Short Snout Brewing is one of the newest breweries-in-development in Oregon, based in Milwaukee, and not only is it one of the growing number of (planned) nanobreweries brewing only a barrel or two at a time (we have a number of those in Bend underway), but it’s also doing something entirely new: raising funds on Kickstarter.
For those who don’t know, Kickstarter is a website that allows all kinds of projects to raise money online by allowing anyone to contribute: beyond just being essentially a donation form, however, the unique aspect is that nothing is final unless the goal is met:
On Kickstarter, a project must reach its funding goal before time runs out or no money changes hands. Why? It protects everyone involved. Creators aren’t expected to develop their project without necessary funds, and it allows anyone to test concepts without risk.
The idea of using Kickstarter to fund a brewery is incredibly fascinating to me, though it seems that the small-scale, converted-garage type of nanobrewery might be the only truly tenable type to fund this way (hey, starting a brewery is expensive), and there are in fact a number of brewing projects there—some of which have funded.
And in fact, Short Snout itself has already surpassed its goal of $15,000, and still has 9 days to go, which means the brewery itself is a go—and with the extra time, additional funds can still be raised. So who and what is Short Snout Brewing?
Short Snout is the brainchild of Brian VanOrnum, a long-time homebrewer who also works in the wine industry—which leads to some very interesting-sounding beers like a blackberry sage porter and experiments blending beer and wine (or the “pre-wine” varietal grape juice). His approach to the brewery business fits the small-scale “nano” concept (as I see it at least): community-oriented, focusing initially on the city of Milwaukee with a goal of opening a pub at some point, before expanding into other areas.
For a more in-depth look, both Brewpublic and the Oregonian have good stories covering VanOrnum and Short Snout. In the meantime I’ll be keeping an eye on Short Snout’s development, as well as taking a more in-depth look at other brewery projects on Kickstarter.