Baxter area brewery turns to Kickstarter for cash

Another soon-to-be Minnesota microbrewery has joined the Kickstarter craze. Jack Pine Brewery in Baxter, Minnesota, could even be called a picobrewery, with plans to start brewing beer in 40-gallon batches. The small system is basically a pilot brewery for an eventual expansion. The idea is to build a reputation and put some money in the bank before investing in a larger brewery. A space has been leased, and the licensing process is underway. Jack Pine hopes to have beer available in Brainerd-area bars and in their own taproom by the end of the year. Building the taproom is the issue. Founder Patrick Sundberg says that permits for the build-out have already eaten up half of his construction budget. Thus the Kickstarter campaign.

Jack Pine started 12 years ago when Sundberg bought his first home-brewing kit. His first beers weren't the best, he says, but they did plant a seed. As often happens with home brewers, what started as an occasional hobby quickly grew into an obsession. He began brewing more frequently and winning medals in competition. About four years ago he made the decision to turn his obsession into a profession. After years of researching the industry and the market and writing a business plan, Jack Pine Brewery is ready for prime time.

Since the passage of the pint law a year ago, selling beer in a taproom has become an important part of the revenue stream for small breweries in the state. For an operation the size of Jack Pine, the importance of this income cannot be understated. Sundberg is looking to raise $15,000 with his campaign, with all of the money directed toward building the taproom. According to the brewery's Kickstarter project page, "the taproom will be a place where people can see where their beer is made and meet the people that made it. It will provide a comfortable place for people to sample beer that has traveled a distance measured in feet, rather than miles, to their glass." It will include a Jack Pine swag store and also sell growlers for take-out.

By raising money on Kickstarter, Jack Pine joins the ranks of other new Minnesota breweries like Lucid Brewing and Bemidji Brewing.

Cheers, Michael Agnew Certified Cicerone A Perfect Pint

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