style that we love to drink ourselves. We do our research, trying different varieties, noting what we like and dislike about each beer. After doing a little too much research, we narrow our focus and try and discern the best combination of those varying tastes. For example, with Song Girl, we set out to brew a more accessible, easy-drinking beer, that still maintained a slightly hoppy flavors and aroma. We’ve been experimenting with different yeasts recently on a few of our recipes to try to identify to a common yeast that will bring out the best flavor in the American style ales. Once we get all the technical brewing stuff out of the way, we have a great time sitting down and figuring out how we can relate the beer back to our other great passion, sports.”