…and some we-knew-it-but-didn’t-want-to-believe-it-because-we’re-excited-and-optimistic news.
We got a call today from the federal government on our brewer’s permit application. We had to make a few small corrections that were taken care of over the phone and by quick email, but our agent said it was one of the cleanest applications she’s seen and she’s been there quite awhile (if we can toot our own horn). So the application is looking good and on the road to approval.
The problem is that this road we’re on involves another level of review that’s going to take four to five weeks. So if we’re lucky, we’ll get our approval the first week of May and if we brew a lot fast and all goes well, be open by Memorial Day.
That’s optimistic. When we shot most of our Kickstarter video back in December, we were hoping we’d have our approval by the end of February and be open by April. We knew it was probably a longshot, but you gotta be positive. We’ll keep being positive, but we’re certainly thankful to all our backers. Every little bit helps!
Because we hit 100% of our Kickstarter campaign target tonight, and we couldn’t wait to thank you all! Thank you, thank you, thank you. We are so excited to open this brewery’s doors, and we look forward to seeing you all there.
In the meantime, there are still 10 days left in the campaign and plenty of mug- and growler-club memberships left. If you know anyone who would be interested, tell them these deals are over April 9. Thanks again!
Here’s the great news: we’re 92% funded with 11 days to go in our Kickstarter campaign. Thank you all for your pledges and support. We’re so excited by the enthusiasm for our business.
Here’s the scary news: if we don’t reach 100% or more of our goal, we won’t get funded and those of you who have pledged won’t get your rewards. We know you’ve been spreading the word, and we’re grateful for that. We hope the rewards we’re offering make it easy to sell the benefits of kicking in. There are pledge levels to fit every budget:
- $10: FCA bumper sticker
- $25: FCA pint glass, plus bumper sticker
- $50: FCA T-shirt, plus pint glass and bumper sticker
- $75: FCA hoodie, plus T-shirt, pint glass, and bumper sticker
- $100: FCA mug club, plus hoodie, T-shirt, pint glass, and bumper sticker
- $150: FCA growler club, plus hoodie, T-shirt, pint glass, and bumper sticker
- $200: Double mug club, plus 2 hoodies, T-shirt’s, pint glasses, and stickers
- Plus there are “experience” rewards that include a brew day with us, parties, exclusive limited-edition beers, etc.
If you’ve been thinking about pledging but haven’t, there’s no time like the present. We’ve explained in previous blog posts that several of these levels are Kickstarter-only offers. Once this campaign is over, deals like lifetime (as opposed to annual) membership in the mug club and a growler club that includes so much merchandise will be gone. So check out the campaign and pick your prizes.
And please let your friends know about these deals. With your help, we know we’ll make it over the finish line. Thanks!
We’ve started up a Fairfield Craft Ales channel on YouTube. The first post was, of course, our Kickstarter song. The second is this time-lapse video of Mike and his daughter, Vivian, painting one of the brewhouse walls tonight. We hope you like it.
The mug club we’re offering through our Kickstarter campaign is different from any that will be offered after April 9 in three important ways:
- It’s a lifetime membership. After the campaign is over, memberships will last a year (and be renewable).
- It includes a sticker, pint glass, T-shirt, and hoodie. This much merchandise will not come with future mug club offers.
- You get rights to a numbered mug that nobody else will use. This won’t be available in the future.
For more details, see this post. If you’re more into growlers than mugs, see this one.
In a little over a week, 86 people have joined our mug club through Kickstarter. Why? Our beers taste as good as they look, and when you’re a mug club member you’ll get a 20-oz. pour for the cost of a pint, a 16-oz. pour of a “big” or specialty-ingredient beer for the price of 12 ounces, and so on. And we’ll pour them into your personal numbered mug that we’ll keep clean behind the bar for you.
Plus you get all the merchandise below (bumper sticker, pint glass to take home, T-shirt, and hoodie). It’s a great deal. Join the club!
Who would have thought that Milk and beer go so well together? No, we’re not talking about the kind of milk that goes with cookies. That would be udderly disgusting. (Sorry for the lame pun. Even we groaned and rolled our eyes writing it.)
We’re talking about Milk SoNo, the awesome branding agency that has given us a ton of expert guidance and design help. Our good and longtime friend Debbie Casey assembled the team; TJ Garvin talked us through branding considerations and is helping redesign our website (watch for a big upgrade); and Brendan Abrassart-White designed our awesome company logo, the cool individual beer logos that pop up while Mike is talking at the beginning of our Kickstarter video, tap handles that we’ll use in the bar, and incorporated our brand into all the Kickstarter rewards (pint glass, T-shirt, hoodie, growler).
Please check them out. They’re fun, easy, creative people to work with who have terrific ideas. We can’t thank them enough.
Just a brief update on where we stand one week into the campaign: we have 93 backers and are just over 60 percent of our goal. This is great progress and we have everyone who has pledged, liked, and shared to thank.
We still have a little over three weeks to make it over the line, but can we make it to 100 backers by the end of the week? We’ll see!
If you have a moment to share our link with someone who might be interested, we’d appreciate it! The mug club deals (Welcome to the Jungle and Welcome to the Jungle II) continue to be our most popular rewards, making up 73 percent of all pledges. Thanks again for your support. We can’t wait to see you at the brewery once we’re open.
Just watch our Kickstarter video. It’s funny. Here’s one way it was described on Facebook:
- The song will get stuck in your head
- You’ll get thirsty from the sexy shots of our beers
- You might find us too charming and attractive
But let us take a minute to tell you about the brains and talent behind the video, because between Mike and Joe we have neither. Steve Lackey is Mike’s colleague at work who happens to live down the road from Joe. He has worked professionally as a DJ and in TV news, and is an expert video producer. He’s also a talented photographer, guitar player, and singer. He has played in several bar bands over the years, and regularly makes the rounds in Fairfield and New Haven counties with Jam Chowder and The Better Half.
Steve volunteered to produce our video and is the one who came up with the idea for making it a music video. This made us a little nervous at first, but turned out to be a ton of fun that produced a great result. He came up with the first draft of the lyrics, conceptualized many of the shots, and made the whole environment comfortable so we could be ourselves. Steve took a bunch of time over the holidays and several weekends and weeknights to shoot the ridiculousness you see and then edit it into a coherent story. He’s a super talented and generous guy, and we’re grateful for his help.
So, with all that heartfelt sentiment, don’t you feel like you need to watch the whole video now? I mean, you owe it to Steve, don’t you? Do it for Steve! The completion rate for the 725 people who have watched the video so far is 37 percent. From what we’ve read that’s a great completion rate for Kickstarter videos, but it means about 456 of you haven’t watched it all the way through. Will three-and-a-half minutes of funny stuff kill you? Pour yourself a beer (we’re not open yet, so we understand if it’s someone else’s) and sit down for a little while. You deserve it.
If you like bringing home fresh, hand-crafted beers, then the growler-club reward we’re offering in our Kickstarter campaign more than pays for itself. For $150, you get a Fairfield Craft Ales 64-oz. growler, 12 fills of that growler, a hoodie, a T-shirt, a pint glass, and a bumper sticker.
Once we’re open, most growler fills will be $12 each and an empty growler will be $5. So just the growler and the fills would be $149. Add on the other gear and you make out like a bandit.
This is a Kickstarter-only offer. We will not offer this bundle again after we’re funded. That’s your exclusive reward for getting in on the ground floor.
(If you’re not into growler fills, you probably know someone who does. Why not share this deal with them?)