Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kickstarter: Odds of Successful Crowd Funding Declining?

By the number of brewery projects listed on Kickstarter, it appears more and more start-up craft breweries are turning to crowd funding as a source for additional cash as they get their operations up and running.  Several start-up breweries had success with Kickstarter in 2010 and 2011, raising from as little as $1,825 to over $40,000 from Joe Public.  Not bad, especially considering those contributing are not taking any ownership in the brewing company, but instead get only brewery swag and other perks in exchange for their donation.   A search of the term “brewery” on Kickstarter shows that more than twice the total number of breweries sought funding through Kickstarter in the first six months of 2012 than had done so in the prior three years combined.

For those who haven’t checked it out yet, Kickstarter is “a funding platform for creative projects,” helping artists, entrepreneurs, and others raise money for everything from art projects to movies to, well, new breweries.  The entrepreneur picks the amount they want to raise, and then a deadline by which they must reach that goal. People can contribute money to the venture, and instead of stock or an LLC membership interest, the contributor gets a sticker, a pint glass, a private brewery tour, etc. based on how much they contribute.  If the entrepreneur reaches its funding goal, they keep the money; if they don’t reach their goal, they get nothing, zip, nada.

For as little as as little as $1 (the user sets the minimum contribution), it might be worth contributing to get a good craft brewery to open in say, Jackson, Mississippi, where Lucky Town Brewing Co. sought to be Mississippi's second craft brewery.  But clearly Kickstarter doesn't work for everyone.  Since January 1, 2012, 19 start up breweries have failed to reach their funding goals, and received nothing for their efforts.  Only 12 breweries  - or approximately 39% - have met their goals and received their funding.  Prior to 2012, that success rate was closer to 50%, with 7 of 15 breweries making the grade.  But as Homer Simpson said: "Oh, you can use statistics to prove anything, 14% of all people know that."

Too many players in the field? Too few suckers willing to contribute hard-earned money for t-shirt and bottle opener? I admit I don't know the answer, but my admitedly unscientific statistics seem to show that while there are more breweries using Kickstarter, the odds of succeeding are declining. For those of you keeping score at home, here are the breweries that tried their hands at Kickstarter in 2012.

Breweries that Received Funding through Kickstarter:
Bemidji Brewing Co.
January 23, 2012
House of Brews
February 5, 2012
Triptych Brewing Co.
March 1, 2012
Lucky Town Brewing Co.
March 12, 2012
Mustache Brewing Co.
March 23, 2012
Oval Brewing Co.
April 1, 2012
Saucony Creek Brewing Co.
April 23, 2012
Rueben's Brews
April 28, 2012
Arcade Brewing Co.
May 24, 2012
Brenner Brewing Co.
June 17, 2012
Shu Brew
June 22, 2012
Macon City Brewing Co.
June 23, 2012

Breweries that Did Not Reach Their Funding Goals:
Mavericks Brewing Co.
January 1, 2012

Milkman Brewing Co.
January 18, 2012
Shade Tree Brewing Co.
February 3, 2012
Big storm Brewing Co.
February 5, 2012
Out.Haus Ales
Leap Day, 2012
Stickmen Brewing Co.
March 1, 2012
Scars and Stripes Brewing Co.
April 16, 2012
Old South Brewing Co.
April 24, 2012
Alpine Dog Brewing Co.
April 28, 2012
Rapp Brewing Co.
May 2, 2912
Zombie Brewing Co.
May 4, 2012
Naughty Teacher Brewery
May 11, 2012
Good Libations Brewing Co.
May 18, 2012
Belgian Mare Brewing Co.
May 23, 2012
Ringing Rocks Brewing Co.
May 23, 2012
Heartbreak Brewing Co.
June 1, 2012
Do Your Brew
June 16, 2012
Mischief Brewing Co.
June 18, 2012
Swing Tree Brewing Co.
June 20, 2012

Breweries with Funding Pending:
Jack Pine Brewing Co.
Four Saints Brewing Co.
Salty Nut Brewing Co.
Ringing Rocks Brewing Co.
Seventh Son Brewing Co.
Biasylli Brewing Co.
Clamp & Gasket Brewing Co.


  1. Nice analysis of breweries' use of Kickstarter. Check out CraftFund, the first craft beer crowdfunding platform preparing to launch. http://www.facebook.com/CraftFund

  2. The entrepreneur picks the amount they want to raise, and then a deadline by which they must reach that goal. People can contribute money to the venture, and instead of stock or an LLC membership interest, Ascenergy

  3. Thanks for this beer guides! I have a better idea of what your trying to point out here.