What is this project all about?
In essence, it's all about community.
A Community Supported Brewery is a socio-economic model of beer brewing akin to Community Supported Agriculture where members paying a subscription have some say in the styles of beer produced, and receive a regular allotment of the product.
The idea is to strengthen the social, environmental, and economic partnerships of our community by creating locally-crafted artisan beers with a unique distribution and partnership model.
Though it seems to be a new idea, community-sustained brewing finds its roots deep in German history. In the 13th and 14th centuries, central brewhouses in each town would produce the liquid base of beer, called the wort, which was then collected by individual citizens. These select few would ferment the wort, and then place a special sign on their door. This signaled to townsfolk that their neighbor had opened a temporary, communal pub in his home, a.k.a., to come over and have a cold one. After the beer from that house was gone, the next homebrewer would collect his wort and so the good people of the town were never without local beer (one hopes.)
Vagabund Brauerei is looking to recreate this sense of communal beer brewing and drinking culture. We have already procured a location in Wedding, Berlin where we plan on installing a 200 liter brew room and serve the beer to guests in the connecting taproom. We have already acquired most of the necessary pieces to make the taproom functional, but we need your help in making the brewery itself come together. We've already purchased the main brewing pots, but the rest of the brewing system, as well as the tiles for the flooring and walls, the pumps, the fermentation tanks, and the conditioning room, all need to be financed.
A "Vagabund" in the old German/European sense of the word, was someone who traveled around and depended on a sense of community. A vagabond usually had little money and needed a place to sleep and some food to survive. So he offered some work and as payment, he got either food or a bed or both. The belief in helping each other out with the given resources we have, for the greater good of the community, is the thinking behind our brewery. Right now, we can't afford to build the brewery on our own, but we are willing to share the experience of brewing and drinking good quality beer, and with the support and input from like-minded people like you, our project will reach its fruition.
What is the project goal and who is the project for?
Our aim is to run a sustainable, community supported brewery that we hope will be a proud addition to the Brüsseler Kiez and to Berlin as a whole. We plan on brewing beer not only for ourselves, but for the community that has helped support us throughout the journey.
We aim to open our doors in June 2013. We also plan to incorporate local performing artists, both musical and comedic, and will look to put our taproom on the map of must-see places in Berlin.
We also plan to work along with the up-and-coming local beer scene. Wedding is currently becoming the micro and craft beer brewing/drinking center of Berlin. Wedding is also home to one of the two biggest brewing institutes in all of Germany, where students from all over the world come to learn the science of brewing. We are essentially a five minute walk from their front door.
Why would you support this project?
Become Part of Our Brewery
We believe people today are too disconnected from what they eat and drink. When someone orders a beer in a bar, and no one questions what kind of beer, a part of our soul dies. We know that most people think beer is Pilsner, or don’t care that most of that Pilsner they treasure is owned by a company better known for frozen pizza and baking powder.
Unfortunately most people think this way, and a few of them work for banks.
We don’t want them to own our brewery and tell us we should brew more mainstream beer to make them more money.
Vagabund wants to do something different with the help of like-minded people. We don’t want to just sell you beer, we want to make you part of the brewing process. We want to share our ideas and develop recipes together. We don’t want to tell you how great this beer would go with that food. We want to sit down at the table with you and share it.
Help us get our start by buying a “share” in your local brewery’s creations. Not only are you getting your beer directly from your local brewery, you get to be part of the dialogue between the brewers and the members. Your contributions help us get our start without the bank owning the brewery.
Membership entitles you to two free refills a month. It also includes a personalized glass at the bar, a Vagabund t-shirt and hoody, your growler, an invite to the special tastings and beer development events, and an invite to the biannual members only parties.
Monthly fillings will begin as soon as the brewery is open for business — hopefully as soon as June.
€200– 1 Year (startup membership)
A Vagabund Growler which entitles you to two free refills a month. You also get a personalized, engraved beer glass that stays in the bar and will be “your glass” every time you want to use it. Included in the startup membership is a Vagabund t-shirt and hoody. Membership also entitles you to invites to special recipe designing events and beer tastings. Bonus: With every refill you’ll get a free High Five
€150– 1 Year (renewal membership)
Keep the membership rollin' and the craft beer flowin'! Bonus: Thumbs Up with every refill (High Five included).
You get it all forever. Well that’s more of a philosophical opinion, but the Pharaohs of Egypt would certainly support you in thinking so. We will be so thankful we will prepare you a 7-course beer themed meal to remember for a lifetime. Bonus: Free High Fives, Thumbs Up, and a “You the Man/Woman look.”
*Due to the small size of our brewery we will be limiting membership to 30 individuals. Membership will be based on a first come, first served basis.
*Membership can only be held by an individual and cannot be passed on to someone else.
*The growler, hoody, t-shirt and personalized glass come only with your initial start-up membership and are not given out after every renewal.
*Your personalized glass can be taken home any time you wish.
*Membership only valid at Antwerpener Straße 3, 13353 Berlin location and not at any future or outdoor Vagabund locations.
Of course you don't need to be a member to enjoy our beer. You're welcome to come in, buy a growler, buy a round, buy a t-shirt, try out the new beers, attend our concerts, or basically whatever tickles your fancy.
How will we use the money if the project is successfully funded?
Your financial support would be going towards stainless steel, wood, and tiles; the necessary components of a fully functioning brewing operation. With our current finances, our brew room will be little more than a show piece. The stainless steel tanks, kegs, work tables, and sinks alone will cost around €10,000 and the rest of the money will be used for the little, unromantic materials like tiles, grout, drains, pumps, hoses, pipes, wood for furniture, heating elements, and a snazzy new expensive yet bureaucratically necessary, fire-proofed o-ring for the water drain.
We could do with extra funding as well. If we surpass our funding goal, the money will be used to buy more tanks and kegs, which will allow us to grow faster and to start getting Vagabund beer into local bars and restaurants.
If we reach a substantial amount of extra funding, we will invest in a top of the line bottling machine that would make exporting into the states (and beyond) that much more feasible.
Once we reach our funding goal and have received all the finances, we will start the process of getting the rewards out to our supporters. Some things will be given out faster than others. For example, the t-shirts and hoodies can be printed and sent in June (once the funding arrives onto our account), but the growler fills and the beer won't be rewarded until the brewery and bar are legally operational, which we hope to be in June as well, but unforeseen delays could push that starting date back. The project officially ends once our doors are open for business, and without your support, we won't be able to open at all.
Any and all support is very much appreciated. We're very thankful for the help that you give, in making Vagabund Brauerei a successful and operational community supported craft brewery.
Who are the people behind the project?
Tom Crozier - Top Notch Guy
Matt Walthall - The Peacemaker
David Spengler - Papa
Three Americans who have lived a combined 19 years in Germany, who discovered that to drink the beers they wanted to drink, they were going to have to learn to make them themselves. So they started homebrewing in Matt's apartment. Their first batch, brewed in 2009, although technically was beer, did not live up to their expectations. But they kept on, brewing batch, after batch, after batch. Learning the artistic subtleties and the scientific necessities that go into crafting amazing beers. After a couple years, they were brewing the beers that they had long hoped to drink, let alone ever think they could brew themselves. That's when they decided to take the next step and founded a company together in 2011. After a couple years of painstakingly laying the necessary groundwork of being a legal brewing entity in Germany, Matt, David, and Tom are now ready to dive head first into the unknown. The future.
You're invited to join us, so come on in. The water's fine...and the beer is even better.