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The Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project

Mission: Drink, Explore, and Make Friends
Craft Beer Denver, CO

Financial Summary

The Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project is not currently fundraising.

Previous Fundraise Summary

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

Previous Fundraise Activity

$156,750 raised
This business has $156,750 committed from 57 investors.
Max $156 k
↳Target $25 k

Financials

Explain your historical financial performance to date.

Sojourner's Brewing Project is pre-operational

Provide information on your financial projections

Financial Summary

Please see the attached 5-year financial projections.

Upon opening its doors, Sojourner’s Brewing Project expects monthly overhead of a little less than $40,000 per month. Around $15,000 would be for labor; rent, utilities, and insurance would be around $10,000. The remainder would go to maintenance and repair, supplies, packaging and shipping, advertising and promotion, and professional services.

Beer is an extremely high-margin product. The ingredients in your pint cost less than a dollar. Depending on the brewing efficiency – a function of, among other things, the size of the brewing system and the quantity of beer brewed – gross margins of around 90% can be realized.  While even many small breweries actually achieve per-barrel costs of as low as $60, Sojourner’s Brewing Project has conservatively modeled variable costs – including ingredients and other inputs to the brewing process as well as volume-based taxes – of $129.42 per barrel.

With these costs, Sojourner’s Brewing Project can break even by selling around 8,600 pints per month in its taproom with no consideration of distribution revenue. If guests averaged two pints each, then 13 guests per hour for eight hours Monday through Thursday, 16 guests per hour for eight hours on Friday, and 23 guests per hour for twelve hours on Saturday and Sunday would suffice. This level of patronage can be observed in almost any Denver brewery’s taproom, and even more than eight hours of operation during the week is not unreasonable; with a sufficiently large supply of beer enabled by its 7-barrel system, Sojourner’s Brewing Project can keep its taproom’s doors open as early and as late as there is marginal profit to be earned.

Once it’s operating, Sojourner’s Brewing Project expects to surpass its breakeven point, projecting $60,000 in monthly pints sales; $12,000 in monthly growler sales at $15 each; and $14,000 in monthly keg sales at $140 each for a grand total of 123 barrels sold and over $32,000 in EBITDA.

Sojourner’s Brewing Project intends to promote its product forcefully and to aggressively pursue keg distribution. With such high gross margins, a busy taproom is critical, and a high level of success in the taproom can fund expansion. However, with an upper limit on the size of a taproom, growth must eventually come from distribution; the company expects a large and committed sales regime to drive growth from the outset and especially after the first couple years, eventually enabling the purchase of larger brewing systems and a canning line and necessitating the engagement of an independent distributor after distribution surpasses 300,000 gallons (9677 barrels).

Capital Requirement and Projected Use

Sojourner’s Brewing Project has modeled costs of a little over $800,000 to start the brewery and fund operations for two quarters and hopes to raise closer to $1,000,000 to account for possible overruns and unforeseen expenses.

The 7-barrel brewing system will cost a little less than $250,000 to build and install. This custom-designed system, tailored to meet the specific needs of the business, will enable Sojourner’s Brewing Project to have a wide variety of its beers brewed both before opening day and on an ongoing basis that is unusual for a new brewery. The system also carries the capacity to undertake significant growth in volume and allow beer to be brewed with sufficient efficiency to make distribution profitable.

It is difficult to be certain about the cost of the buildout of Sojourner’s Brewing Project’s future home until a location is selected, but the firm would expect around $200,000 in renovation costs at the leased location in the Arts District on Santa Fe in Denver: $30,000 for general contractor conditions, $32,500 for door and window work on the façade, $75,000 a sprinkler system, $29,000 for the addition of an extra bathroom, and the $33,500 remainder for miscellaneous charges.

Sojourner’s Brewing Project has modeled approximately $300,000 in working capital -- $75,000 to pay costs and brew the first batches of beer in preparation for opening, and $225,000 for overhead during the first two quarters of operations. 

The remainder of the startup capital would go toward “front of house” equipment for the taproom and a van or truck for distributing kegs.

Operating Forecast

Sojourner’s anticipates fixed costs starting out at approximately $453,500 per year, or $37,791.67 per month, broken down monthly as follows:

Travel $1,666.67

Maintenance & Repair $1,000.00

Rent $5,000.00

Advertising & Promotion $1,000.00

Supplies $5,000.00

Utilities $2,500.00

Packaging & Shipping $1,250.00

Professional services $2,000.00

Insurance $2,500.00

Employees $15,166.67

Kegs $708.33

Selling pints at $5 each, with 210 pints yielded from a 248-pint barrel after allowing for spillage, Sojourner’s can achieve for revenues of $1,050 per barrel sold through its taproom, with a gross margin of over 87% ($920.58 per barrel).

Expecting 1,500 guests per week (a conservative estimate for a taproom in such a high-traffic area), each purchasing two beers per visit, Sojourner’s can sell $60,000 in pints in a four-week month. In addition, Sojourner’s hopes to sell 200 growlers per week at $15 each and 25 kegs per week to local restaurants and bars for at least $140 each, for an additional $26,000 in revenue each month.

Sojourner’s expects monthly earnings, before depreciation, interest, and tax liability, of over $32,000:

REVENUES

Pints – Taproom $60,000.00

Growlers – Taproom $12,000.00

Kegs Distributed $14,000.00

TOTAL REVENUES $86,000.00

barrels sold 123

TOTAL COGS $15,816.57

TOTAL OPERATING EXP  $37,791.67

EBITDA, monthly $32,391.76

Break-Even Analysis

With a monthly projected overhead of $37,791.67 and a margin of $920.58 per barrel on pints, Sojourner’s can cover its costs by selling 41 barrels of beer, or 8,610 pints, per month. At two beers per customer, that requires 4,305 customers per month, or 1,077 customers per week to cover costs – without accounting for any keg or growler sales.

Looked at another way, 1,077 guests per week could be achieved with 100 guests Monday through Thursday, 125 guests on Friday, and 275 guests each on Saturday and Sunday.

Open eight hours per day during the week and twelve hours per day on weekends, Sojourner’s could cover its costs by seeing 13 paying customers per hour Monday through Thursday, an average of 16 per hour on Friday, and 23 per hour over the weekend.

PRO FORMA FINANCIAL STATEMENTS: PLEASE SEE ATTACHMENT

Balance Sheet

The pro forma balance sheet, like the other pro forma financial statements, assumes an October 1, 2016, opening. For simplicity, all purchases and sales are assumed to be cash transactions, though in reality, ingredient sourcing and distribution sales of kegs could be arranged on account.

Additionally, all assets are assumed to be depreciated over the course of five years. The model anticipates capital expenditures on one fermentation tank and four bright tanks every year, a new, larger brewing system in 2018, a canning line in 2019, and additional distribution vans in 2019 and 2020.

Additionally, the batch brewing process results in some buildup of inventory, WIP, and raw materials, though these short-term assets are not accounted for in the model. Ingredients are generally purchased, and product is generally sold, on a monthly basis or within the month.

Income Statement

In addition to the assumptions addressed above, the income statement expects a tripling of rent in 2018 with an additional industrial facility to accommodate the new brewing system and canning line and well as a corresponding decrease in cost of goods sold by a factor of 0.6 thanks to the more efficient system. The model assumes canning through a mobile canning service in 2018 and the purchase of a canning line in 2019.

Costs are modeled to rise at 2% annually, with no corresponding price increases modeled. The model assumes growth in taproom business (pints and growlers) of 10% per year and an annual doubling of distribution (kegs and cans/bottles). (Sojourner’s expects initial can/bottle sales of 4,800 per week in 2018 and a cost of $0.125 per can.) Once Sojourner’s distributes over 300,000 gallons of beer annually, it legally must sell through an independent distributor, which will limit sales prices on kegs and cans/bottles.

Cash Flow

Given the cash basis of taproom transactions and the strong cash position from which Sojourner’s plans to open its doors – with funds to cover six months’ worth of overhead costs and additional startup funds for unforeseen expenses raised in roughly that same magnitude – the firm should have ample money to cover costs, even if several months’ worth of costs (for instance, ingredients) are paid at once.

Describe the expectations for investor return on investment in your offering

Sojourner's Brewing Project is seeking to assess interest in a crowdfunded capital raise through LocalStake of $250,000 to fit with its cash raise and the committed equipment lease. The current offering is a revenue-share loan, with monthly distributions to investors at a set proportion of company revenues. The target payback is a 21.53% equivalent interest rate over four years, which will be more or less depending on realized revenue.

The company has planned for sufficient capital and labor expenditures to speed turning over of the brewing system, enabling around twelve taps to be served seven days a week. As long as customers arrive – a good assumption given the prize-winning brews, the busy-yet-underserved neighborhood, the strength of extant local Denver microbreweries, and the importance to, and know-how of, the management team of both traditional- and new-media promotion – this will allow the company to be cash-flow positive from the outset, avoiding a pitfall of many startup microbreweries that cannot open with so many offerings and see their hours curtailed to avoid running out of product. This will accelerate the company's growth; once processes and costs are mastered, the company can begin selling kegs to off-site accounts.

While Sojourner's Brewing Project expects to be cash-flow positive very soon after opening, the company does not intend to issue dividends for several years but will reinvest any earning in an effort to grow as quickly as possible. While larger breweries purchased many craft breweries in recent years, the trend has slowed, and the cofounders of Sojourner's Brewing Project are not running the business with an eye towards an eventual sale but rather plan to hold the firm indefinitely.

Previous Financings

In addition to $180,000 in founders’ capital contributions, Sojourner’s Brewing Project has secured $170,000 in funding from family investors, who provided cash for convertible notes with debt service to commence after the first three months that the firm achieves positive cash flows, with maturity ten years from that date, and with an annual interest rate of 4.5%, for a total of of $350,000 in cash, less all costs incurred to date. This debt is subordinate to any subsequent debt. 

Additionally, a family investor has agreed to purchase and lease to Sojourner's up to $300,000 in equipment. An order has been placed for a 7-barrel brewing system with Alpha Brewing Operations for $177,268.60, though extra installation expenses, including for shipping, supervision, assembly, training, and extra plumbing/electrical/mechanical work, can be included in the lease. If the total cost of equipment does not surpass the $300,000 limit, additional capital expenditures, including a cold room (approx. $25,000), draft system ($20,000), and point-of-sale system ($15,000), could be purchased and leased under the same agreement. Additionally, as soon as Sojourner's Brewing Project undertakes self-distribution efforts, the firm will purchase a delivery truck or van.

Capital Uses

Sojourner's Brewing Project projects $900,000 of startup costs; as laid out above, $650,000 has been raised or agreed to. The company expects the buildout of its property at 925 W 8th Ave. in the Arts District on Santa Fe to cost up to $400,000, with $20,000 committed to architect Bill Wood and other brewery construction in Denver averaging around $150 per square foot. The company expects to spend up to $300,000 on capital equipment, including but not limited to the brewing system, cold storage, draft system, and point-of-sale system. It also expects $50,000 for the "front of house," including furnishings, hardware, glassware, and cleaning and safety supplies. Other total pre-opening costs – some already incurred – of around $100,000 are projected, including licensing/permits, professional services, insurance, utilities, advertising and promotion, and brewing the first batches of beer. The company also hopes to begin operations with at least $50,000.

Fundraising Goals

Sojourner’s Brewing Project hopes to raise an additional $250,000 to meet its cash needs. To finish the buildout of the property without interruption, funding would need to be closed by December 2016.

Depending on the timing at which costs are incurred, approximately $100,000 would be used to pay contractors for finishing the buildout. Around $50,000 would be used for front of house costs, discussed above, and up to $50,000 would go toward various pre-open costs, including occupancy, salaries, professional services, advertising and promotion, and brewing the first batches of beer. An additional $50,000 would be left as a working-capital cash cushion once the brewery becomes operational.

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Funding Plans & History

Offering Materials

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Business Plan

Sojourner’s Brewing Project will compete in the fast-growing craft beer industry, initially in the greater Denver market. Sojourner’s Brewing Project will open under a beer wholesaler’s license, and, at the beginning, will focus on building community and recognition around their taproom, with self-distribution to area bars in the form of leased kegs and liquor stores in the form of 22oz bombers and 12oz cans. Sojourner’s Brewing Project was inspired by a passion for homebrewing and a love of teaching. The word “Sojourner’s” is meant to invoke images of the intrepid explorer; “Brewing Project” pays homage to some of the small nanobreweries that have been the inspiration behind our high-release brewing model. Sojourner’s Brewing Project is a Limited Liability Company with two Members: Andrew Moore and Ben Gettinger. Andrew is a medal-winning amateur brewer who currently works for 105 Degree West Brewing in Castle Rock as a server and assistant brewer. In the past, he worked in packaging and cellaring for Boulder Beer Company, brewed for Crystal Springs Brewing, taught courses at Castle Rock Homebrew Supply, and assisted in the preliminary development of 105 Degree West Brewing Company. Ben holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard and will finish a JD/MBA at Indiana University in May 2016. He left an options-trading job in Chicago in 2010 and returned to his small hometown in Indiana to take over publishing his family’s newspaper from his ailing mother. Upon matriculating at IU, he assisted in the sale of the business and has interned for three summers at in-house consulting roles for Fortune-200 companies.

What is your competitive advantage?

Sojourner’s Brewing Project’s products are designed to be innovative and intriguing, constantly changing to keep up with the demands of the market and the interest of our customers, many of whom, especially in greater Denver, will be self-described beer aficionados. The master brewer, Andrew Moore, is a competition-winning amateur brewer who utilizes exciting and exotic adjuncts in his recipes, and Sojourner’s unique travel-themed brand will draw attention to those unique offerings, taking consumers on a journey with flavorful ingredients from around the world.

The company has planned for sufficient capital and labor expenditures to speed turning over of the brewing system, enabling around twelve taps to be served seven days a week. As long as customers arrive, this will allow the company to be cash-flow positive from the outset, avoiding a pitfall of many startup microbreweries that cannot open with so many offerings and see their hours curtailed to avoid running out of product. This will accelerate the company's growth; once processes and costs are mastered, the company can begin selling kegs to off-site accounts.

The business is lucky to have leased a space in the Arts District on Santa Fe, a bustling, fast-developing district with nearly 40,000 vehicles per day and as many as 30,000 pedestrians on a summertime First Friday gallery walk. Underserved with only two breweries within a block of Santa Fe Drive, it is an ideal neighborhood for the brewery’s exotic yet “nano” theme, its travel branding, and its passion for teaching. With nine parking spaces and an overhead billboard available for it to lease, the taproom will sit on 8th Avenue, on which 36,000 vehicles per day will pass.

Beers intended to be showcased at startup include:

  • German Hefeweizen – Served in a tall, thin-walled Weizen glass, this is an elegant, sessionable beer. It is top-fermented, has a unique, taste of cloves, banana, and apricot and is very light in color. This brew utilizes apricots and dates mixing German tradition with Mediterranean accents. ABV 5.5%
  • American Brown Ale – Served in a Nonick pint, this is a malt-forward, complex beer. It is top-fermented, and has flavors of chestnut and hints of sweetness. It is deep amber to brown in color. This traditional beer combines the flavors common to British ales in companion with floral american hops. ABV 6.1%
  • Basil Pale AleServed in a Nonick pint, this is a delicate balance of hops, malt and basil, a herb known to the Greeks in the 3rd century BCE. The earthy, spiciness of the basil accentuates the floral american hop profile. All of the flavors work synergistically to create thirst quenching sessionable ale. 
  • Dry Stout – This is our Middle Eastern take on a traditional beer style. It is served in a Nonick pint, and like the other ales is top-fermented. The moderate, roasty, and coffee flavors typical of this style provide background notes to fresh ground Turkish coffee, cardamom, and a hint of bitter orange. ABV 5.2%
  • Dunkelweizen – Served in a Weissbier Vase, this beer is the dark member of the German wheat family. It has strong clove and banana esters from the yeast, and is often mahogany brown in color. This beer is brewed traditionally with a double-decoction mash and a long protein rest. ABV 5.2%
  • Chai Tea Spiced Brown Ale – This slightly stronger version of the Brown Ale takes the drinker down the ancient trails of the Silk Road, showcasing spices from central and southern Asia. It has been infused with lactose for a smoother, sweeter mouthfeel and spiced with our house-made Chai blend. ABV 6.9%
  • Rye India Pale Ale – Served in a stemmed tulip, this Imperial IPA utilizes ten different varieties of German and American hops for the perfect fusion of Old World and New World flavors. For added depth and balance, it is brewed with rye grain for a clear, copper color. ABV 9.2%
  • Russian Imperial Stout –This traditional Imperial stout hails from the Russo-European region and utilizes chocolate, a blend of peppers, and vanilla. One of our strongest beers, motor oil black, some versions aged for six months and served in a stemmed tulip. ABV 11%
  • Pumpkin Ale – Served in a Nonick pint, this malty, smooth beer is made to be consumed in the fall. It is accented by the flavor of fresh pumpkin, with nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom. ABV 7.9%
  • Belgian Golden Strong - This Western European style actually carries flavors reminiscent of Central and South America. A barrel-aged tequila flavor coupled with cocoa and a hint of chili peppers make this a truly unique offering for Sojourner's Brewing project. ABV 10.6%
  • Wee Heavy - A blend of smooth, malt body and the flavors expected of Islay Scotches combine to create a truly unique brew. The sweetness works in tandem with the heavy oak and peat flavors all derived from our special blend of malts. 9.6%
What market(s) are you in?

Summary

Sojourner’s Brewing Project will compete in the craft beer industry, initially in the greater Denver market. The craft beer industry includes brewpubs, microbreweries, and regional craft breweries. Craft beer – i.e. micro-brewed beer – is currently the fastest growing segment of the beverage alcohol industry in the United States. In 2014, craft brewers grew 17.6% by volume. Furthermore, 615 breweries opened. This was the third consecutive year that the number of brewpubs specifically increased by triple digits: Brewpubs specifically increased 19.7% by volume in 2014 with 159 new businesses opening and only 23 closing, a very high success rate for a business. The brewpub industry saw a 10% increase in total number of facilities from 2013 to 2014, with an 18.6% increase industry rise. According to the Brewer’s Association, reasons for this rapid volume growth are connected to wider distribution as canning and bottling technologies become more affordable, increased growler sales, and a growing emphasis on purchasing locally. As of 2014, there are 3,464 breweries in the United States, including 1,412 brewpubs. 

The microbrewery industry is different from many other industries. In this industry, the focus is on the local market instead of the global one. Although Anheuser-Busch InBev controls 47% of the American beer market before its pending merger with MillerCoors, which controls another 30%, and clearly plays an important role in the industry on the national and global scale, they are not the most important players in the local market. Even Boston Beer Company, the largest craft brewery in the United States, only controls 1% of the overall market. The types of people who drink craft beer prefer their beer to be made locally and by people they can get to know.

Sojourner’s Brewing Project will establish itself in the Arts District on Santa Fe of Denver, Colorado. This is an urban community near the heart of downtown Denver. The arts district sees as many as 40,000 vehicles a day, and on a summertime First Friday, up to 30,000 people on foot, yet is underserved by only two breweries within a block of Santa Fe Drive. The leased location in the Arts District on Santa Fe sits on a plot with nine parking spots on a major street, 8th Avenue, averaging 36,000 vehicles per day.

While there is a continued need to heed what other local breweries are doing and keep up with market trends, the general atmosphere of the craft brewing market is one of collaboration. Many breweries got their start through collaboration and others continue to create collaboration beers. We have started to create those bonds with other breweries like Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew, Avery Brewing Company, Boulder Beer Company, Former Future Brewing Company, and many others, and continue to meet with brewers and beer advocates in the industry. However, the importance of a differentiated brand should not be lost, especially for purposes of distribution on crowded restaurant taps and liquor store shelves.

Craft beer has been continually gaining more control of the market since 2008, when it only controlled 4% of the market, producing 8.5 million barrels of beer. In 2014, craft beer controlled 11% of the market by volume, producing 21,775,905 barrels of beer. Furthermore, 356 microbreweries opened in 2013, while an additional 456 opened in 2014, increasing 17.6% by volume that year. According to the Brewer’s Association, reasons for this rapid volume growth are connected to wider distribution as canning and bottling technologies become more affordable, increased growler sales, and a growing emphasis on purchasing locally. Even during the Great Recession of 2007-2012, the craft beer industry grew at an impressive average of 12% per year.

Market Size and Trends

At the end of 2014, there are 3,464 breweries in the United States; 135 are ‘regional breweries,’ 1,412 are ‘brewpubs,’ and 1,871 are ‘microbreweries.’ In 2014, craft brewing grew 17.6% by volume and 22% by dollars. Craft brewers sold an estimated 21,775,905 barrels of beer in 2014. Craft brewers' retail dollar value in 2012 was an estimated $19.6 billion. The craft beer industry continues to grow, with no end or saturation point in sight.  Unlike the craft brewing craze of the late 1990’s, brewers today are more focused on the quality of their beer than the marketing gimmicks. Craft beer and alcohol in general is on a positive upswing, the brewers association has observed a 70-year cycle of pro and anti-alcohol climates, the 1980s was the low point of the most recent swing of attitudes. Currently we are experiencing a positive increase in attitudes towards beer. A final factor that has helped craft breweries is the recent drive towards the local markets; craft beer will continue to serve towns and neighborhoods as the local gathering spot. While the Great Recession of recent years has put a damper on disposable income for households, the market has started to recover in recent years.

Microbrewery Growth

Sojourner’s Brewing Project is included within two different kinds of industries. The brewery side of the business is listed under microbreweries, and its specific SIC code is 2082 and its NAICS code is 312120. The taproom side of the business is included under drinking places; SIC code 5813 and NAICS code 722410.

The microbrewery industry is different from many other industries. In this industry, the focus is on the local market instead of the global one. Although Anheuser-Busch InBev controls 47% of the American beer market before its pending merger with MillerCoors, which controls another 30%, and clearly plays an important role in the industry on the national and global scale, they are not the most important players in the local market. Even Boston Beer Company, the largest craft brewery in the United States, only controls 1% of the overall market; however, they do control 22% of the craft beer market. Other companies such as Sierra Nevada Brewing Co and Dogfish Head Brewery also own a large part of the craft beer market, but still only a small portion of the overall market. These companies will be important to watch since they are major guiding forces in the industry, but they will only be indirect competitors to Sojourner’s Brewing Project initially.

The craft beer industry includes brewpubs, microbreweries, and regional craft breweries. Craft beer is currently the fastest growing segment of the alcohol beverage industry in the United States, there are 3,464 craft breweries operating in the United States right now, which is 97% of all open breweries. Craft beer has been continually gaining more control of the market since 2008, at that time it only controlled 4% of the market, producing 8.5 million barrels of beer. In 2014 craft beer controls 11% of the market by volume, producing 21,775,905 barrels of beer. In 2014, craft brewers grew 17.6% by volume. Furthermore, 356 microbreweries opened in 2013, while an additional 456 opened in 2014.  Between 2007 and 2014 there has been an over 125% increase in microbreweries in the United States.  According to the Brewer’s Association, reasons for this rapid volume growth are connected to wider distribution as canning and bottling technologies become more affordable, increased growler sales, and a growing emphasis on purchasing locally. 

The increase in the number of smaller microbreweries has caused the average barrel production per microbrewery to decrease slightly. In 2014, the average per microbrewery was 1,695 barrels per year, down from around 2,350 barrels in 2007. This decrease in the average production is due to a shift in the microbrewery market from regional production centers, like New Belgium Brewing and Boston Beer Company, to nano- and neighborhood breweries. Sojourner’s Brewing Project will be aiming to produce between 1,000 to 1,500 barrels on site, with the capacity for 5,250 if necessary which is in line with the average production numbers for startup microbreweries.

Another common trend in the microbrewery market is the reliance on a taproom for the breweries’ sales. In 2011, 193 of them sold more than 25% of their beer brewed in-house. Sojourner’s Brewing Project will follow this model and in the first few years expect to sell at least 95% of its beer in the taproom, while distributing the remaining 5% in bombers and limited kegs to bars. As the brewery grows, the numbers will shift towards distribution through using a mobile canning line and bombers.

Industry Problems: Hop and Barley Shortages

Beer may not seem it, but it is an agricultural product and is plagued by many of the same problems as the farming industry. With the recent drought conditions across the United States, the crop yield for hops and barley have suffered.

Hops are used for two main things in the brewing industry: their bittering properties and their aromatic properties. Right now in the hop growing industry there is an interesting conundrum of both a shortage and glut of hops. According the USDA National Hop Report, hop harvest yields in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho are up 11% from 2014 by tonnage at 11-30% by acreage, depending on the state.  While this report excludes hops grown in other areas like Colorado and North Carolina, it is an important report since the Yakima Valley of Washington supplies 75% of the United States’ hop harvest by acreage. The shortages are predominantly with aromatic hops, an important ingredient with the ever-popular American India Pale Ale and the growing number of Imperial Indian Pale Ales. Demand for these aromatic hops has grown at rates of 80-100% in recent years according to Don Bryant of Hopunion. 

One way that breweries have been able to avoid these shortfalls has been to contract part of the hop farmers’ crop beforehand, although this leads to issues for new brewers starting up since all the crops will have been purchased before they have a chance to make their own purchase. This shift in types of hops being used, from bittering to aromatic, has been noticed by the hop farming community. Reports constantly mention the number of fields grubbed and new fields planted. New farmers are entering the business to try and meet the demand. However, hop cultivation takes at least three years to produce a good crop yield. This can cause problems for brewers trying to create a consistent product. Our brewery will try to avoid these shortages by brewing beers that are predominantly low-hopped beers freeing us from the need to have a single type of aromatic hop to achieve a specific flavor. Also, once we have become established we will begin contracting hops from local hop farmers such a Niwot Hop or any of the other 25 hop farmers in the state of Colorado. 

As mentioned above, Anheuser-Busch InBev controls nearly half the United States beer market and while they are not directly stealing customers from our brewery, they do have an enormous influence on the raw material market. For instance, Double R Hop Ranch, in Washington, harvests the Willamette hops for Anheuser-Busch four days earlier than the hop’s target date, while many craft breweries prefer to have the hops harvested one day after the target date since there will be more oils concentrated in the hop cones. The influence Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors has over the raw material can lead to certain types of hops or barley being grown to fill these larger orders, meaning the remaining hops/barley may not be of a type needed by our brewery. On the other hand, MillerCoors’ large size has also helped the industry. Their Colorado Native Pale Ale is the main reason many hop farmers have become established in Colorado and survive their first years growing as a farm, since they supply a large amount of the hops for that beer.

In addition to the flux in hop supplies, grains have also been coming under stresses driving the price of malt upwards. Three major factors are influencing the price of malt: population growth, biofuels, and the weather. In 2007, according to the Earth Policy Institute in Washington DC, world grain supplies reached a tipping point. We are now consuming more barley than we can produce and have been operating at a deficit for the last 5 years. In 2010, the world produced 2.18 billion metric tons of grain, but consumed 2.24 billion metric tons. This deficit was made up by drawing down the stocks of grains saved from countries like the United States and Canada. Obviously, this cannot continue indefinitely.

Besides having more mouths to feed, the policies being made by western governments to divert their agricultural products to biofuels have reduced the amount of barley being planted. Barley is a challenging plant to grow, while corn is a relatively easier crop and from a business standpoint, a better crop to grow. This will continue to cut into the acreage that is used to produce brewing barley.

The final contributing factor is the change in weather patterns. For the last 25 years, each year has been hotter than the previous. For every 1° C above the growing optimum temperature we can expect a 10% decrease in grain yields.  In addition, these higher temperatures are also causing more extreme weather conditions for farmers. Sojourner’s Brewing Project will do its best to optimize barley usage to make sure we are getting the most out of the barley we have purchased and not wasting our supply. In addition, we would like to start work on creating a relationship with local farmers to buy directly from them in a model similar to Lagunitas Brewing.

General Information

The Microbrewery industry is typically a private sector business involved in secondary and tertiary economic sectors. Sojourner’s Brewing Project will procure different raw materials and make them into beer (secondary) and then sell that beer in our taproom to customers (tertiary). Sojourner’s Brewing Project will be engaged in manufacturing and retail types of industry, with our brew house (manufacturing) and the taproom (retail) being the two areas for our business. For the first year, our distribution channel will be zero. Because we are making less than 300,000 gallons we are able to self-distribute from our own taproom, following an exclusive distribution model. As we grow and start to can our own beers at the start of the second year, we will need to find a wholesaler who will be able to distribute our beer throughout the state, expanding to a selective distribution model.  We will most likely not be able to use an intensive distribution model due to the limited size of our brewery’s cold storage.

The microbrewery industry is one of the fastest growing in the United States, notwithstanding the recent economic downturn. Craft brewing has grown 17.6% by volume in the last year alone. While this type of exponential growth cannot be expected to continue forever into the future, it is reasonable to see a consistent growth in the market, following this trend, we could expect the craft beer market to take over another 1-2% of the market in 2017.  By 2018 it would be reasonable to see craft breweries controlling 15% by volume. While there are dozens of microbreweries in the greater Denver area, the level of competition is surprisingly low in the market. Most of the breweries encourage collaboration and share their customers freely. That being said, it is the customers who demand good quality beer from a brewery and will be the driving players for the success of our brewery, most breweries live or die by customers voting with their feet.

In the Colorado market, once a brewery opens they typically experience great growth. Only one brewery has recently closed in the state of Colorado. Del Norte Brewery in Denver shut its doors in November 2012, although without any reason why. This bodes well for the Colorado Craft brewing industry and the Sojourner’s Brewing Project.

Sensitivity to Economic Cycles and Seasonality

Before refrigeration, breweries were limited to what they could brew and sell by the weather. Yeast during the fermentation produces a large amount of heat and the fermentation tanks need to be kept at a controlled temperature in order to not stress the yeast and produce a quality drinkable product. Beer is also best stored at 50° F or lower, therefore the amount of space in a brewer’s cellar would limit how much beer could be made in a brewing season. Now with modern refrigeration, brewers are not limited to the seasons, although production does follow a yearly pattern, where production hits an industry low-point around December, and an industry high point in May and June. The low-point seems to be connected to the availability of less agricultural products in December, the holiday season, and demands of the family and therefore overall less drinking in taprooms. In the spring, more people start to travel and therefore drink out with more frequency. There is also a general trend of more people going outside in the summertime. We can expect that during the winter months, we will have a restricted cash flow, keeping in line with national sales data. However, during the summer months we can expect a higher amount of drop-in visitors and regulars at the taproom and therefore sales here will balance out the winter slump.

The type of beers offered continues to coincide with the traditional seasons. Seasonal releases are currently ranked second after IPAs with respect to highest sales. Spring time brings Irish ales, bocks, India pale ales, saisons, and Belgian wit beers. Summer is known more for steam beer, cream ale, wheat beers, kölsch, and pilsners. Fall has more pumpkin and spice beers, Oktoberfests, brown ales, and English pale ales. Winter is known for its stouts, porters, old ales, barley wines, and Christmas ales. We are planning to follow the seasonal charts for the most part and have our three rotating taps reflect the traditional seasonality of beer.

Legal, Political, and Economic Factors

Sojourner’s Brewing Project will need to meet both state and federal compliance laws in regards to under-age drinking and serving already intoxicated people. The nature of beer production requires a high standard of cleanliness and attention to detail in order to produce quality tasting beer that our customers would continue to return to purchase, meaning it will be easy to pass any FDA inspections.

Breweries are one of the most regulated industries in the United States. At the Federal level, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) deals with the excise taxes collected from breweries. Through them we need to file for a Brewer’s Notice. We need to be aware of federal laws in the Internal Revenue Code, title 25, Chapter 51; the Federal Alcohol Administration Act, title 27, chapter 8; and the Federal Code of Regulations, chapter 27, parts 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 16, and 25. On the state level we need to have filed paperwork as Limited Liability Company with the Secretary of State for Colorado, an Employer Identification Number with the Internal Revenue Service, and a Trade name/DBA with the state. We will also need to apply for manufacturing and wholesale licenses with the Colorado Department of Revenue. We will need to have all our labels approved under the FAA Act and approved by the Federal Trade Commission. The Brewer’s Association has guideline for these codes that we will follow since the organization self-regulates its members to make sure they are complaint.

Socio-Cultural Factors

The current cultural trend in the U.S. is a move towards the neighborhood and local product manufacturing. People want to find their neighborhood coffee shop, café, grocery store, and even brewery. Many businesses are thriving on this model in Denver and the metro area. The market for craft beer is focused on generation X and Y people age 21-65. Their spending on non-essential items does oscillate with the nation’s economy, so spending has been down with the recent Great Recession. In spite of this, the craft beer industry has grown an impressive 12% on average from 2007-2012. So people, even in hard economic times, want craft beer.

In the state of Colorado, many people are also concerned with the environmental impact of humans on the landscape. A brewery produces a large amount of spent grain (grain used to create the wort for the beer). While some of this grain can be used to make products such as bread, pizza crust, or even dog treats, this will not use up all of the spent grain produced. This grain however is a great source of feed for local livestock, it is the goal of Sojourner’s Brewing Project to reach out to local farmers and give them our supply of spent grain. We also will put recycling and reducing at the forefront of our brewing practices making sure we install low flow toilets, air hand driers, energy efficient light bulbs, and, eventually, solar panels.

Technological Factors

The brewing industry is one that has remained technologically unchanged for many years. The same techniques that were used in the 19th century are used today. While the equipment is shinier and the amount of hard labor has been slightly reduced, brewing still relies on boiling water, steeping grains, boiling wort, and fermenting beer. This means there is a low rate of technological innovation and few breakthrough processes. Most of the innovation instead is focused on the product, with new styles of beer appearing all the time (Black Indian Pale Ale, ‘Wet’ Hop beers, and American-Belgo style ales are some of the most recent additions). 

Who are your competitors?

Sojourner’s Brewing Project will compete in the craft beer industry, initially in the greater Denver market. Craft beer – i.e. micro-brewed beer – is currently the fastest growing segment of the beverage alcohol industry in the United States. Sojourner’s Brewing Project will enrich this tradition by offering an innovative array of craft beers that includes some flagship beers as well as a rotating array of specialty ales. Existing in the eager yet crowded Denver beer market provides many advantages, yet it can make the sort of growth Sojourner’s Brewing Project hopes to achieve, particularly in distribution, much more daunting; a strong marketing strategy, from product differentiation to coherent advertising and promotion, is critical to achieving the returns the company hopes to see from its initial fundraising

Competitive Landscape

There are two general markets that brewers focus on: the neighborhood and the region. The neighborhood market is extremely inviting and not directly competitive. Craft breweries work more often in collaboration with one another than against one another. On the regional level, competition for shelf space and distinctive labeling is becoming fierce. Liquor stores and distributors only have so much shelf space, and while there has been an increase in large liquor retailers, the overwhelming amount of colorful labels often daunts the customer. New and innovative marketing will be required to truly become a regional player.

The types of people who drink craft beer prefer their beer to be made locally and by people they can get to know. Craft beer drinkers are driven by flavor, freshness, and choice, and they would rather pay more for a quality product. Therefore, the direct competition for Sojourner’s Brewing Project will be breweries in the Front Range area.

Great Divide Brewing Company, Renegade, and Black Sky Brewing are the three closest breweries in and around the Sante Fe Arts District, where Sojourner’s plans to be operating. When we begin to distribute our beer, breweries like New Belgium Brewing, Avery Brewing Co, Odell Brewing Co, and Boulder Beer Co. will become other important players in our corner of the market. While there is a continued need to heed what these dozens of microbreweries in the greater Denver area are doing and keep up with market trends, the general atmosphere of the craft brewing market is one of collaboration and the level of competition is surprisingly low in the market. Many breweries got their start through collaboration and others continue to create collaboration beers, and most of the breweries encourage collaboration and share their customers freely. Sojourner's Brewing Project has started to create those bonds with other breweries, such as Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew, Avery Brewing Company, Boulder Beer Company, Former Future Brewing Company, and many others, and continues to meet with brewers and beer advocates in the industry.

That being said, it is the customers who demand good quality beer from a brewery and will be the driving players for the success of Sojourner's Brewing Project; most breweries live or die by customers voting with their feet.

Barriers to Entry

The brewing industry is a difficult one to enter given that it is highly capital intensive and highly regulated. There is a long waiting period for the federal and state licenses before you can start to producing beer for sale and, during that period, brewers must have space leased and equipment contracted, resulting in high start-up costs. In addition to the cost of space and equipment, there are regulations at the city, state, and federal levels with which brewers must comply. This is the largest tripping point in the startup process; investment already committed will aid Sojourner’s Brewing Project in this process.

Current Employees
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Provide detail on your hiring plans

Sojourner’s Brewing Project plans to hire at least four bartenders prior to opening who will work in the taproom and undertake the duties of serving beer, dealing with customers, and maintaining a clean, friendly environment. We will hire individuals who are enthusiastic about working in the world of craft beer. They will be full time employees. We will strongly encourage our employees to become Craft Beer Servers and then Certified Cicerone through the Cicerone program in order to be as knowledgeable as possible about the beer they are serving and the processes that go into it. Ben and Andrew plan to work behind the bar when possible, as well. Depending on traffic to the tap room, Ben and Andrew's other commitments to Sojourner's Brewing Project, and the hours of operation the taproom settles on, the number of full-time bartenders could settle at up to four. Bartenders at microbreweries are typically paid around $10 per hour and collect tips.

At some point around or within a year of opening, Sojourner's Brewing Project will hire an assistant brewer, who is typically paid by the barrel, at about $30-$40. From the outset, Andrew will be the head brewer and Ben will assist as much as possible outside his other business duties to Sojourner's Brewing Project. As the business expands, additional brewers will be added to the staff.

As soon as it is determined that selling kegs to bars and restaurants provides at least some marginal profit to the company, Ben will begin pavement-pounding efforts to distribute the beer, as Colorado allows microbreweries to self-distribute up to 300,000 gallons (approximately 10,000 barrels or 20,000 kegs) annually. At he and Andrew's discretion, Sojourner's Brewing Project will hire additional salespeople, paid largely on commission, to effectively move the product until volume surpasses 300,000 ga. and the company must engage an independent third-party distributor.

As Sojourner's Brewing Project eventually begins to distribute cans, the company will hire employees to work on the canning line, as well as a supervisor or distribution coordinator, who is typically paid around $40,000+.

What is the composition of your current team?

Andrew is the master brewer and Ben brings business and legal experience, including marketing, operations, sales, and financial management. Please see the section on hiring for Sojourner's Brewing Project's plans as it nears its opening date.

Provide us with some background on your products and services.

Sojourner’s Brewing Project’s products are designed to be innovative and intriguing, constantly changing to keep up with the demands of the market and the interest of our customers, many of whom, especially in greater Denver, will be self-described beer aficionados.

Sojourner’s Brewing Project was inspired by a passion for homebrewing and a love of teaching. The name of the company, Sojourner’s Brewing Project, is influenced by the dynamic and adventurous outlook of Colorado culture. The word “Sojourner’s” is meant to invoke images of the intrepid explorer and of exotic adventures and cuisines; “Brewing Project” pays homage to some of the small nanobreweries that have been the inspiration behind our high-release brewing model. Paying homage to our brewing inspiration helps to continue to foster the spirit of cooperation, which is happily endemic to the Colorado brewing business world.

As the name implies, Sojourner’s Brewing Project will brand its products around the theme of travel, providing consumers with the sense of a journey to an exotic location while drinking its beer. Sojourner’s Brewing Project will also make the presentation of the beer a highlight. Unlike other microbreweries, beers will be presented the way they were meant to be: Beers will not be served in the same simple shaker glass, but each beer will be presented in its own unique way according to tradition.

Every craft beer is unique, and the beers produced by Sojourner’s Brewing Project are no exception. Beer science, often referred to as zymurgy, is still a fledgling field that makes and publishes new discoveries with startling frequency. Sojourner’s Brewing Project will offer traditional American-, English-, and German-style ales and lagers, fused with ingredients and adjuncts from around the world—everywhere adventurers might care to go. Our Robust Porter uses Turkish coffee, cardamom, and orange extract in the beer, all products from across the Mediterranean Sea, and the Hefeweizen uses apricots and dates, very Turkish ingredients used in a German-style ale. We will also offer a garlic amber, a pear saison, and an espresso porter. We are also looking in the future to include more exotic ingredients. 

Sojourner’s Brewing Project also has a unique angle with respect to the speed and imagination of production. Few microbreweries are able to open with as many different offerings, and so their hours and offerings are curtailed in order to avoid running out of their product. The speed with which the brewery can turn over the system will be a primary asset in keeping the brewery stocked with fresh product.

Beers intended to be showcased at startup include:

  • German Hefeweizen – Served in a tall, thin-walled Weizen glass, this is an elegant, sessionable beer. It is top-fermented, has a unique, taste of cloves, banana, and apricot and is very light in color. This brew utilizes apricots and dates mixing German tradition with Mediterranean accents. ABV 5.5%
  • American Brown Ale – Served in a Nonick pint, this is a malt-forward, complex beer. It is top-fermented, and has flavors of chestnut and hints of sweetness. It is deep amber to brown in color. This traditional beer combines the flavors common to British ales in companion with floral american hops. ABV 6.1%
  • Basil Pale AleServed in a Nonick pint, this is a delicate balance of hops, malt and basil, a herb known to the Greeks in the 3rd century BCE. The earthy, spiciness of the basil accentuates the floral american hop profile. All of the flavors work synergistically to create thirst quenching sessionable ale. 
  • Dry Stout – This is our Middle Eastern take on a traditional beer style. It is served in a Nonick pint, and like the other ales is top-fermented. The moderate, roasty, and coffee flavors typical of this style provide background notes to fresh ground Turkish coffee, cardamom, and a hint of bitter orange. ABV 5.2%
  • Dunkelweizen – Served in a Weissbier Vase, this beer is the dark member of the German wheat family. It has strong clove and banana esters from the yeast, and is often mahogany brown in color. This beer is brewed traditionally with a double-decoction mash and a long protein rest. ABV 5.2%
  • Chai Tea Spiced Brown Ale – This slightly stronger version of the Brown Ale takes the drinker down the ancient trails of the Silk Road, showcasing spices from central and southern Asia. It has been infused with lactose for a smoother, sweeter mouthfeel and spiced with our house-made Chai blend. ABV 6.9%
  • Rye India Pale Ale – Served in a stemmed tulip, this Imperial IPA utilizes ten different varieties of German and American hops for the perfect fusion of Old World and New World flavors. For added depth and balance, it is brewed with rye grain for a clear, copper color. ABV 9.2%
  • Russian Imperial Stout –This traditional Imperial stout hails from the Russo-European region and utilizes chocolate, a blend of peppers, and vanilla. One of our strongest beers, motor oil black, some versions aged for six months and served in a stemmed tulip. ABV 11%
  • Pumpkin Ale – Served in a Nonick pint, this malty, smooth beer is made to be consumed in the fall. It is accented by the flavor of fresh pumpkin, with nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom. ABV 7.9%
  • Belgian Golden Strong - This Western European style actually carries flavors reminiscent of Central and South America. A barrel-aged tequila flavor coupled with cocoa and a hint of chili peppers make this a truly unique offering for Sojourner's Brewing project. ABV 10.6%
  • Wee Heavy - A blend of smooth, malt body and the flavors expected of Islay Scotches combine to create a truly unique brew. The sweetness works in tandem with the heavy oak and peat flavors all derived from our special blend of malts. 9.6%

Additional beers will include a garlic amber, German doppelbock, Belgian blonde, Belgian triple, Irish Red, robust porter, pear-and-clove saison, extra-special bitter, and wee heavy.

As is common among breweries in greater Denver, Sojourner’s Brewing Project will not provide food prepared on-site at its taproom but rather will allow guests to bring their own or order delivery from local establishments, and the brewery will contract with mobile food vendors, better known as “food trucks,” to have space in the parking lot. As one local investment banker noted, a brewery taproom with a food truck out front is replacing the traditional neighborhood bar in Denver. If in immediate proximity to a restaurant(s), Sojourner's Brewing Project could also explore arrangements to serve that restaurant's full menu with the help of hired runners to place and pick up take-out orders. These arrangements allow Sojourner's Brewing Project to focus initially on winning its bet on beer, rather than additionally managing what is typically a risky restaurant venture alongside it.

Though not offering food, the taproom will seek to eventually offer a complementary array of non-alcoholic beverages, such as easy-to-brew house-made root beer and soda, coffee/espresso and tea drinks, and virgin cocktails that will help attract couples and groups comprising non-beer drinkers who may otherwise preclude their beer-loving compatriots from visiting.

The taproom will also sell – initially at very low prices to help promote the business in the community – “swag” such as t-shirts, key chains, growlers, stickers, and baseball caps. Our t-shirts will come from A Small Print Shop, a small printing business located in Denver, CO, and the additional paraphernalia will come from other online companies such as UPrint and Vistaprint. 

Along the lines of its mission to educate, Sojourner’s Brewing Project plans to offer scheduled or impromptu brewery tours and to make a half-barrel pilot brewing system available for hosting brewing-basics courses and for rent to amateur brewers hoping to use a professional system.

Lastly, Sojourner’s Brewing Project intends to begin distribution efforts to local restaurants and bars, as well as the potential distribution of cans or bottles to liquor stores, as quickly as it is financially viable. (Brewers in Colorado are permitted to self-distribute beer up to 300,000 gallons annually – nearly 20,000 kegs.)

What is your product development timeline?

Research and Development

Part of the responsibility of Sojourner’s Brewing Project will be to continually research and develop new and interesting recipes for craft beer. While the firm will not have a formal R&D department, Andrew will initially be responsible for researching and writing new recipes. This process will include extensive research about style, processes, history, and successes that other breweries have had, in addition to test batches produced on the ½-barrel pilot system. Several factors will influence which recipes are developed and produced, some tangible, some intangible.  Tangible factors include a detailed cost-profit analysis to ensure that the new beer is financially feasible, as well as access to the necessary ingredients. Customer requests will also be taken into consideration, as will seasonal appropriateness. Intangible factors include personal preferences, ingredient variation, and future stylistic developments.

New and Follow-Up Products

The business is built upon the idea of constantly creating and brewing new beers. In addition to research and development from the managing partners, Sojourner’s Brewing Project will partner with other local microbreweries and accomplished homebrewers to produce collaboration beers and beers resulting from Pro-Am Competitions. 

Development Strategy

Sojourner’s Brewing Project will open in late 2016. For the first couple of years, the brewery will focus on building community and recognition around their taproom, with self-distribution to area bars in the form of leased kegs and to liquor stores in the form of 22oz bombers and 12oz cans.

Sojourner’s Brewing Project has leased a space for its brewery and taproom in the Arts District on Santa Fe. As soon as a lease is signed, the Members initiate the licensing process and purchase its 7-barrel brewing system. Both the licensing process and the delivery and installation of the brewing system will take approximately six months, during which time any necessary renovations to the property will also take place. In the run-up to the opening, employees must be hired, equipment for the taproom must be purchased, ingredients must be sourced, and the first batches of beer must be brewed.

It is the goal of Sojourner’s Brewing Project in the short-term to build a substantial community base around the brewery from which to enrich and educate the community about craft beer. Sojourner’s Brewing Project also wants to build a relationship with the broader craft beer community, distributing our beers to different locations around the state of Colorado. In the long-term, we plan to make our beers available to other states across the country.

Major Steps Prior to Opening

The next step after signing a lease is to work with architect Bill Wood to start putting our plans into action. Wood will assist us in finding and interviewing the appropriate general contractors to help facilitate any construction and remodeling. His firm will also oversee the construction processes to make sure that the job is completed in a professional and timely fashion. Wood comes highly recommended and they have experience working with several successful breweries in the Denver area. We are confident that with our creativity and their technical expertise we can successfully navigate the construction with minimal headaches.

Several other facets have to be taken care of during construction. The most important is the filing of our paperwork with the federal and state governments in order to procure our liquor and manufacturing license. Our brewery requires two separate licenses on the state level. The first is a Wholesale Beer License. This license permits us to manufacture beer on-site and distribute it to local liquor stores and beer bars. The second state-required license is a Beer and Wine License. This permits us to serve beer on the premises both in our taproom and in the demarcated outdoor seating. On the federal level, we have to file for a production license. This is the federal equivalent to the Wholesale Beer License.

The Federal licensing is fairly straightforward, and presents no real complications. Most of the decision-making is managed on the state level. The challenges here are two-fold. First, the state requires an onerous amount of information regarding architectural plans and cannot be filed until our project design is complete. This includes certified architectural and engineering drawings.

The ability to open our brewery is completely contingent upon the state accepting our application. It should not be an issue to provide the state with all of their recommended documentation, but if they are not pleased, then it could be sent back for alterations. This back-and-forth could delay the opening of our brewery, since we cannot brew until the application is approved. The second major challenge is application rejection. For any reason, the state could reject the application and bar us from revising it. The list of potential reasons is relatively short, but ambiguous. In order to avoid this, Sojourner's Brewing Project will be putting a huge amount of effort into the research and presentation; but, at a certain point, the brewery is at the whim of the state.

During construction and filing for our licensing with the federal government and the state, we will also be ordering our 7-barrel brewing system. This is a custom-designed system tailored to meet the specific needs of Sojourner’s Brewing Project. It takes 26 to 28 weeks for the company to complete construction of the order. Sojourner’s Brewing Project is required to have all connecting plumbing ready for installation. Setbacks in construction could create delays in installation. It is our hope that, through the oversight of Bill Wood, these setbacks do not occur.

The penultimate step towards opening our doors on schedule is brewing the beer. The goal is to have at least ten different beers on tap on opening day; that translates into brewing 150 barrels (4,650 gallons) of beer before opening day. In order to accomplish this, it will be necessary to establish all the contracts with the ingredient suppliers and work into startup costs all the ingredients needed for these beers. We will be serving nine ales and one lager. The standard turn around time on a lager is six weeks, so the Baltic Porter will have to be brewed first, in order to allow enough time to lager and mature. The lager will take up 15 barrels of our 60-barrel fermentation capacity. At the same time three ales will be brewed, then two weeks later, three more, and two weeks later, three more. When those are finished, they will be kegged and force-carbonated to make way for the remaining two ales. Three days prior to opening, it will be necessary to make sure that all ten beers are kegged and have sufficient time to carbonate.

As long as the remodeling of the building and the installation of the brewing system are completed on schedule, then the only real risk factor is that one of the beers has a flaw. We do not want to open and serve a flawed beer, because first impressions are incredibly important, especially among craft beer aficionados. If one of the beers has a flaw, then we will open with fewer beers, but if the problem is more systemic – such as an overall cleanliness issue – then it could delay the opening of Sojourner’s Brewing Project. In order to avoid this problem, it is our intention to make sure that everything is sanitized to the best of our ability and that our beer is made with the freshest ingredients available.

Finally, it is the intention of Sojourner’s Brewing Project to hire two bartenders prior to opening who will work in the taproom and undertake the duties of serving beer, dealing with customers, and maintaining a clean, friendly environment. We will hire two persons enthusiastic about working in the world of craft beer. These will be full time employees. We will strongly encourage our employees to become Craft Beer Servers and then Certified Beer Servers through the Cicerone program in order to be as knowledgeable as possible about the beer they are serving and the processes that go into it. There are many more people enthusiastic about working in the industry than there are available jobs, but nevertheless, to ensure that we have employees that parallel the mission of our business, they will undergo an interview with both Ben and Andrew. This should help create the best possible work environment for our team to function at maximum capacity.

The First Two Years

Sojourner’s Brewing Project will open with ten beers on tap, and will gradually ramp up to at least fourteen beers on a rotating cycle. Generally it is the intention of the brewery to release one new beer (i.e. not tap) per month. Occasionally, a limited beer will be released from our ½- barrel pilot system. The brewery will sell a limited number of 22oz bottles, referred to as bombers, and growlers on opening day as well.

In addition, Sojourner’s Brewing Project will participate in the following conferences and competitions in order to spread notoriety about the product: Denver Craft Beer week and the Craft Brewer’s Conference in March, the Denver International Beer Competition in April, the South Denver Beer Fest in May, the National Homebrewer’s Conference in June, and the Great American Brew Fest in October, held every year in Denver, CO. There are numerous small events and festivals throughout the year, and our participation in them will be evaluated on time and cost efficiency on an individual basis.

Sojourner’s Brewing Project will begin to can for distribution to liquor stores and beer bars on a limited basis as soon as possible. This can be done by hand, a six-pack at a time. Once wider distribution is appropriate, Sojourner's Brewing Project will utilize Mobile Canning Systems of Longmont, CO, which will do the actual canning. Mobile Canning’s business model is to plan a date with the brewery and arrive with the canning machinery to can on-site. It is then the responsibility of the brewery to distribute the finished, canned product. In order to distribute the canned beer, Sojourner’s Brewing Project will apply for its Manufacturer’s License with the other licenses. This license allows the brewery to distribute up to 300,000 gallons of beer per year and avoid utilizing an independent distribution company. For this purpose, Sojourner’s Brewing Project will purchase a van or truck to move the cans from the brewery to the retailer.

Another opportunity on which Sojourner’s Brewing Project wants to capitalize is education. After the first year, the brewery will start offering courses to interested homebrewers, both new and old, and allowing advanced homebrewers to utilize the pilot system on scheduled dates. Sojourner’s Brewing Project also wants to host a BJCP-certified competition during the summer of 2017; this requires coordinating with the Beer Judge Certification Program to find volunteer judges and publicizing the competition.

Finally, one way Sojourner’s Brewing Project hopes to expand is in volume. In the first year of operation, the goal is to produce and sell around 2,000 barrels. Afterwards, the brewery hopes to increase production rapidly, especially in distribution as taproom capacity is limited. In the optimal scenario, the brewery would produce around 3,500 barrels annually by the end of the second year, because this is both the time- and size-optimization specs for a 7-barrel system.

Years Three through Five

The goal is to continue to expand barrel production by at least 10% per year for the taproom, a reasonable goal given the current growth rate of the market, and even faster in distribution as the brewery gains notoriety. Once Sojourner's Brewing Project can distribute over 300,000 gallons of beer, it must use an independent third-party distributor. Another major change during this period of time will be expansion to accommodate a bigger brew house, a canning facility, and space for eventual barrel aging.

What is your production process?

Properly managing ingredient sourcing and keeping an eye on agricultural ingredient costs, particularly hops and barley and especially in the face of recent drought conditions in the Western United States, will be critical to Sojourner's Brewing Project's success.

Vendors

Brewer’s Supply Group — Grain, Hops, Yeast, Adjuncts

Discountmugs.com — Glassware

Five Star Chemicals & Supply, Inc. — Sanitizer, Glycol

Staples — Toilet Paper, Cleaning Supplies, Cash Register, Safe

Ball Corp — Cans

Chrislan — Bottles, Growlers, Tap Handles

Glacier Design Systems, Inc. — Tap Lines

Apple, Inc. — Ipads

Atlas Labels & Packaging — Labels, Stationary, Business Cards, Coasters, Packaging

Home Depot — Hardware, Safety Equipment

A Small Print Shop — Memorabilia

Keg Credit — Kegs

 

Suppliers

Hopunion LLC

203 Division Street
Yakima, WA 98902

Products: Hops, the cost can vary with growing season.

Credit: For the first year we need to pay with a credit card, afterwards they will extend to us Net Terms.

History: Hopunion is a recognized industry leader in the hop supplier. The company was formed in 1986. It grew from supplying 30 brewers to 400, to over 1,100 today. They are a thriving supplier of more than 80 premium hop types and hop products, specializing in raw hop packaging and nitrogen evacuated pellet processing. They have one of the largest selections of hop varieties. We have used their hops in our homebrewing endeavors and have not had any problems with them.

 

Briess Malt and Ingredients Co

625 S. Irish Rd.
PO Box 229
Chilton, WI 53014

Products: Malted Barley, the cost can vary with the growing season.

Credit: They welcome all new customers, and offer open account terms to new customers once reliable evidence of creditworthiness is obtained. Prior to receiving approval for open account terms, customer orders can be either prepaid or the order is held until credit is approved. They offer a 2% cash discount for orders that are prepaid with a check.

History: Briess has been in operation since 1876. They have one of the most extensive line of specialty malts produced. They provide everything from a full line of malts to pure malt extracts, brewers flakes and filtering aids. We have used their grains in our homebrewing endeavors and have not had any problems with them.

 

Brewers Supply Group

800 West First Ave,

Shakopee, MN 55379

Warehouse location: 4900 Moline Street,

Denver, CO 80239

Products: They provide malts and hops which prices can change with the agricultural season. They also supply different water treatments and yeast nutrients which are more stable.

Credit: They do offer lines of credits for companies. New customers need to provide bank authorization with the applications. We may be expected to pre-pay our orders if our credit line is no approved.

History: They are proud to carry a unique lineup of brewing ingredients.  They supply American breweries with over 3 million pounds of imported malt, 10 million pounds of domestic malt, and 1.5 million pounds of hops. 

 

The Country Malt Group

3201 NW Lower River Rd.

Vancouver, WA 98660

Products: They provide malted barley which can reflex seasonal variety in their pricing.

Credit: We can apply for credit terms, but before we are approved we will need to pre-pay with a credit card or business check.

History: They are Vancouver, Washington-based and founded in 1918. The Steinbart Wholesale division was opened in September 1994 and was sold to Brewcraft Ltd. of New Zealand in July 2005. They take pride in offering excellent customer service and a high level of quality in all products. They use organic products and follow environmental processes whenever possible. In 2010, Brewcraft USA became a subsidiary of Great Western Malting Company. Brewcraft USA continues to supply a wide variety of premium quality local, imported and specialty ingredients and equipment for the production of beer, wine, cheese and spirits. As part of the Great Western Malting Company family, Brewcraft USA now extends beyond the west coast and serves the entire United States.

 

General Air

1105 Zuni St

Denver, CO 80204

Products: They provide food grade CO2, Nitrogen, and Oxygen, their prices are stable.

Credit: Credit Information forth coming. They will respond to any gas run outs within 2-4 hours.

History: General Air delivers the best products the industry has. They rather work with us on a personal level, and like to get to know their customers well, and tailor their products and services to help us succeed. In 1969, General Air was incorporated to expand the scope of the parent company’s services and the size of its territory.  Their Corporate Mission is to earn and retain regional leadership as a total quality supplier of superior products and services. Working in partnership with our customers, employees and shareholders, suppliers and communities, we pledge to conduct business by these core principles:

 

Five Star Chemicals & Supply Inc

4915 E 52nd Ave

             Commerce City, CO 80022

Products: They will provide cleaning and sanitizing products for our brewery. Their prices are stable.

Credit: Credit Information forth coming. They provide free delivery to Boulder every Tuesday and allow pick up from their warehouse in Commerce City.

History: History was not available at this time (website down), but this is a well know company in the microbrewery and homebrewing industry.

 

Staples

Products: They provide the office and bathroom cleaning supplies needed. Their prices are stable.

Credit: Credit information forth coming. We would pick up from one of their stores.        

History: This is a well-known and established vendor in the United States.

 

Home Depot

Products: They provide improvement items and other things needed in construction. Their prices are stable.

Credit: Credit information forth coming. We would pick up from one of their stores.        

History: This is a well-known and established vendor in the United States.

 

Production 

Craft beer production on Sojourner’s Brewing Project's premises includes not only the actual brewing of the beer but also the condition/fermentation of the beer, the cleaning and maintenance of all of the equipment, kegging, carbonating, and serving all of the beer. Brewing the beer requires operating the 7-barrel system.

The first step will be to design the recipe and engage vendors to ensure that the brewery is in possession of all of the necessary ingredients. On brew day, the grain is first ground in the mill, where it is pulled through the flex auger and then deposited in the mash tun. In the hot liquor tank meanwhile, the water is first heated to 190 degrees Fahrenheit to neutralize any wild yeast or chloramines that can produce off flavors in the water or during the fermentation process. The water is then lowered to the appropriate strike temperature to be added to the grains. The strike temperature and the RIMS system determine the temperature of the mash, which in turn affects the amount of starches that are converted and the complex sugars that will provide the beer with the appropriate body.

Sojourner’s Brewing Project will utilize approximately 1,860 gallons of water for every 465 gallons of beer produced. That means that annually the brewery will require 279,000 gallons of water on the brew house side. On the taproom side of operations, water will be used to clean all the glassware and floors, and will be available to customers from a dispenser machine free of charge. Our estimates indicate that for both sides of the business, Sojourner’s Brewing Project needs approximately 300,000 gallons of water per annum.

After mashing, the liquid, now referred to as wort, is drained off from the mash tun and transferred via pumps into the boil kettle. The beer boils for a predetermined amount of time in order to convert a certain amount of the complex sugars and proteins into fermentable sugars. Most of the hops and some clarifying agents are added during this part of the process. Once the wort has finished boiling it is allowed to rest so that the proteins can coagulate and dropout, it is then whirled to finish the process. Finally, it is rapidly chilled with the assistance of city water and glycol, and pumped through oxygenating apparatus into the fermentation tanks, where the yeast is pitched. The yeast is then allowed to ferment for approximately 10 days, with the exact number to be determined by the style and yeast strain utilized.

The kegging will be done directly from the fermentation tanks and brite tank. Those kegs are then hooked up to CO2 tanks to complete the 48-hour carbonation process. The healthy yeast from those fermentation tanks is siphoned off and stored in cold storage to be re-pitched on future batches of beer. Those tanks are then thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.

Most of those kegs will be attached directly to tap lines to be served on-site in the taproom. Some will be distributed to local bars to be served on their tap system, and some will be hand-bottled with a counter-pressure bottle filler and sold in bombers (22-oz. bottles) on-site. This summarizes production for the first year of operation for Sojourner’s Brewing Project. If all goes according to schedule, two bright tanks will be added by the end of the year, reducing the time spent kegging, force-carbonating, and swapping kegs out on the tap lines in cold storage.

In the second year, production will continue in mostly the same vein as year one, but with a sharp increase in volume, and the addition of cans. For the production of cans, Sojourner’s Brewing Project will have Mobile Canning Services based in Longmont, Colorado arrive on the scheduled day and help can the craft beer on behalf of the brewery. It will then be the responsibility of Sojourner’s Brewing Project to deliver that canned product to local liquor stores and beer bars. The goal is to add an additional two bright tanks in the second year as well, which will further cut down on the time spent kegging, force-carbonating, and swapping kegs out on the tap lines in cold storage on open days, as the kegs kick.

All of the beer produced by Sojourner’s Brewing Project will be produced on-site in a 7-barrel system. The system includes a hot liquor tank where water is heated and then introduced into the mash tun. The grain will be ground in a mill and transferred through a corkscrew lift system into the mash tun and mixed with the hot liquor, there it will steep for the necessary amount of time to extract all of the sugars. The water, now wort, will be filtered out of the mash tun and transferred into the boil kettle. In this kettle, heat converts the starches into fermentable sugars, and hops are added to produce the required bitterness and flavor profile. Upon completion of the boil, the wort is pumped into an appropriately sized fermenter, oxygenated, and then yeast is pitched to begin fermentation. Finally, once fermentation is complete the finished beer will be filtered and transferred into kegs, where it will be force-carbonated before being connected to the tap lines for service in the taproom.

This process requires certain key ingredients in order to run smoothly. First and foremost is water. Beer is approximately 80% water, so it is important to make sure that we work with the highest quality. Using the local water profile as a base, any additional minerals will be added after the boil. This can include minerals for yeast health as well as stylistic requirements.

Another key ingredient is malt. Malt is barley that has been kilned and roasted to various levels to produce flavor, color, body, and fermentable sugars. Base malts make up a large majority of our malt requirements and include 2-row barley, Pale Ale malt, and Pilsner malt. Our malt will come primarily from Brewer’s Supply Group, a national company, with a regional headquarters in Denver, Colorado. Grain will be stored securely in our facility to avoid damp conditions and pests, and ordered on a monthly basis to insure freshness.

Hops are the bittering, flavoring, and sanitizing element in beer. Our beers will draw on a wide variety of hops depending on stylistic characteristics, availability, and pricing. The yeast will also come from White Labs. Yeast are the microorganisms that take the sugar and convert it into alcohol during primary fermentation. Sojourner’s Brewing Project will maintain approximately three different strains of yeast in its cold storage to be used for refermentation. Finally, adjuncts are necessary for certain kinds of beer and can range from corn to rice to molasses and others. These will be evaluated based on the individual needs of each beer.

In addition to the ingredients of the beer, certain chemicals are required for cleanliness and other brew house processes. Oxygen is necessary for maintaining good yeast health. Nitrogen and carbon dioxide provide pressure for the tap lines, and allow the beer to be carbonated. Glycol will be housed in a chiller. It is used to chill the tap lines to their appropriate serving temperature and, more importantly, to circulate around the exterior of the fermentation tanks, to make sure that the beer ferments at the optimal temperature. For cleanliness, CIP100 will be utilized for sanitation. Finally, we will use a standard defoamer to keep the hot break from the boil kettle from boiling over onto the floor of the facility. 

OPERATIONS

Daily Operations

Both employees and managers will also deal directly with customers on a daily basis. The representatives of Sojourner’s Brewing Project will serve beer, lead tours, and address any customer questions and/or complaints. This is a business driven by its on-site clientele and by numerous word-of-mouth reviews, both on- and off-line, so it is imperative that the representatives of the company are capable of handling customers with an unceasingly positive and helpful demeanor. It will also be their responsibility to serve every beer with education. That means in the appropriate glass, at the appropriate temperature, and have the ability to answer any questions about the style, production, and ingredients of the particular beer ordered.

Finally, every day will require the brewery to update its status on different social media sites. Sojourner’s Brewing Project will have a presence on Twitter, Instagram, Untappd, and Facebook. It is the goal of Sojourner’s Brewing Project to increase its Internet presence before opening by adding a website, an iPhone app, a WordPress blog, and Pinterest. This will be updated on a near daily basis to let the digital world know what is happening at Sojourner’s Brewing Project on any given day.

Twice-Weekly Operations

The main twice-weekly event will be the brewing of the beer. If the brewery meets its projections, then in the first year of production it will be necessary to brew four times per week. Again, this number will be reevaluated on a monthly basis based on sales, demand, and production capability. This means brewing four separate 7-barrel batches of beer per week, and cleaning the brewery afterwards. Like all great breweries, beer production is 85% cleaning and 15% brewing. This will require us to have the necessary ingredients and cleaning supplies, to maintain the appropriate levels of glycol and water, and insure that our brewing equipment is running at maximum efficiency.

Weekly Operations

Weekly operations will consist of considerable cleaning. The tap lines will be cleaned on a weekly basis to prevent contamination and off-flavors, as well as anytime a new kind of beer is put onto a tap. Every Monday the taproom will be deep-cleaned in order to remove any damage and dirt left from the previous week, and prepare for the next opening on the following Thursday. We will also evaluate supplies both from the brewery and the taproom that are in need of replacement after opening hours, and reorder anything that may be running low. 

Monthly Operations

On a monthly basis the advisory board meeting will take place, in order to insure that all of the advisors and company managers are fully updated concerning the last months progress and setbacks. Any major issues will be addressed, including, but not limited to, legal and financial issues, expansion, damage, or employee concerns. Also, Ben and Andrew will consult on the repertoire of recipes available to Sojourner’s Brewing Project and confirm the brewery schedule of the next month. This includes verifying the pre-existing brew schedule, making any modifications based on ingredient availability or new recipes, and equipment availability.

A detailed inventory will be taken of both the taproom and the brew house, and the appropriate vendors will be contacted to resupply all items running low. Any repairs that need to be made to the brew house will be made in order to optimize efficiency. Another facet of monthly operations includes making sure that all of our financial obligations are met. All sales tax will be paid. The brewery will compare its projections with actual sales and costs, make payments for all of its utilities, services required, and vendors, and make payments to all of the investors.

Sojourner’s Brewing Project will host a tapping party once a month, where a brand new beer will be released. The goal is to hold it on the first of every month, and allow that beer a month on tap. These events will commonly feature other specials, and will be a way to kick off each month by reinvigorating the client base. These events will typically showcase the new beer, as well as a local band, increased happy hour specials, and access to a popular food truck outside.

Quarterly Operations

Sojourner’s Brewing Project will produce a quarterly finance report that will be shared with the advisory board. The goal of this report is to give all of the involved parties access to our finances. The advisory group requires this information in order to help the managing partners make the best possible decisions from the company. Investors can take confidence in the transparency of Sojourner’s Brewing Project and know whether the brewery is meeting its stated goals and objectives on, behind, or ahead of schedule. It is the responsibility of Sojourner’s Brewing Project to pay taxes on the beer produced to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau on a quarterly basis.

Bi-Annual Operations

For Sojourner’s Brewing Project, this facet of operations refers primarily to obtainment of new equipment. The brewery has a goal to expand fermentation and carbonation capacity roughly every six months for the first two years of operation. These tanks will gradually replace the heavy kegging load of the brewery and allow for the brewing of additional beers. Bright tanks are tanks that allow beer to be force- carbonated inside, and then served directly from the tanks. In other words, it allows the brewery to skip the step of kegging and force- carbonating each of those kegs.

Yearly Operations

In addition to the quarterly report, Sojourner’s Brewing Project will produce an annual financial report. Each investor will also receive an update on their account in terms of monies paid out to them by Sojourner’s Brewing Project over the course of the year, and the remaining balance on their investment. All necessary federal and state taxes will be filed as well.

Every year, Sojourner’s Brewing Project will host an event that is open exclusively to vendors, advisory board members, investors, and their families. The event will be invitation-only and consist of a catered lunch on the brewery premises in the afternoon and an on-site evening event featuring Sojourner's products and local hors d’oeuvres. This event is designed to be an annual thank you to all of the individuals who helped make the dream of Sojourner’s Brewing Project a reality, and the brewery plans to continue holding this event after the initial investments have been repaid in full. 

How do you sell your product or service?

Once the brewery opens, the vast majority of the Sojourner's Brewing Project's sales will come from pints (and growlers) in the taproom. Depending on the efficiency of the brewing process (a function of system size and volume brewed), pints can carry gross margins approaching 90%. Unfortunately, pints sales in a taproom setting are limited by the capacity of the taproom itself, and further growth must come from distribution. Cofounder Ben Gettinger, drawing from his experience selling newspaper advertising, will initially lead efforts to distribute to local restaurants and, when bottling and canning becomes feasible, liquor stores. Once Sojourner’s Brewing Project surpasses 300,000 gallons of beer distributed, it must turn over its distribution operations to an independent distributor. Such growth will necessarily be preceded by the lease of additional brewing and canning/bottling space, ideally in a less-expensive industrial area.

How do you market your product or service?

Market and Product Strategy

A location in the Arts District on Santa Fe allows Sojourner’s Brewing Project to aim at market segments interested in the arts, travel, and, of course, craft beer. Many of the citizens of Denver, CO, fall into the demographic groups who frequent microbreweries and brewpubs, and the city supports breweries in a way that few others do. The brewery’s biggest weakness will be its youth; with so many breweries in the market, showing that we are worth someone’s time will be a main challenge, both in the taproom and especially if Sojourner’s Brewing Project wants to be a player in distribution. Luckily, the leased premises in the Arts District on Santa Fe is in a high-traffic area -- with 36,000 vehicles passing each day on 8th Avenue and as many as 30,000 pedestrians during summertime First Friday gallery walks -- underserved with only two breweries within a block of Santa Fe Drive. Sojourner's Brewing Project's specific location has built-in advantages, with nine parking spots (more than most locations downtown) and a CBS-owned billboard available for lease directly overhead.

Sojourner’s Brewing Project will brew unique beers with exotic ingredients, bound by the theme of travel. A “sojourn” is a period of temporary stay reached by journey; our beer will transport the drinker on a sojourn to some other place. Different fascinating and exotic places around the globe inspire all of the beers; the ingredients reflect geographical regions from around the world, initially including Italy, Greece, Turkey, Germany, Belgium, Brazil, and India. For example, Sojourner’s Brewing Project will brew an American Stout with Turkish coffee, cardamom, and oranges; a bourbon barrel-aged Belgian Golden Strong; a Baltic Porter; and a Hefeweizen utilizing apricots and dates.

Sojourner’s Brewing Project intends to penetrate the Generation X and Generation Y segments in Denver, Colorado, providing for them with a new, unique microbrewery.  A multi-faceted marketing approach will help Sojourner’s become known to the community, using both traditional means (such as posters, paper advertisements, websites, and coupons, and a billboard directly above the proposed location in the Arts District on Santa Fe) and digital means (such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, iPhone Apps, Untapped, and blogs). We will also continue to foster relationships with other local breweries to spread, through word of mouth, both our product and theirs. Presence at the many local beer festivals and competitions, as well as a possible Kickstarter fundraising campaign to promote local awareness, will add to Sojourner’s Brewing Project’s notoriety.

Pricing Strategy

Initially, an overwhelming majority of sales at Sojourner’s Brewing Project will come from pint sales. With hundreds of points of sale every day and a fairly flexible menu with the possibility of dynamic pricing, Sojourner’s Brewing Project can maximize profits by deriving consumer willingness-to-pay. Of course, such analysis must be undertaken with a long-term view as well, not jeopardizing future growth by pricing out those who might promote our brand via word of mouth or by garnering negative attention over devious pricing.

Though prices will likely initially mimic those at other breweries and may ultimately stay close to that, data output from the point-of-sale system will enable Sojourner’s Brewing Project to analyze customer responsiveness to different prices. The company can analyze price elasticity for various styles and seasonal and specialty beers relative to flagship brews, volume-driving “happy hour” specials at slower times of day, and profit-maximizing pricing for pours larger than a pint (or, inversely, per-ounce surcharges on flights of 5oz pours).

Promotion and Advertising Strategy and Marketing Vehicles

For the majority of craft brewers, the primary marketing strategy is to adhere to the strictest standards of quality and craftsmanship in order to serve an excellent beer, and Sojourner’s Brewing Project is no exception. This will provide the company with a strong reputation and encourage customers to tell others about their experiences, and the quality of the beer. Sojourner’s Brewing Project must prove itself amongst the thousands of microbreweries extant. In Colorado, the density of craft breweries poses both challenges and boons to new breweries. Colorado has the third-highest number of microbreweries after California and Washington, and third in breweries per capita at 6.1 per 100,000 adults age 21 and over. On the plus side, the Colorado craft brewing establishment has been very welcoming to newer breweries including allowing breweries to share equipment and raw material purchasing power, along with a starkly increasing number of inter-brewery collaborations.

Sojourner’s Brewing Project will use a combination of traditional and non-traditional marketing efforts to promote the microbrewery. Traditional marketing efforts will include paid advertisements on radio and billboards as well as cultivating relationships with numerous online and print journalistic resources pertaining to the craft beer industry. These include but are not limited to Beer Advocate, Beer Man, Fermentedly Challenged, the Rocky Mountain Brewing Newsletter, Brewer’s Association, 5280 Magazine, Westword, the Daily Camera, the local Chamber of Commerce, and numerous social media sites. Also, in our taproom, we will sell a collection of souvenirs, including, but not limited to pint glasses, growlers, glasses, stickers, t-shirts, and key chains. We will also make sure to utilize indirect marketing such as making sure all the bars and pubs that carry our beer have our tap handles.

In addition, we plan on making Sojourner’s Brewing Project a destination brewery by hosting frequent on-site events such as: homebrew clubs, beer and cheese pairings, beer dinners, and local concerts. It is our goal to participate in off-site events including festivals and professional competitions. Customers will also have the opportunity to become a member of a frequent buyer club. Participants can earn discounts and recognition by frequenting the taproom and using their card. This card will also be tied to an app that allows users to find our beer in other taprooms and keep track of their points. We plan on also offering discounts to American Homebrewer Association members and other groups.

Sales Strategy

The sales strategy of Sojourner’s Brewing Project is two-pronged: direct (our taproom) and indirect (bars/restaurants and liquor/grocery stores) sales. Direct sales include the sale of beer to customers on-site in the taproom. All advertising within the microbrewery will be for the purpose of endorsing Sojourner’s Brewing Project products, events, and specials. There will be no advertising for products for companies like Anhaeuser-Busch, but may be limited reference to local microbreweries with which we have cultivated successful and productive relationships.

Sojourner’s Brewing Project will have twelve to fifteen taps, six will be reserved for our flagship beers, and three will be given over to a rotating selection of seasonal and experimental beers. This rotating stock is very popular amongst the group of clientele known as “beer nuts.” Local advertisements will be taken out pending the release of new products, which will serve to obtain an influx of customers interested in trying all the cutting edge brews.

Furthermore, Sojourner’s Brewing Project will offer to serve as a meeting place for local groups. The microbrewery can contact local clubs and organizations about having events at the brewery. Sojourner’s Brewing Project will also reserve a certain amount of taproom space for special events. Groups and/or organizations will be able to rent the room for a nominal fee to make the event private.

Sojourner’s Brewing Project also wants to continue its mission of education in our approach to sales. The microbrewery will advertise on-site homebrew courses, where participants can come and learn the basics of home-brewing on our pilot system. Additionally, we will offer to rent out our pilot system on days when we are not brewing to those interested in using a professional system.

Sojourner’s Brewing Project will also promote brewery tours, where people are driven around to different bars and breweries. These are usually set up by a group of people looking to try out different types of beers and experience different taprooms. The Sojourner’s Brewing Project will periodically mention brewery tours in advertisements and on-site. Additionally, we will provide frequent tours of the brewing process where customers will get a sample of freshly brewed beer at the end.

Finally, Sojourner’s Brewing Project will take on sponsorships. The microbrewery will sponsor local events in an effort to build both sales and community. Sojourner’s Brewing Project will use this form of advertising because it is relatively inexpensive and can serve as a rather effective form of advertisement.

The indirect sales strategy involves beer sold to area taverns, bars, and pubs. Thanks to the smaller size of Sojourner’s Brewing Project, we can distribute our own kegs in the state of Colorado, up to 300,000 gallons (almost 20,000 kegs) annually, selling kegs for between 20-50% more than to a third-party distributor. Drawing on his experience running his newspapers advertising sales department, Member Ben Gettinger will develop Sojourner's sales team. Metrics not only for raw sales but also for tracking promotional displays and inclusion on weekly sales are crucial. Sales are highly relationship-driven -- excitement generated through brand storytelling in the account-management process then trickles down directly from bar managers and bartenders to their own customers. The end goal is to move from a "chalkboard" menu -- that is, rotating taps -- to the printed menu of a restaurant or bar's permanent taps.

Who are your target customers?

Our target market encompasses several different demand types, but for the most part it is spread between two different demographic groups: the college educated 21-34 year old generation Y, also known as the 'Millennials,' and households aged 35-65 non-Hispanic whites, otherwise known as Generation X. Our brewery will cover three different demand types: beer purchased while traveling, beer purchased at bars, and beer purchased for at-home consumption.

The best spenders on alcoholic beverages while traveling continue to be older, white, married couples, from the Northeast, Mid-west, and West, traveling without children, accounting for two-thirds of the market. From 2000 to 2006, this type of spending grew 8% and although it suffered with the recent economic downturn, as the economy recovers, this type of spending will start to rise again with the recovery.

The best spenders at restaurants and bars are married couples, age 25-34, non-Hispanic whites, without children or preschoolers, from the Midwest and West. They account for almost 89% of that market segment. From 2000 to 2006, this type of spending grew 16% and also suffered from the recent economic downturn. In addition to the belt tightening, there has been a recent shift from beer to whiskey and other types of alcohol, although it is expected that as discretionary income grows, the spending on beer will also grow again.

The final market demand Sojourner’s Brewing Project expects to fulfill is demand for beer and ales at home. In this demand type, the best spenders are married couples, age 25-54, with children under age 18, in the West. The overall trend in the early 2000s was one of decline caused by trends of delayed marriage and family formation of the Millennial generation, the economic downturn only accelerated this decline. However, as this generation starts to spend more time at home and discretionary income grows again, spending in this market segment will stabilize and grow. Overall, the New Strategist Publication group sees these demands as about to enter a general trend of growth with the stabilization of the market and the increase of discretionary income again. These different groups tend to be college educated, married both with and without children, and well employed, earning a household income of $70,000 or more

Do you have current customers?

Andrew has served his beer at amateur brewery competitions and has built a small, loyal following in Denver.

What is your current customer pipeline?

Sojourner's Brewing Project is confident that we can attract guests to the tap room.

Status Leased
Location Type Retail Space
Comments Sojourner's Brewing Project has signed a lease for its brewery and taproom at 925 W 8th Avenue in the Santa Fe Arts District of Denver, Colorado. This is an urban community near the heart of downtown Denver. The arts districts see as many as 40,000 vehicles a day, and on a summertime First Friday, up to 30,000 people on foot. The brewery will sit near the crossroads of major East-West (8th Avenue) and North-South (Santa Fe Drive) Denver thoroughfares, located along a major traffic corridor through the town, and would become a part of the economic zone there. There are two other breweries in the Santa Fe neighborhood, Renegade Brewing Company and Black Sky Brewery, leaving plenty of room for a new venture. Denver is already a destination city for those interested in microbreweries, and the Arts District of Santa Fe is a destination within Denver. With over 60 galleries, it is one of Denver's designated creative spaces and draws thousands on First Fridays. The Denver Beer Trail also encourages people to make their way to that area, and we're excited to be a new addition there. Sojourner’s Brewing Project will begin with a 7-barrel (217 gallon) brewing system. The system and all of its associated parts require approximately 1200 square feet of space. The taproom will take up a roughly equal amount of space. Provided that the brewery meets its five-year projections, this size of building should meet the needs of the brewery for approximately three years. It is the goal of Sojourner’s Brewing Project to start as a destination brewery, which is helped with a location in an area that receives both a large amount of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The location also provides opportunities for signage (including an overhead billboard), easy access, and adequate parking with nine spaces, a rarity downtown.
Entity Sojourner's Brewing Project, LLC
Entity Type LLC
State Organized Colorado
Founded October 2015
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Benjamin P Gettinger

Cofounder

Ben Gettinger is finishing his JD/MBA at Indiana University, where he is involved in the Entrepreneurship Law Clinic and the Entrepreneurial Innovation Academy and has taken management coursework in business analytics, corporate finance, and operations and supply chain.

After graduating from Harvard with an undergraduate degree in Economics in 2008, he started his career trading Eurodollar options at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, quickly being promoted to the manager of a three-person team with a multi-million dollar portfolio. He returned to his Indiana hometown to take over his family newspaper business when his mother fell ill in 2010 and could no longer work as publisher. For two years, he autonomously managed all aspects of the firm. He increased local advertising revenues back up nearly 50% from the low they had hit in the aftermath of his mother’s incapacitation, competitively sourced the newspaper’s printing vendor to cut production costs by 20% while improving quality, and oversaw investment in the development and overhaul of the publication’s digital platforms.

While in graduate school, Ben helped sell the newspaper and spent his summers interning in corporate strategy roles at AT&T and Cummins (a Fortune 200 diesel engine manufacturer), where he consulted on growth and enterprise risk projects. This consulting work, along with his academic experience in business law, finance, and marketing and operations analytics and his practical experience managing employees and vendors and pounding the pavement as a salesman at the newspaper, will be directly applicable to helping Sojourner’s Brewing Project succeed.

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Andrew Moore

Cofounder

Andrew currently works as an Assistant Brewer and Server at 105 West Brewing Company. Andrew completed his undergraduate with honors at Indiana University Bloomington in 2008, a post-baccalaureate from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010, and a Master’s Degree from Colorado University Boulder in 2012, during which time he worked extensively in the Middle East.

Andrew has been brewing for over five years and has won numerous accolades for his beer. An American Brown Ale received second place in the category at the The Brew Hut Homebrew Competition, and third place at Dredhop Homebrew Competition in Boulder, CO. The Dunkelweizen received a third place at the Massachusetts Wort Homebrewing Competition. An Apple Wine won second place overall at 8 Seconds of Froth in Wyoming. Finally, the Wee Heavy, or Strong Scotch Ale, won Best of Show at the Avery Strong Ales Homebrew Competition and was served alongside all of the other commercial beers with considerable positive feedback from the attendees.

In 2012, Andrew brewed briefly for Crystal Springs Brewing. He began working for Castle Rock Homebrew Supply in 2014. There he taught both extract and all-grain brewing courses and assisted in the preliminary development of 105 West Brewing Company as an extension of the homebrew store. In 2015, he worked in packaging and cellaring for Boulder Beer Company.

Missing

Larry Davis

Larry Davis is a Certified Public Accountant and a former Certified Financial Planner with 40+ years of experience in public accounting. He is a retired partner of BKD, LLP, a national CPA firm providing accounting and advisor services to its clients. He has specialized in the area of taxation, financial and estate planning, small business consulting and organizational structures.

He has been involved in many small business start-ups and has seen them develop into successful and prosperous businesses. His greatest professional achievement is the rapport he has established and maintained with his business clients. He enjoys working with clients, putting an emphasis on establishing a business structure that will work for the parties and implementing a system of controls and financial statements that are useful and allow the business to succeed.

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Mark Need

At the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University, Professor Need directs the Elmore Entrepreneurship Law Clinic, a joint venture between the Maurer School of Law and the Kelley School of Business, distinguished by its focus on start-up ventures with high-growth potential. He also instructs the classroom component of the clinical course. Fourth-year joint JD/MBA students and third-year law students have the unique opportunity to assist ventures with legal issues including financial planning, organization, licenses, agreements, regulatory and zoning compliance, and intellectual property matters.

Need has a long history serving the small business client. Prior to joining Indiana Law, Professor Need spent thirteen years in private practice, representing businesses of all sizes. He spent the last five years of his private practice as a partner at Bose McKinney & Evans in Indianapolis, where he represented personal clients with their business needs while also assisting firm clients in a broad range of business litigation areas, including employment, regulatory, construction, real estate, and copyright. Following private practice, he served as general counsel for a former corporate client. He is a certified civil mediator. Need, an alumnus of IU's joint JD/MBA program, is also the faculty director of the Law School's JD/MBA programs.

Need, a 2009 recipient of the Trustees Teaching Award at the Law School, has also served as an adjunct professor at the Kelley School of Business, where he received the Excellence in Teaching Award, and teaches commercial law in the Sungkyunkwan MBA program in Seoul, South Korea.

Missing

Scott Rigney

Scott currently serves as the head of CarDon Development a subsidiary of CarDon and Associates (a $300M senior housing company with 20 campuses and approximately 3000 employees). He also sits on CarDon and Associates Senior Executive Team. He reports directly to the President and CEO. As the Chief Development Officer, Scott is responsible for all real estate, development and construction activities. Since joining CarDon in 2008, Scott has completed over $150M of development and construction projects for the company.

During Scott’s 25-year career in real estate and plant management he has worked in higher education, big pharma, and health care. His areas of expertise include: site selection, site and campus master planning, a broad range of real estate services, plant management, along with comprehensive project delivery including design and construction. Scott’s work history includes a series of progressive roles at: I.U. Health/Clarian Health (Executive Director of Corporate Real Estate), Eli Lilly and Company (Senior Projects Planner), Butler University (Physical Plant Director), and Indiana University/Purdue University (Associate Director – Real Estate/Plant Management). Scott has a B.S. in Finance from Ball State University and an MBA from the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University.

Missing

Eric Stolberg

Eric C. Stolberg is President/CEO of WSProperty Group and has been active in commercial real estate development throughout Indiana since 1975. His developments include retail, office and build-to-suit/lease back projects. As President of WSPG, he is involved in Asset Management and Commercial Leasing for third parties. Eric received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana University Bloomington. He was a member of the 1967 Big Ten Co-Championship football team as well as Indiana University’s Rose Bowl team.

Eric has recently expanded into the healthcare industry and has developed several senior care communities as well as a successful partnership with its operating company Bloomington-based CarDon & Associates. Eric was instrumental in the financing and development of senior care campuses located in Plainfield and Westfield, Indiana. Both facilities are scheduled for completion in 2015. The senior care campuses include assisted living, memory support, rehabilitation center and skilled nursing care. Future expansion of campuses will include independent living apartments and single story cottages.

Eric is past chairman of the board of the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation and is actively involved in lobbying activities at both the state and federal level on behalf of funding of higher education in the State of Indiana. He is a member of the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, the Bloomington Downtown Commission, Indiana University Varsity Club I-Association, Indiana University Athletic Donor and is a recent recipient of the prestigious Clevenger Award presented by Indiana University. He serves on several advisory boards in the Bloomington Community.

Missing

David Moore

David is a committed investor, the father of Andrew, and the owner of both CarDon & Associates and Pictura Galleries.

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Modus Law

Modus Law is a firm dedicated to helping entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses. We focus on our clients needs not lawyer egos.

We are here for you and your business -- not the other way around. To us, what is important is helping you with your entrepreneurial dream. Accordingly, we decided it was important to create a name that was not merely a tribute to a few individuals. If anything, our practice is about a method, a philosophy (a “modus” if you will) to do everything we can to help you reach your goals.

When you understand that our guiding principles consist of transparency, efficiency, education and passion, you will hopefully appreciate that we do things a bit differently. If we are lucky enough to represent you, and you experience our values first hand, we are confident that you will be amazed to see how much better things can be...

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Pinnacle Real Estate Advisors

Pinnacle Real Estate Advisors is a full-service commercial real estate brokerage firm in Denver focused on buying, selling and leasing all types of investment properties.

Our brokers have a deep understanding of Denver’s commercial real estate industry and use their broad experience to help clients achieve their investment goals with office, industrial, retail and multifamily properties.

In addition to sales and leasing activity, Pinnacle has a commercial property management division, Pinnacle Real Estate Management, which manages all types of commercial property in the state of Colorado. Pinnacle Real Estate Management (PREM) focuses on maximizing cash flow in increasing the value of our clients’ investments.

We have experienced advisors specializing in office, retail, industrial and multifamily property sales, leasing, and acquisition. We act as your MarketAdvisor™ and are completely committed to our clients’ needs and building long-term relationships.

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Revel Systems

An award-winning iPad Point of Sale solution for single and multi-location businesses.

Updates

Offering closes tonight!

March 15, 2017

Intrepid Sojourner community,

Tonight is the last opportunity to take part in our revenue-share offering. We hope to have you on board!

Meanwhile, our six fermenting and eight brite tanks has been delivered – we'll be making beer in no time!

We're excited to keep everyone posted on our progress in the lead-up to our May opening.

–The Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project team

Offering closing reminder

March 13, 2017

A reminder that our revenue share offering will close Wednesday – don't forget to execute your documents before then!

The interior of the brewery is being painted, and the tasting room is ready for finishes. Meanwhile, the cold room was installed last week, the garage doors are going in today, and the six fermenting tanks and eight brite tanks are set to be delivered tomorrow. Brewing will commence soon!

Offering closing soon

March 7, 2017

Our revenue share offering will close on March 15, so hurry – don’t miss out on this investment opportunity! Please use the Share link at the top of our profile to invite anyone you think might be interested.

Progress continues at 925 W 8th Ave. The epoxy is on the floors, and this week, it’s time for painting and millwork. The fermenting and brite tanks are due into Denver on Sunday!

We will continue to update investors over LocalStake’s platform, but meanwhile, please follow us on facebook.com/sojournerbeers, @SojournerBeers on Twitter and Instagram, and LinkedIn.com/company/the-intrepid-sojourner-beer-project

TTB approves Brewer's Notice; new name and logo

February 27, 2017

Sojourner's Brewing Project has re-branded as The Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project. An issue with the USPTO forced us to get creative, and we're very excited about our new name. It captures all the global influence and cultural exploration of our beer brand, and leaves the door open to other future projects. Will there be an Intrepid Sojourner Wine Project? Spirits Project? Mead Project?

This week we passed one of our last huge, bureaucratic milestones. We received our Brewer's Notice from the federal TTB! As soon as our tanks arrive, which we expect in mid-March, we can fire up the equipment and do what we came here to do--make beer!

Meanwhile, construction continues at 925 W 8th Ave. despite a cooling off from Denver's unseasonably warm snap: the drywall is up, the storefronts are installed, and a roof parapet is fixed. The transformation has come a long way, and we are excited to see the space conforming to our ideas for the brewery. Check out the attached photos!

(Tentative!) Opening Beer List Announced!

February 16, 2017

Sojourner’s Brewing Project’s managers have approved a tentative brewing schedule and opening beer list. Over the course of opening week, we plan to release the Basil IPA, an Imperial Rye IPA, a Turkish Coffee Stout, a Peated Wee Heavy, an American Brown Ale, a Mediterranean Hefeweizen, an American IPA, a Pear Saison, a Garlic Amber, an American Blonde, a Lavender Tripel, and a Gratzer.

Meanwhile, the walls have been framed and insulated, ready for inspection today; drywall starts tomorrow, while mechanical/electrical/plumbing passed inspection earlier this week. The chiller has arrived, and the tanks are due to arrive in Denver near March 12 – via ship from China and train from San Francisco. We’re down to just a few thousand left before we meet our fundraising goal. Thanks for your support!

Construction continues

February 9, 2017

Construction continues at 925 W 8th Ave! Check out this Facebook video of the concrete pour: https://www.facebook.com/sojournersbrewingproje...

Alpha Brewing Operations has delivered our brewhouse, and Bush Refrigeration has delivered the cold room panels and mechanical unit. The chiller arrives next week, and the fermentation and serving tanks are due in March. Beer will be brewed soon!

Meanwhile, we are closing in on our LocalStake fundraising goal; thanks to those of you who have expressed interest and invested so far. If you know of anyone else who might be interested in reviewing our offering, please do us a favor and invite them with the Share link in the header of our profile!

Construction underway; new perks

January 11, 2017

Renovations on our brewery and taproom at 925 W 8th Ave. in Denver are underway as construction crews first work through the demolition. Built.Construction’s schedule has us ready for city inspection on March 29.

Meanwhile, we’ve added perks to LocalStake that anyone who has invested or will invest in our revenue-share offering can take advantage of: For $500, you will receive a $500 bar tab for drinks in our taproom; for $1,000, you get that plus a 10% lifetime discount on drinks in the taproom; for $2,000, all that plus an exclusive invitation for you and your guest to our private annual brewery party; for $5,000, all that plus an open invitation for you to visit for a day to brew with and learn from Andrew on our beautiful, new brewing system; and for $10,000, all that plus an offer for Andrew to visit you to homebrew for a day!

We’re nearing our goal. Please spread the word about or fundraise to anyone in your network who might be interested!

New logo; groundbreaking

December 28, 2016

Sojourner’s has received its building permit from the city of Denver and has signed with general contractor Built.Construction to renovate its property in the Arts District on Santa Fe. Please see the attached document and photo from the signing! Built.’s plan calls for construction kickoff on Tuesday, January 3, and a twelve-week buildout.

Also, Sojourner’s Brewing Project has also finished an upgrade to its logo. Please see the attached images! This concept will be used for general branding and signage, while alternate color schemes will probably be utilized for our different lines of product. The bold red of the master logo on the tasting room’s stand-alone sign off 8th Ave. will stand out against the background (including our bright-green cinderblock-building neighbor). The topographical lines evoke the maps that, along with art curated from the neighborhood and currency and passports, will decorate the tasting room walls and bar top, respectively; the airplane is inspired by the common passport-stamp feature.

Finally, the managers of Sojourner’s have procured a key-person life insurance policy to mitigate the people risk inherent in this venture and help ensure creditors and investors are protected in the event of the death of one of the company’s principals.

Have a happy New Year. We look forward to sharing photos from the groundbreaking!

Westword; equipment-inspection photos; POS

December 21, 2016

Local excitement continues to grow for Sojourner’s Brewing Project’s launch. Check out this write-up from the Colorado Beer Man at Westword, Denver’s alt weekly: http://www.westword.com/restaurants/ten-breweri...

Meanwhile, Alpha Brewing Operations has finished production of Sojourner’s brew house (please see the attached photos from our recent inspection at Alpha’s Lincoln, NE, headquarters!), which it will store until the facility is ready to take delivery.

Last, Sojourner’s has selected Revel Systems from which to lease its point-of-sale system and Vantiv as its payment processor. Revel is a great system for decision-making optimization, providing tracking and reporting that will enable management to study data on sales and customer-relationship management, costs and inventory, and employee-management and payroll.

Offering open and renovations beginning soon

November 18, 2016

Thanks to everyone who has submitted investments so far! We're glad to have you share in our excitement for Sojourner's Brewing Project.

We're one step away from receiving our building permit from the city of Denver, now waiting to hear back from the city's transportation department regarding our public right-of-way plans. We are all clear from the other departments -- health, sewer, etc.

General contractors submitted bids last week, and we have been meeting with them to talk through the specifics of our renovations -- we will be choosing a partner in the next several business days.

Meanwhile, the equipment manufacturers at Alpha Brewing have finished both our chiller and the cellar tanks. The system will be ready when the buildout of the brewery is complete!

If you remain interested in our revenue share offering, you can review our materials and complete investment by logging into our Localstake profile.

Offering is now live!

November 11, 2016

Hello Sojourner's community,

Our revenue-share offering is now live, so those interested should now be able to fill out the documentation to make an investment. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or run into any problems.

We are now reviewing bids from contractors for renovations to our brewery and tasting room. The hope is to begin construction next month and to open by the end of the first quarter 2017.

Your investment will go a long way to completing the building, brewing our first batches, hiring employees, and promoting our opening. Every bit helps!

Thanks again for your support of the brewery.
–Ben & Andrew

New architectural plans

October 3, 2016

Our architect, Bill Wood, has finished his penultimate set of plans (please see attachment). A few more details to fill in, and the plans will be ready for contractors to bid.

Meanwhile, Sojourner's Brewing Project is interviewing payroll and merchant services providers (such as Paychex or Wells Fargo and Intuit or Square, respectively).

Tomorrow, the pilot batch of our basil IPA will be moved to secondary for dry hopping – Sojourner's will have beer soon!

Work continues in Denver

September 14, 2016

Alpha Brewing Operations is building the equipment, Bill Wood and his team are developing the architectural plans, and every level of government is reviewing the various license and permit applications. Meanwhile, Ben finally graduated with his JD/MBA and moved out to Denver, where he is busy each day planning the brewery with Andrew, who himself has added to his already considerable beer knowledge by graduating from the Siebel Institute of Technology’s World Brewing Academy.

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade approved Sojourner’s Brewing Project’s pre-certification for state tax credits for its location in the Denver Enterprise Zone. Meanwhile, Ben and Andrew are digging into accounting- and inventory-software options and are interviewing a potential logo-and-brand-development professionals to create updated design concepts for the company’s product packaging and print and digital communications.

Please reach out with any questions as we move closer to a live offering! If you haven't already, please login to our Localstake page to review our proposed terms and provide feedback on potential interest amount.

Tidbits from Denver

August 5, 2016

Sojourner’s Brewing Project has selected partners to serve as accountant (Mueller & Associates) and insurance broker (Flood & Peterson), and Ben and Andrew met with the owners at 105 West Brewing Company in Castle Rock, CO, and Resolute Brewing Company in Centennial, CO, from whom they extracted useful advice about various aspects of the business.

With word from the Denver zoning board expected within the next week or two, the company and its architect, Bill Woods, is readying detailed plans for the building permit process and for contractor bidding. Please see the attachments for photographs of the site at 925 W 8th Ave. from Saturday afternoon: A panorama of the neighborhood, views from the southeast and southwest across 8th Avenue (the future home currently has the red, white, and stone facade), a shot of the cleared-out interior, and a shot of the false ceiling that will be removed for efficient setup of brewing equipment.

New proposed offering

July 25, 2016

Hello Sojourner’s Brewing Project community,

Step by step, we move closer to opening our doors, and we’re ready to start fundraising. Last Wednesday, we placed the order for a new seven-barrel brewing system with Alpha Brewing Operations, including six seven-barrel fermenters and eight seven-barrel serving tanks. This week, we are interviewing potential accounting firms and insurance brokers, including several that are members of the Brewers Association and offer substantial industry-specific expertise in tax, financial, and risk management.

And on Friday, our architect, Bill Wood, submitted our zoning application to the city of Denver. We’ve attached the architectural plans submitted with that application (which of course are subject to modification). We are hoping for a four-to-five-week turnaround from the city, which is the norm for other breweries Bill has worked on in the past. The zoning process is followed by Denver’s building-permit process, which requires more-detailed architectural plans and should take approximately the same amount of time as the zoning application. We hope to have final clearance to build from the city in late September. This, along with the delivery and installation of our equipment and the approval of our state and federal brewing licenses, points toward a January, 2017, opening.

Finally, we and the LocalStake team are ready to start fundraising, so please visit our profile and check out our proposed offering terms. This revenue share investment will allow us to open our doors and is set up to provide you a substantial return. Sojourner’s Brewing Project would begin paying back investors with a percentage of our revenues on a monthly basis after becoming operational, with a target payback period of four years that would provide the equivalent of a 21.53% interest rate on your investment, if we are able to hit our revenue targets. Funds raised will help complete construction, furnish the tasting room, promote our opening, and brew the first batches of beer as well as provide a cushion of working capital as we open our doors. We’re getting closer, and we want you to be able to be on board!

As always, thank you for your time and consideration and for the feedback you’ve provided on our business profile. Please reach out with any questions.
–Andrew and Ben

Sojourner's Brewing Project update

June 16, 2016

Hello Sojourner's Brewing Project community,

Thank you to everyone who has taken a look at our profile. We'd like to update you on some exciting steps in our development:

We have executed a lease for the property that will become our home at 925 W 8th Ave., in the Arts District on Santa Fe in downtown Denver, an exciting and high-traffic neighborhood currently quite underserved by breweries. We are working with William Wood Architecture out of Denver to lead our buildout and construction efforts, which we hope to commence in the late summer, after the city approves the required zoning and building permits.

We have also submitted our federal and state brewery-licensing applications. The average turnaround time for the federal licensing is 173 days, which puts us on track to open our doors in the early winter.

We have so far raised $350,000 in cash for the business, which should last through the bulk of the buildout process, and have secured a leasing arrangement for up to $300,000 worth of brewing equipment and other capital assets. We will working with LocalStake and with you to develop an offering to raise funds for additional working capital needs leading up to and subsequent to opening.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns, be on the lookout for an adjusted offering over the platform, and check out the updated business plan and other files that can be downloaded from our profile.

–Andrew and Ben

Business status: No current fundraise

You can express interest to notify the business of your interest in a future fundraise.

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