Good Beer Hunting

BrewDog is Crowdfunding a Sour Brewery and Hotel in Ohio

BrewDog has launched an IndieGoGo campaign to help fund its next American venture, a sour beer facility and hotel hybrid dubbed The DogHouse. The Scottish brewery is asking its fans for $75,000 to aid in its plans to build the destination beer hotel on the grounds of its newly opened brewery not far from Columbus, Ohio. The company says the project will cost $6 million overall “to build and furnish.”

“By supporting this project, you will be staking your claim on one of our most ambitious projects to date,” the company says. “This hotel will provide a complete experiential environment in which to truly immerse yourself in the world of craft beer.”

For varying prices, donors can unlock tours and tastings ($25), design their own sour beer ($5,000), or even, for an astronomical $30,000, take over the entire facility for a night for things like weddings or corporate events.

Clearly, with an overall estimated cost of $6 million, not to mention BrewDog’s sheer size and stature in the craft beer world, the 75 grand the company wants from its fans isn’t going to make or break the project. But, through its “Equity for Punks” fundraising platform, the brewery has proven pretty adept when it comes to getting investment from everyday drinkers. So don’t expect them to stop now (the company launched the campaign today and has already raised more than $17,000 as of press time).

As far as amenities go, BrewDog promises a “Jacuzzi filled with beer,” “malt massages,” “hoppy feet pedicures” (whatever the fuck that is) and even “fridges in the shower for shower beers.” Further, visitors would be able to wake up with a view of the foeders.

The company claims The DogHouse would be “the world’s first fully-immersive craft beer hotel” — a claim that might make Dogfish Head's ears perk up, having already built their own craft beer-themed hotel, and Stone already into production on theirs. Not to mention that the Belgian's have been on this beer-spa game for awhile now. But such are marketing claims, I guess. More importantly, it also says the project would support 80 new jobs, which is likely why the brewery claims to have found adamant support from local authorities.

Of course, while crowdfunding is nothing new for the company, this effort is a bit different than its past initiatives, as it lacks one keyword: equity. We really don’t know yet what the return on investment will look like for the 55,000 (company’s count) so-called punks who have bought into the business through various rounds of fundraising (last year, though, The Telegraph asked, a bit skeptically, “Will investing in BrewDog ever make you money?”). “Equity for Punks” at least offers the veneer of ownership. This campaign does not. Whether that bites them, or inspires fans to turn on them for asking for a handout (as has happened elsewhere when other larger breweries pulled similar stunts) remains to be seen.

Either way, the company says it hopes to have the place open by the end of 2018.

—Dave Eisenberg

Announcing the DogHouse, Columbus [BrewDog]