The next big brewery to come to Ballard, Fair Isle Brewing, is taking on a crowdfunding approach to find investors to build and launch the brewery. They’ve created a NextSeed campaign, in which investors can invest as little as $100 in the brewery, which in time produces financial returns and some VIP perks. Fair Isle will be built at 936 NW 49th St, right in the epicenter of the Ballard brewing scene.
The owners of Fair Isle, Andrew Pogue and Geoffrey Barker, are taking a somewhat unique method in their process of launching the brewery; total transparency. They’ve published part of their business plan on their blog, and say they’ll release portions of their plan every month, with plans to publish the whole document.
“From the beginning, we intended to pay it forward and share our business plan in the hope that it can be a valuable tool to someone embarking on their next adventure,” the owners say.
Their crowdfunding campaign has a similar tone, allowing potential investors to see the true scope of what it costs to start up a brewery in the heart of the Ballard beer scene. According to the details, the full project will cost $1.35 million — that includes production equipment (brewhouse, fermenters, cellar equipment, etc), brewery and tasting room build-out, working capital and a “contingency buffer”. They say the owners have committed $496,000 to date.
Their minimum campaign goal is $200,000, with 72 days left. As of now, they’ve raised $21,000.
The working capital will be used to pay for inventory, supplies, rent and salaries before they open, as they’ll have to start brewing months before they open — they say the quickest turnaround for their farmhouse beers is 90 days from brew to customer. They’ll likely start the first batch four to five months before they open up shop.
They’ve also released sketches of the brewery build-out, which they say will seat 50 inside, and another 50 in a seasonal outdoor beer garden. “The Fair Isle design aesthetic will be a marriage of the Northwest farmhouse and Danish modern – clean and simple, with a lived-in natural feel that elevates the beer, fosters community and nurtures a connection with the craft, time and place that the beers embody,” they write on their campaign page.
Still no word on their location, although they hint that they’ll be amongst their fellow brewers “in the heart of Seattle’s ‘Ballard Brewery District'”.
They plan to open in summer of 2019.
Images courtesy Fair Isle Brewing