Lucid Brewing completes first brew and launches Community Brewing Project

After clearing all of the regulatory hurdles earlier in the week, Minnetonka-based Lucid Brewing celebrated its first official brew day on Saturday, making it the newest addition to the exploding Minnesota craft-brewing community. Lucid partners-in-beer Eric Bierman and Jon Messier expect to have their first batch of Air, a light and very refreshing wheat beer with lively key-lime and mango hop flavors, on the street in two to three weeks. It has been a long road to get to this point. They have had a lot of support from the community, especially the Twin Cities homebrewing community from which both of them come. Now they want to give something back.

The duo has created a Kickstarter campaign to create what they are calling the "Community Brewing Project." They are trying to raise $10,000 to purchase a fermentation tank that will be used to give homebrewers and others the opportunity to brew a batch of their own on Lucid's 15-barrel brewhouse. They hope the project will allow amateurs the chance to test the waters before committing the time and resources to going pro. They will also offer it as a place for pros to experiment without affecting their bottom line by purchasing additional equipment or a place where pros and amateurs can collaborate.

As Bierman explained it to me, "A lot of people have the dream of becoming professional brewers but don't have the funding or the know-how to make it happen." As part of the Community Brewing Project, Bierman and Messier would help the fledgling brewer scale his recipe to a larger system, arrange for the acquisition of ingredients, and then brew the recipe with them. Testing recipes on Lucid's smaller pilot brewery may also be a possibility, according Bierman.

Once the beer is brewed, the community brewers could do what they want with it. However, if they want to put in on the market they would be responsible for fulfilling any licensing and regulatory requirements. Legally the beer would have to be marketed as a Lucid Brewing brand or it would have to be done on a contract basis if the brewer wants to use his own brand. Bierman admits that some details of the project still have to be ironed out. Indeed, the devil is in the details, and some of the legalities could become a sticking point.

One thing they haven't quite worked out is how the would-be brewers would be selected. Homebrewed samples of the planned beer may be required as part of any application. The idea has been floated to brew the best-of-show beers from local homebrewing competitions. But as of now, no final decisions have been made.

Donations to the Community Brewing Project are being accepted at the brewery's Kickstarter project page until Sunday, November 13.

Cheers, Michael Agnew Certified Cicerone A Perfect Pint

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