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Old 04-18-2011, 06:16 PM   #1
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Default Community Supported Co-operative Brewing in Bellingham, WA

I am not sure where best to put this thread, so here it is in General Beer Discussion. If the mods think there's a better fit, please advise/move.

A group of local brewers (myself included) is trying to determine the potential level of interest in a cooperative brewery incubator in Bellingham, WA. Bellingham Beer Lab would be home to five small startup brewing companies sharing one brew system and a tasting room. The brewery and tasting room would be cooperatively owned and funded through the sale of coop memberships and CSB (Community Supported Brewing) subscriptions. Brewers at Bellingham Beer Lab would launch and establish their brands, then move out into their own brewery, making room for new startup brewers at the incubator.

This survey is part of our feasibility study for this project. It would help us greatly, even if you are not local/regional to Bellingham, WA, if you could please take a few minutes to share your thoughts via this online survey. When we get this thing going, we'll buy you a beer!

If you have more questions, you can contact us at bellinghambeerlab@gmail.com or you can PM me here on HBT.

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Old 04-18-2011, 06:56 PM   #2
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I love the idea of a CSB, that's brilliant!

Need to set something like this up in Milwaukee.

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Old 04-18-2011, 09:35 PM   #3
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There's a CSB in the works over in Madison that would be worth your time to look into as a model. http://www.facebook.com/pages/House-of-Brews/118564684830407

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Old 04-19-2011, 02:54 PM   #4
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http://www.flyingbike.coop/

Just down the road in Seattle. I bet they'd be willing to talk with you.
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:06 PM   #5
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Thanks, Nic! Yep, we've already been in contact with them!

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Old 04-19-2011, 07:51 PM   #6
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Cool, thanks for the heads up on House of Brews.

And good luck with your CSB

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Old 04-19-2011, 08:49 PM   #7
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The idea about the beer lab being home to five startup breweries with the idea of them moving out on their own and making room for another startup is outstanding. I imagine the laws vary on this by state.

Your survey seemed to focus on the subscription side of things, which I understand is necessary to pay the bills, but the incubator is much more exciting.

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Old 04-19-2011, 09:07 PM   #8
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I am gobsmacked that the Gummint thinks this is legal or within beverage-alcohol regulations.

(I also hope that someone engaged a beverage-alcohol attorney for the first CSB, or a bunch of people are going to be in a world of hurt!)

It's cool that this is happening. When the microbrewery revolution first started picking up steam, brewers had to help legislatures rewrite a lot of laws.

Good luck! Just make that luck better by getting an attorney involved to ensure all your licensing ducks are in a row.

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Old 04-19-2011, 10:11 PM   #9
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Hey, Bob... any chance you're a lawyer with experience in intellectual property and alcohol regulations??? Fortunately, we are not the first ones to try opening a coop brewery or start a CSB and will hopefully face less resistance from the Gummint... Remember: pioneers get the arrows, settlers get the land!

Maltmonster: The business incubator side of things is where this all started a few months ago. A bunch of us were looking into doing 1/2bbl-1bbl nanobreweries, and then a mutual friend introduced us to one another and got the group talking about going 3-5bbl and sharing the cost/equipment/space to make things more economically viable. The coop incubator then started to evolve, with the CSB and other "drinking side" elements coming out of our steering committee meetings.

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Old 04-19-2011, 10:32 PM   #10
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Hell, no. I'm too lazy to go chasing ambulances. I have worked long enough in the brewing industry to know that regulators can be ... challenging.

Again, best of luck to you!

Bob

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