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Beer Church Brewing Company

Craft brewery concept based in founder-purchased, civil-war era church
Craft Beer New Buffalo, MI

Current Fundraise Summary

Beer Church Brewing Company is currently pursuing a revenue share fundraise. Please make your investment decision based upon the investment terms that have been provided.

Fundraise Summary

Security Type Revenue share
Minimum Investment $500
Investor Eligibility All Investors

Current Activity

$108,000 committed from $120,500 of interest
This business has $108,000 committed from 28 investors.
This business has $120,500 of interest indicated by 97 potential investors.
Max $100 k
↳Target $100 k
Amounts listed may include commitments from investors that have not yet been verified or signed, or funds transferred. Learn more
Load Financials

Financial projections are subject to certain risks of the business and may not be achieved. Projections only contemplate projected cash flows, are unaudited and may not be formulated in accordance with US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Consult the investment materials for more information on business specific risks and a discussion of the key risks that may impede the achievement of the revenue forecasts presented. There is no guarantee that an investment may achieve any level of return. Review our Risks of Investing before making an investment decision.

Explain your historical financial performance to date.

Opening: As of February 24, 2017, the business is now operational. The company has sold in excess of $13,000 of beer, inside sales only, during limited business hours, in a 33 seat tap room, with only 4 beers on tap, all of which track with projections previously provided upon Spring expansion to 100 seats, including outdoors, and then Summer restaurant expansion to 190 seats, including food items, along with expanding beer selections to 12 on tap. The sales figures, given Phase I limitations in space, hours, and beer selection, have been remarked upon by fellow brewers and brewery owners in SW Michigan as impressive and surpassing their larger inside sales operations. Company Team Members with experience at various breweries verify the opening two weeks have surpassed any they have been involved with or heard of.

Liquidity: The Company has current liquid assets of $239,000 prior to the Closing of this Offering, consisting of: $125,000 of cash from $103,500 of additional contributions from founders and $21,500 of cash in the Operating Checking Account, along with $114,000 in Cash Equivalents, which were also founder contributions. The Company has opened a $50,000 line of credit, of which $5,000 remains for use. This line of credit can be used going forward for additional liquidity. Since the proceeds of this financing will be deployed soon after Closing, towards existing liabilities and additional planned capital expenditures, these proceeds are unlikely to create additional liquidity for the Company.

Liabilities: The Company has currently disputed construction liabilities totaling up to $252,781.37, depending on the results of the disputes. The Company is also currently paying $7,000 per month for the next 12 months to cover other remaining construction obligations. Management is unaware of any other outstanding construction liabilities at this time and believes that all outstanding construction is fully paid for other than the three contracts where liens have been filed (see Pending Litigation below). The Company also has financing liabilities related to existing revenue share investment ($75k total obligation) and the line of credit. Management feels strongly that the Company has access to sufficient capital resources to manage current operations and liabilities going forward.

This is an overview of the previous and planned financings of the business, including the capital needs the business is looking to cover in the current financing.

Funding Uses for Target Raise ($100 k)

Location/Buildout
$47,500
Description The Louvre concept allows for larger brewing tanks under glass on adjacent pastoral Beer Church Gardens, juxtaposed, much like the Louvre—or Soldier Field in Chicago for that matter—against the historic old-world architecture of the church. Patrons would be able to imbibe outside in the beer garden while gazing upon the actual brewing happening before them under modern glass, contrasting with the aesthetics (and bell!) of the Civil War in bas-relief. Add in the backdrop of a resort town on the shores of Lake Michigan and you get the bucolic picture.
Timing A one-time payment when investments close.
Pay Down Existing Debt
$47,500
Description Existing construction bills for location buildout Phase I
Timing A one-time payment when investments close.

Remaining unassigned funding uses consist of cash buffer and Localstake fees. See offering materials for full details.

$213,600 from Other Financings

Bank (Debt)
$50,000
Source Bank
Structure Debt
Date Closed February 1, 2017
Founders (Founder Contributions)
$113,600
Source Founders
Structure Founder Contributions
Date Closed January 1, 2017
Localstake (Private Offering)
$50,000
Source Localstake
Structure Private Offering
Date Closed March 31, 2016

Revenue share loan investing explained

How it works: Investors loan funds and share in a percentage of cash received from every sale made by the business until they earn a maximum return.

Use this simplified calculator to become more familiar with the mechanics of a revenue share loan and how it compares to a more traditional debt instrument.

Learn about investing in revenue share loans at our Help Desk or get in touch with us.

Business Plan

So, the question is clearly not whether New Buffalo, MI, can support its own local brewpub; the question is which concept is worthy of the New Buffalo market which has the potential to drive tremendous demand for a high quality brewpub destination.

Our Beer Church Brewing Co. concept is the answer. Our beer pours only inside Beer Church proper or outside in good weather in pastoral Beer Church Gardens, keeping the boutique, small batch, fresh, local, and rare libations a destination experience similar to anticipating the blue horizon of Lake Michigan popping into view only as one drives far enough into town (the first contact of which, by chance, happens to begin at the horizon of Beer Church itself).  Beer Church visitors will also be allowed to take home cans, bottles, and growlers of beer from a visit, along with logo'd merchandise.  Of course, there is business method to such Beer Church rarity:  beer is most profitable poured closest to the brewing source.  All of our beers are poured for our guests at a target of > 40% margin, tank-to-tulip-glass via this strategy. 

Yet, and this is where most craft brewers fail to fully monetize their market potential:  Beginning in 2017, we expect that beer will only ever top out at 34% of revenues in a full year of F&B operations at Beer Church.  The same captive audience that likely travelled for the boutique, small batch, fresh, local, and rare libations will equally be seduced gastronomically by the boutique, small batch, fresh, local, and rare Neapolitan pizzas cooking in under 90 seconds in the 1000° authentic wood-fired oven to be built by famed Italian pizzaiolo Roberto Caporuscio, he of world-renowned Keste on Bleecker St. NYC and Don Antonio Atlanta fame—to say nothing of Serious Pie Seattle and The Good Pie St. Louis, both of which he helped birth in a consulting model similar to what he will undertake with us. Neapolitan style pizza is crafted with the finest ingredients—Caputo flour, San Marzano tomatoes, and buffalo mozzarella cheese.  The individual-sized pizzas measure a diameter of 11 inches, are slightly charred which adds a new layer of flavor and texture, and are typically eaten with a knife and fork.  Our church ensures a spectacle with roaring fire all day and night juxtaposed by the 7 bbl Brewhouse in the Brewhouse Louvre within view. 

There is business acumen in this arrangement as well; we expect our individual-sized-only authentic Neapolitan pizzas will cost $5 to make, and sell for $16, accounting for our highest revenue generator at a consistent 40%, which we project will eclipse the $1M mark alone in the Fall of Year 4.  For the sake of efficiency, because it makes business sense, and because they are the same boutique, small batch, fresh, local, and rare ingredients that our customers would want on a small plate, our Small Plate selections will be driven by our current pizza offerings:  the burrata made fresh daily in our kitchen, for example, would comprise the cheese for our pizzas but also make for a luxurious Small Plate, swimming in authentic olive oil from our friend Pierluigi’s hillside orchard in Tuscany—or, in another example, the Kobe Wagu beef cuts that flavor a Kobe Pizza would also make for a juicy, delectable Small Plate, scorched for a few seconds just prior in the wood-fire—and we expect that our Small Plates will contribute 25% of the revenues at a consistent 50% margin.

The star of the show, however, may always be Beer Church itself. Our location will be the iconic Civil War era church lovingly overlooking downtown New Buffalo, Michigan, its white bell-tower spire unmistakable from all major roads leading into the resort city. Our planned restoration will include A stark juxtaposition will be struck by high-modern, eclectic furnishings to help convey the art that is eating and drinking well.

A most pastoral setting adjacent to the church will become Beer Church Gardens, with the green of the grass shadowed by the freshly whitened exterior of the church, allowing one to refresh oneself outdoors while gazing at the cupola that keeps watch over the lake.  Here too a contrast will be provided by high-modern outdoor furnishings upon green grass, complemented by an a modern outdoor bar, and modern outdoor sculptured Brewhouse Louvre.

Our Founders, a Notre Dame Law Professor and the Chairman of a Forrester Top 20 Digital Marketing Agency, having spent the previous decade circling the globe in search of the world’s finest wood fire Neapolitan pizzas and small batch handcrafted beers, have purchased the church and are readying to open September.

What market(s) are you in?

Exit 1 on the Michigan Beer Trail presents a currently untapped local brewpub Total Available Market (TAM) of 4,651,913, unique in size in the craft-beer-leading state of Michigan due to its drivable proximity to the adjacent market segments of Northwest Indiana, South Bend, Mishawaka, and Elkhart, yielding an annual Share Of Market (SOM) of 53,001, expected to contribute over $1M in revenue in a first full year of Food and Beverage operations to a New Buffalo Brewpub.  Further, Exit 1 also uniquely offers the greater Chicago and Detroit combination SOMs of 34,077 annually, further accessible (even walk-able) via quad-daily Amtrack runs, potentially bringing another $400K with them into a NB Brewpub in first full year F&B operations (Please see included Appendix 1, Beer Church Market Potential).

Even more, this $1.4M adjacent market segment revenue potential unique to a New Buffalo brewpub obtains even without yet having tapped its own unique Summer Home market in the calculations, nor Casino travel indirect revenues benefitting from nearby Four Winds, both of which promise another $100K from the beginning year alone.  This brings us to $1.5M in revenue in a first full year of F&B operations, without even counting revenues from New Buffalo residents themselves, nor Berrien County and what its 157,000 denizens would contribute.  At little more than a half-percent growth in Market Penetration per year, revenues will approach $3.5M in Year 5, closing in on a $1M EBITA.

Who are your competitors?

Restaurant Competitors

1. Brewster’s Italian Cafe: Brewster’s purports to serve wood-fired pizza, but there are several differences between their product and our planned product. First, Brewster’s is styled as a more formal Italian restaurant, serving traditional style Italian food. While their pizza oven may be wood-fired, it is not a true Neapolitan style. Brewster’s pizza is cooked at a much lower temperature and the dough is more of a cracker style than the spongy char of a Neapolitan crust. Further, Brewster’s does not brew its own beer and has a limited selection of craft beer.

2. Villa Nova Pizzeria: This is a typical carry out pizza restaurant. Villa Nova serves up Sicilian style pizza right out of the old country—a style that is very different than Neapolitan pizza. Villa Nova’s pizzas are thin crust and come in a variety of sizes. Patrons seeking fresh craft beer and Neapolitan style pizza would not visit Villa Nova Pizzeria.

3. Stray Dog: The Stray Dog is a very popular restaurant and bar in New Buffalo. It has a full bar service and also serves craft beer. Its food menu is very diverse and includes everything from fish tacos, to burgers, to pizza. It has a rooftop deck for outdoor dining. The Stray Dog, however, is not a good option for patrons seeking fresh craft beer and Neapolitan style pizza.

4. Casey’s Bar and Grill: Casey’s is a long-time New Buffalo standby restaurant that serves up items such as burgers, perch, and chicken. It has a limited selection of craft beer. Patrons seeking fresh craft beer and Neapolitan style pizza would not visit Casey’s.

5. Stop 50 Pizzeria: Stop 50 Pizzeria is located in Michiana Shores, Indiana and it is the closest in style to our pizza. It is Neapolitan style, cooked wood fired over a 900 degree flame. While Stop 50 pizza is very good, patrons will prefer coming to our restaurant because we will have a greater variety of toppings and specialty pizzas. We will offer fresh burrata and bufalino cheese as topping options. Further, we will have more outdoor seating than Stop 50. Finally, while Stop 50 does have a few craft beers in bottles, they do not have any craft beer on tap.

Brewery Competitors

1. Greenbush Brewing Co.: Greenbush is located in Sawyer, Michigan. Greenbush has an extensive list of beers all brewed on site. They also feature BBQ food items and sandwiches. Although Greenbush is a good option for persons seeking craft beer, it is located 12 miles away from New Buffalo.

2. Shoreline Brewing Co.: Shoreline is located in Michigan City, Indiana. It has a large selection of beers brewed on site, and a varied food menu. It serves burgers, fish and chips, and sandwiches. Its beer is not highly rated by beer aficionados. Shoreline is also located approximately 12 miles away from New Buffalo.

What is your competitive advantage?

Our brewpub will serve world-class small batch locally sourced craft beer, true Neapolitan style pizza, and locally sourced small plate appetizers.  As a result, we will have a strategic advantage over all other competitors in the New Buffalo area.  Our beer will be big, adventurous, and hoppy, happily mastered by an award-winning brewing hire significant enough to be first announced by the Chicago Tribune.  The pizza will be a true Neapolitan style meeting the standards of the Naples, Italy, gods who invented and perfected it.  The small plates will be seared over a wood fire and are designed to serve as an additional source of revenue for the prime meats and toppings we will use on the pizzas. 

Gallery

What is your product development timeline?

We are expecting to begin initial operations including opening Beer Church and Beer Church Gardens in September 2016.

Provide us with some background on your products and services.

The restaurant operations process begins with Italian specialty suppliers secured through the Roberto Caporuscio consulting relationship, allowing for delivery of fresh produce, meats, cheeses and other ingredients specific to true Neapolitan style pizza, though supplemented by local fresh produce, meats, and cheeses where quality, timing, pricing, and availability prove superior. A working blend of such is what will ultimately become our inventory, which we expect will be as fresh as possible, with a turnover every 4 days.

We will spend time preparing our inventory each morning before we open; we will make our own sauce from imported San Marzano tomatoes, make our own dough using  imported Captuto “00” flour to VPN specifications, employing a 1-5 day cold rise, and slice all the ingredients fresh. All the food that gets prepped will go to the make line for the day, ready to quickly become pizza or small plates. Upon order, the pizzas will be made quickly, hand tossed, and placed in our special wood fire oven. Small plates will similarly be assembled for quick scorching in the wood fire oven. Once cooked in 90 seconds in all instances, our servers will bring our customers their food.

We believe our operations will add value in our customers’ eyes because they will be able to view the spectacle of the pizza and small plate production process fresh from start to finish, culminating in the majesty of the wood fire. They will see the effort, the hand tossed dough, and the fresh ingredients, which go into their pizza or small plates. Our process is made to be watched and experienced where other places simply give you a quick slice or plate. Our process also involves using our inventory efficiently to keep food fresh and freshly prepared while other restaurants use highly processed ingredients, sauce from concentrate and generic recipes, along with frozen dough. During our first year of operations, we will serve an average of 9 pizzas and 11 small plates per hour.

The beer brewing process will be more behind-the-scenes, led by our award-winning head brewer, Nate Peck, though the 7 bright beer cooling tanks that flank the pulpit behind the bar will speak of the freshness of the beer to be poured straight from the source, having been brewed just within view in our 7 bbl system in the Beer Church Louvre gracing Beer Church Gardens. Nate brings existing hops and yeast suppliers relationships that are expected to turn weekly and grow from an initially one-to-two brews per week schedule, allowing for 7 beers on tap at all times. During our first year of operations, we will pour an average of 17 beers per hour.

Our brewery restaurant will seat 75 people inside and 75 people outside for a total of 150 capacity, and we expect to serve an average of 17 guests per hour in a Noon to Midnight schedule, which will require an 11% capacity average April through October and 23% November through March. We are expecting the special seasonality of New Buffalo (4X in-season to off-season per Habor County Chamber of Commerce) to build enough overage in high season to offset higher capacity needs during off-season, though our study of Stray Dog and Marina Grand Resort off-season capacities assure us that even 23% off-season is not outsized, especially considering the unique nature of our brewery and pizzeria.

Documentation

How do you market your product or service?

One of our owners, John Lustina, is the owner of a 16-year Forrester Top 20 organic search specialist agency that provides SEO, social media, mobile and digital strategy to long-term clients including Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Honda, American Express, and QVC. John has built up an invaluable network of clients over the years, including several food service companies and restaurants, including ART Restaurant Seattle, Deca Restaurant + Bar Chicago, and TRIO Restaurant Austin, among many others, whose products he has helped brand, bring to market, and successfully market. We expect that his strategic influence here will be invaluable.

Additionally, the sitelines Beer Church itself affords sitting right in the heart of downtown New Buffalo command attention upon every major entryway into the city.  It is in itself a valuable billboard that will be leveraged.

Clearly, this is not just another restaurant. Nor just another another brewery. And not only unique in New Buffalo, but unique in the world. Ultimately word-of-mouth, outdoor and print advertising, Chicago and Detroit radio promotions, and social media will attract new visitors to what will become a new destination in New Buffalo, and the city will also benefit from the additional publicity afforded by the restoration of the historic church building. 

How do you sell your product or service?

Our Beer Church Brewing Co. concept pours only inside Beer Church proper or outside in good weather in pastoral Beer Church Gardens, keeping the boutique, small batch, fresh, local, and rare libations a destination experience similar to anticipating the blue horizon of Lake Michigan popping into view only as one drives far enough into town (the first contact of which, by chance, happens to begin at the horizon of Beer Church itself).  Beer Church visitors will also be allowed to take home cans, bottles, and growlers of beer from a visit, along with logo'd merchandise.  Of course, there is business method to such Beer Church rarity:  beer is most profitable poured closest to the brewing source.  All of our beers are poured for our guests at a target of > 40% margin, tank-to-tulip-glass via this strategy. 

Yet, and this is where most craft brewers fail to fully monetize their market potential:  Beginning in 2017, we expect that beer will only ever top out at 34% of revenues in a full year of F&B operations at Beer Church.  The same captive audience that likely travelled for the boutique, small batch, fresh, local, and rare libations will equally be seduced gastronomically by the boutique, small batch, fresh, local, and rare Neapolitan pizzas cooking in under 90 seconds in the 1000° authentic wood-fired oven to be built by famed Italian pizzaiolo Roberto Caporuscio, he of world-renowned Keste on Bleecker St. NYC and Don Antonio Atlanta fame—to say nothing of Serious Pie Seattle and The Good Pie St. Louis, both of which he helped birth in a consulting model similar to what he will undertake with us. Neapolitan style pizza is crafted with the finest ingredients—Caputo flour, San Marzano tomatoes, and buffalo mozzarella cheese.  The individual-sized pizzas measure a diameter of 11 inches, are slightly charred which adds a new layer of flavor and texture, and are typically eaten with a knife and fork.  Our church ensures a spectacle with roaring fire all day and night juxtaposed by the 7 bbl Brewhouse in the Brewhouse Louvre within view. 

There is business acumen in this arrangement as well; we expect our individual-sized-only authentic Neapolitan pizzas will cost $5 to make, and sell for $16, accounting for our highest revenue generator at a consistent 40%, which we project will eclipse the $1M mark alone in the Fall of Year 4.  For the sake of efficiency, because it makes business sense, and because they are the same boutique, small batch, fresh, local, and rare ingredients that our customers would want on a small plate, our Small Plate selections will be driven by our current pizza offerings:  the burrata made fresh daily in our kitchen, for example, would comprise the cheese for our pizzas but also make for a luxurious Small Plate, swimming in authentic olive oil from our friend Pierluigi’s hillside orchard in Tuscany—or, in another example, the Kobe Wagu beef cuts that flavor a Kobe Pizza would also make for a juicy, delectable Small Plate, scorched for a few seconds just prior in the wood-fire—and we expect that our Small Plates will contribute 25% of the revenues at a consistent 50% margin.

The star of the show, however, may always be Beer Church itself. Our location will be the iconic Civil War era church lovingly overlooking downtown New Buffalo, Michigan, its white bell-tower spire unmistakable from all major roads leading into the resort city. Our planned restoration will include A stark juxtaposition will be struck by high-modern, eclectic furnishings to help convey the art that is eating and drinking well.

A most pastoral setting adjacent to the church will become Beer Church Gardens, with the green of the grass shadowed by the freshly whitened exterior of the church, allowing one to refresh oneself outdoors while gazing at the cupola that keeps watch over the lake.  Here too a contrast will be provided by high-modern outdoor furnishings upon green grass, complemented by an a modern outdoor bar, and modern outdoor sculptured Brewhouse Louvre.

Current Employees
3
Provide detail on your hiring plans

Key members that will be joining the team are a Head Brewer with at least 3 years head brewing experience (greatly surpassed in our recent hire of Nate Peck, announced by the Chicago Tribune) and a seasoned restaurant Executive Chef, and General Manager.

The General Manager will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the business, including hiring, training, and overseeing the staff, making sure that the restaurant is maintained in proper operating condition and ensuring that things run smoothly when the restaurant is open. The General Manager is also responsible for totaling up the daily receipts, making sure that the restaurant adheres to all legal requirements and communicating with the Owners and CPA. The General Manager will be charged with setting the tone down through all reporting levels of our customer service philosophy, which is led by the “Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts experience,” a quality that our owners know well from having worked with the company’s management for over 15 years and having visited 32 of their 94 locations worldwide. The Owners will help teach this “deeply instilled ethic of personal service” that finds its ground in The Golden Rule to the General Manager so that together they can make sure it becomes a maxim of Beer Church culture. Compensation will be a salary of $60,000 per year.

The Executive Chef will be responsible for back-of-house operations. This includes hiring and training kitchen staff, creating creative, delectable, and fresh menu items that align with our wood fire and small plate concept, implementing beer pairing, sourcing and purchasing foods and helping evaluate and determine the prices the restaurant should place on its meals. A direct report to the General Manager, compensation will be a salary of $60,000 per year.

The Head Brewer will be completely responsible for the 7 bbl brewery system in the Brewhouse Louvre, managing and conducting the complete brewing process from grinding to filling the fermenters to tracking and recording key measurements during the whole process, yeast management, cellar management, tracking fermentations, filtering, cleaning tanks, ordering supplies, and reporting to appropriate state and government agencies as required. The Head Brewer is charged with continually innovating boutique, small batch, fresh, local, and rare beers that keep each of the 7 taps always full with unique and gourmet beer exceptional experiences. The Head Brewer is an independent direct GM -> Owners report.

What is the composition of your current team?

Although we have yet to open we have signed our Head Brewer so that he can begin creating our signature beers and brewing to be ready for Fall 2016.  We are actively interviewing for the GM and Executive Chef positions and plan to have them onboard in the upcoming Winter season. 

Do you have current customers?

Although not yet open, we have 500 fans on Facebook begging us to.

Once open, our target ongoing Lifetime Value of a Customer (LTV) is $20.47 per year at full operations in our model, and our Cost to Acquire a Customer (CAC) target thereafter is $5.54, yielding a healthy multiple approaching 4 each year.

Our forecasting model contains several key assumptions unique to our 87,078 beachhead market penetrating Surrounding Northwest Indiana, South Bend, Mishawaka, and Elkhart, as well as follow-on market CHI + DET, primary being that for a beachhead and follow-on of such distance we must only assume a single visit per year in our calculations.  Even though this contravenes standard practice of 4X annual repeat visitors in restaurant forecasts, a comfort of conservatism has been baked into all forecasts so that no return visit is required for any segment, including even New Buffalo Residents and New Buffalo Summer home owners.  Where there is repetition, which of course we will expect and court, such additional revenues will accrue to balance where we may have unintentionally been off in a particular forecast arena.  This safety net of divisor 4 allows for a first full year guest range of 73,939 ~ 18,485 without appreciably affecting forecasted revenues adversely, although we are quite confident in the top end.

Additionally, the model assumes that given this single visit forecast by segment, beginning 2017 the purchase matrix includes a single beer, less than half of all guests ordering a pizza, and closer to half of all guests ordering a small plate, yielding an average spend of $20.47 per guest.  This Capture Rate allows for the assumption that while every visit includes a single beer purchase, only every other guest will purchase an individual pizza and a shared small plate.  We feel again here that a conservative safety net has been erected given the expected overage and ultimate repetition of visits over time.

The question is clearly not whether New Buffalo can support its own local brewpub; the question is which brewpub concept is worthy of the massive New Buffalo market potential, and which concept can thus best become the next New Buffalo entertainment icon. 

Who are your target customers?

Our target will be currently the untapped local New Buffalo craft beer brewery Total Available Market (TAM) of 4,651,913, unique in size in the craft-beer-leading state of Michigan due to its drivable proximity to the adjacent market segments of Northwest Indiana, South Bend, Mishawaka, and Elkhart, yielding an annual Share Of Market (SOM) of 53,001.

Additionally, our 3-way license we hold will allow us to serve those companions of beer lovers who would prefer equally fine wine or spirits.

Further, beer, wine, or spirits, our customers will be drawn to view the spectacle of the pizza and small plate production process fresh from start to finish, culminating in the majesty of the wood fire. They will see the effort, the hand tossed dough, and the fresh ingredients, which go into their pizza or small plates. Our process is made to be watched and experienced where other places simply give you a quick slice or plate. Our process also involves using our inventory efficiently to keep food fresh and freshly prepared while other restaurants use highly processed ingredients, sauce from concentrate and generic recipes, along with frozen dough. During our first year of operations, we will serve an average of 9 pizzas and 11 small plates per hour.

Entity Big Brother Holding Company, LLC
Entity Type LLC
State Organized Michigan
Founded October 2014
Comment on and upload any information regarding previous, current, or anticipated legal proceedings or regulatory issues

Management is aware of threatened litigation against the Company by certain vendors of construction in conjunction with the buildout of the brewery, as well as a trademark dispute:

  1. Rolling Prairie Excavating Inc.: ongoing dispute with contractor, including a filed lien on the property of $100,681.43.
    1. Management Commentary: Management intentionally withheld full payment from Rolling Prairie because they feel the work completed did not fulfill the contractual obligation of the contractor. The Company plans to pay Rolling Prairie the full amount upon reaching an agreement.
  2. Smith Custom Builders Inc.: ongoing dispute with contractor, including a filed lien placed on the property for $152,099.94. 
    1. Management Commentary: To date, the Company has paid Smith Custom Builders $136,692.02. The contention by Smith Custom Builders that the additional amount owed as outlined in the lien is strongly disputed by management.
  3. Reith Riley: ongoing dispute with contractor, including a filed lien placed on the property for $57,917.30.
    1. Management Commentary: The Company has agreed to a payment plan with the contractor to cover the amount owed at $5,000 per month for the next 12 months, at which point the lien will be removed.
  4. Lawrenceville Brewery, Inc.: pending litigation with a Pennsylvania brewery regarding use of the Beer Church Brewing Co. trademark.
    1. Management Commentary: The Company was awarded the trademark and then a brewery in Pittsburgh opposed it. The Company is currently in settlement talks with them trying to work it out. This will likely happen but if not, the company is confident it will succeed because the Pittsburgh brewery has not been properly protecting their mark in all instances, which they are required to do to be able to claim exclusive usage.

Management intends to continue to pursue the expedited removal of these liens and the settlement of the pending and threatened litigation, does not believe either case will effect the operations of the business, and believes the Company has sufficient capital available to address them. However, this pending litigation and any future litigation could result in a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, financial condition and results of operations.

Describe your company's organizational structure

A parent company, Beer Church Hospitality Group Inc., (incorporated in MI) wholly owns and oversees two subsidiary LLCs relating to Beer Church operations. One LLC, Big Brother Real Estate Holdings LLC is a MI registered company and owns the real estate and the building.  Another LLC, Big Brother Holding Company LLC, is also a MI registered company and will serve as the operating company for Beer Church brewery and restaurant.  In addition, Big Brother Holding Company LLC owns the liquor license.  The owners of the parent company Beer Church Hospitality Group Inc. are John Lustina, Jane Simon, and Beer Church Hospitality Group Inc.401k plan. The amount of funding invested to date by the owners in all 3 related entities totals $745,803.22.  These funds have been used for: the real estate purchase, architecture design and building renovation costs, the 3-way liquor license purchase and permits, and opening inventory and supplies. 


 

What are the legal and regulatory requirements in your industry?

We needed two liquor licenses to open - one from the federal government (TTB license) and one from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC), both of which we now own.  Additionally, the latter is a 3-way, which will also allow us to serve wine and spirits.

Status Owned
Location Type Special Purpose Space
Comments We purchased an iconic, historic church overlooking downtown New Buffalo. We are renovating the church to house our brewing operations and retail activity including a beer garden. Its our expectation that phase one of renovations will be complete, initial operations will begin and Beer Church and Beer Church Gardens will be open September 2016.
Documentation location_document
1430157090 johnlustina2

John Lustina

Co-Founder
Background Check

John Lustina has been the owner and chairman of Intrapromote, a Forrester Top 20 organic search specialist agency that provides SEO, social media, mobile and digital strategy to long-term clients including Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Honda, American Express, and QVC. John has built up an invaluable network of clients over the years, including several food service companies and restaurants, including ART Restaurant Seattle, Deca Restaurant + Bar Chicago, and TRIO Restaurant Austin, among many others, whose products he has helped brand, bring to market, and successfully market.

John's role at Beer Church is to oversee the overall strategic direction and management of the business, a role he has served in since founding the business in October 2014. He plans to maintain his position at Intrapromote after Beer Church opens.

1429832834 professonial photo cropped

Jane Simon

Co-Founder
Background Check

Jane Simon, a legal writing and appellate advocacy professor at Notre Dame Law School since August 2006, brings a legal and business perspective to our venture. Professor Simon has served as legal advisor to numerous start-up companies, including several restaurants and food service companies. She is also the founder of the web-based legal firm, LawWriter, founded in October 2009. LawWriter provides legal writing, estate planning, research and business services to its clients.

Jane's role at Beer Church is to oversee the overall strategic direction and management of the business, a role she has served in since founding the business in October 2014. She plans to maintain her positions at LawWriter and Notre Dame Law School after Beer Church opens.

1466015981 nate bio pic

Nathan M Peck

Head Brewer

Our Head Brewer under contract is the award-winning Nate Peck, as first announced by Chicago Tribune Beer Scribe Josh Noel. Nate’s popular creations include Peck’s Porter and the IPA Reactor, and he is already at work on Beer Church recipes including our first signature beer, Pontius Pilate IPA.

Nate is a born and raised Wisconsinite who started brewing, as most do, by learning to brew at home in his spare time. This only fueled the desire to make a career out of this newly found obsession, and he soon was studying the craft at the famed Siebel Institute in Chicago.

Upon graduating Siebel he started working at Sand Creek Brewery in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, first as a Brewer, quickly promoted to Lead Brewer. Within 5 years he would be named Head Brewer at startup Tapistry in Bridgman, Michigan, where he would become a force to be reckoned with in the brewing industry.

At Tapistry he won a bronze medal in the Robust Porter category at The Great American Beer Festival for his Peck's Porter and quickly followed with the smash hit, widely-distributed IPA Reactor, and then Mr. Orange, and for the next 3 years further refined his brewing knowledge and techniques with a bevy of creative releases.

Having spent the last year working as Michigan Mobile Canning's Michigan Regional Manager, a brief respite from brewing which allowed him to can beer all over that great state, making great relationships with many in the industry along the way, Nate realized he that he was missing his true passion, brewing, and was ready for an ACT II where he vows to “Make the best beer in Michigan.”

Beer Church Brewing Co. is thrilled to have Nate in the house (or rather Church), and excited to be turning his beer artistry loose again on the state of Michigan!

Missing

Journeyman Distillery

This craft distillery is designing signature Beer Church cocktails for us. We will exclusively serve Journeyman spirits in our cocktails.

Missing

Great Lakes Wine and Spirits

Our distributor for wine and Journeyman spirits

Missing

Roberto Caporuscio of Keste Pizzeria, Bleecker Street, NYC

We have entered into a consulting agreement with pizzaiolo Robert Caporuscio whereby he will come onsite and train our staff to make world-famous pizzas like he makes at Keste in NYC. Included are his dough and starter recipes for authentic Neapolitan pizzas and oven usage. He is world-renowned.

Missing

Stefano Ferrara PIzza Ovens of Naples, Italy

Iconic pizza oven craftsman is building our pizza oven in Naples

Missing

The Country Malt Group

Purveyor of grains, hops, and malt for our outstanding beer.

Missing

Hops Direct LLC

Purveyor of hops

Missing

Brewers Supply Group

Purveyor of hops, grain, and malt

Missing

Briess Malt & Ingredients Co.

Purveyor of malt and other beer ingredients

Missing

Michigan Hop Alliance

Purveyor of home-grown Michigan hops

Missing

Gordon Food Supply

Food supplier

Missing

The Craft Beer Attorney

Trademark attorney who helped us procure our Beer Church trademarks

Missing

Carlin Edwards & Brown, attorneys at law

Liquor license attorneys who helped us procure our Brewpub license and Class C 3-way liquor license

Updates

Greatest First Weekend Ever!

February 27, 2017

But we are biased -- we'll let a visitor who just posted his review on Facebook sum things up for us:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/167302052295024...

Come see us soon!

-John + Jane

Shhhh! SOFT OPENING February 23rd 4pm!

February 18, 2017

Doors open Thursday at 4pm!

Now is the time that all good Members of The Congregation are called upon to assemble at Beer Church Soft Opening this coming Thursday beginning at 4pm EST for fun, frivolity, and first tastes of New Buffalo's first local beer!

Just please don't come if you hate fun!

Thanks + Cheers, Hope to See You Soon!

John + Jane

Soft Opening Dates + Now 121% of Localstake Goal!

February 2, 2017

We Smashed our Crowdfunding Goal: 121% of our Target!

+ YOU can STILL get in on the action before the kickoff of SBLI.

Then it's time to close this baby out.

So, we're announcing our Crowdfunding offer will only remain available through to this coming Sunday at the Superbowl's first kickoff. Once the cock crows, that's all she wrote -- LAST CALL!

Just as exciting, our SOFT OPEN DATES are set to be released only on our exclusive email list, The Congregation, and of course to our Localstake Investors exclusively within the next few days.

Whom you tell is up to you...

But if you are in line make sure to mention to us you are a Localstake Insider.

Thanks + Cheers!

John + Jane

Progress Update: Over 50% Committed

January 6, 2017

Beer Church Brewing Company has reached over 50% of its commitment target as of today.

Happy New Year! Opening Soon!

January 2, 2017

We are just about to open!

Beer Church is Real!

How’s that for a Happy New Year?

Just a few weeks away, at most!: a few details and inspections here and there and we can start to sell the $130,000 inventory of beer we have already brewed and aged to perfection.

Nearly $1 million of our own funds later, we are just about at the finish line! And so we’re announcing today that our current raise on Localstake, which is at 115% of Goal, will be closing over the next week. It's our goal to close the raise before we officially open our doors for business in order to focus on operations. If you remain interested and have not already done so, please log into our profile to commit your investment and sign investment docs. If you haven't finalized your investment when the raise closes, you won't be invested in this round.

A reminder that to date the entire project thus far has been funded in cash by owners, with only $70K in debt. We are also quite unique in that we own the building and adjacent lot (converted into parking + beer garden) outright with no mortgage or lease payments due, ever.

We’d love to have you on board so please make sure you log in and complete your investment before it’s no longer available. This is going to be fun and we’d love to have you along for the ride!

As always, wishing you great beer + pizza from a historic church overlooking Lake Michigan.

Thanks + Cheers!

John + Jane

Investor Forum

Topic Last activity
2 comments 2 months ago
2 comments 4 months ago

Target Closing Date: Friday, June 30, 2017 at 11:59 pm EDT. See offering materials for full details.

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