BEER SHOP & SOCIAL… draught beer, beer to-go, wine, cider, local gin, craft soda, coffee, free wifi, board games, communal record-player & instruments, intimate tables, a long “social table”, lounge chairs, tastings, tours, “Beer Club” deals (through CAMRA South Okanagan), weekly events, and a warm & welcoming Host attitude.
Kids are permitted if accompanied by a Grown-Up.
All of this was made possible by the support of local citizens, generous Crowdfunding-Campaign backers, and hard-working local tradespeople. The date for the Grand Opening All-Day Party has been set too! We will be throwing the party Saturday, August 13th.
March 16 – April 15 on
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
Sid: “As reluctant as Joe and I are to give up the massive room next to the Brewery that us brewers use as our private hang-out and jam room, the space could be much improved by building a bar, installing a draught system, stocking up a product fridge, plumbing in a sink, setting up some tables and lounge chairs, dusting off the ol’ record player, and opening the doors daily for everyone to join the fun. Of course, the piano is staying put. We’ll be able to pour samples, explain the craft, retail bottles & merchandise, fill growlers to-go, pour pints for on-site enjoyment, host music jams and vinyl nights, and tap frothing artisan casks.”
Joe & Sid tapping a cask at the Night FOG event, Oliver, BC, 2015. Photo by Ryan McWhirter.
“Though it’s just a dream, it’s a highly attainable dream. But dreaming it up was the easy part; the hard part is paying for it all up-front. That’s where you come in. Crowdfunding is revolutionary financing. It’s source is the voice of the people, not the decision of a closed circle of bankers or armchair investors. Harnessing the power of network technology, big dreams can overcome big expenses through the kindness of community, and keep their financial independence intact. Any pledge, big or small, is genuinely appreciated, and we want to make sure you feel appreciated for your generosity.”
Joe & Sid. We brew beer for you! (…and us too of course)
“First of all, all backers get to sign an Oak Barrel Table in the Beer Shop, where Beer Shop patrons for decades into the future will take note of our shop’s humble origins. When you drop in to sign, you can pick up your pledge reward (if applicable) and check out the creation that you helped make a reality. If possible, we’d love it if you picked up your reward, so we can thank you in person instead of just simply shipping it out.”
Soon-to-be-OPEN because of you 🙂
“All of our Campaign-Exclusive rewards (decal, wooden coaster set, bamboo t-shirt, wooden wall sign, neon bar sign) will be designed and produced by our friend Jeremy at Labelled Signs & Printing (facebook.com/LabelledPrinting), and will not be produced or distributed anywhere anyhow, except to this campaign’s backers. We will design these rewards during the campaign, and post updates of our progress so you can see the design process at work and leave comments with suggestions, requests, and recommendations. We want the Campaign-Exclusive reward graphics to boast your noble contribution to our future community offering, something you can feel proud about. The “Pre-Order” rewards are merchandise items that we will eventually stock at the Beer Shop & Social, but backers who pledge for them will get these items before anyone else on Earth.”
Example of a “Back-Bar” draught system, that we would enclose with a custom wood Bar with a bar-stool for you.
“Our campaign target is $12,232.32 (see chart below), which will get the gear in the door and the beer flowin’. But we’ve got some stretch goals, because we’re optimistic that we’ve got something pretty special here, and many folks out there believe in this as much as we do. If we pull in $20,260.68 or more, we’ll be able to purchase a glass washer (and not have to wash glasses by hand), and can have budgets for signage, decor, furniture, bar, and the grand-opening party.”
Sid. Photo by Paul Eby.
“That’d be cool, but not as cool as if we hit $27,217.58 (see chart below), and instead of a glasswasher we can get a full-on industrial beer-bottle-washer. Then we can not only wash our bar glassware in it, but also wash, sanitize, and re-use returned Firehall Brewery beer bottles and your growlers! In terms of economic and environmental sustainability, Re-Use trumps Recycle any day. Then we can offer a thank-you incentive for bottle sales when customers return their empty Firehall Brewery bottles, and if you unfortunately forget to wash your growler before bringing it back for a refill, we got you covered. Not only that, but a bottle-washer would help us in the development of a future Door-to-Door Beer Delivery Service, something we’ve always wanted to do! Like the good ol’ days of the milk man, we can bring cold beer to your door and take back empties to be cleaned and sterilized and re-used. Of course, it’d be way better for you to just come to our shop, where we’ll be hanging out and having a good time. But for down the road, it would contribute to our final dream.”
Example of Bottle Washer, for re-using bottles and washing bar glassware.
“If the heavens shine their grace upon us and we surpass $30,000, then this is going to be one hell of a sweet place to hang out. We’ll get plusher armchairs, sturdier barstools, funkier lighting, spare turntable needles, music instruments, and a proper piano tuning. We’ll be able to get a bigger product fridge, so we can stock more bottles of cold beer to-go. And most importantly… we can throw a bigger and better Grand Opening Party.”
Tiger Moon, Back Alley Concert 2015, Firehall Brewery. Photos by Jay Falkus Photography.
“The final stretch goal? Well, if we end up being the luckiest brewery ever, and over $35,000 comes in, we’ll fulfill our original brewery business plan, and install a recording/podcast studio set-up, so after-hours we can be a venue for recording artists and podcast personalities, released on a Firehall Brewery record label and online media channel. Hey, dare to dream, right!”
Great White North, Summer 2013, Firehall Brewery. Photo by Kim Lawton.
“The best part of supporting our campaign is that the kickbacks don’t end when you pick up your pledge reward (or receive it in the mail, if applicable). The Firehall Brewery Beer Shop & Social will be open every day for you to stop in and relax with a pint, spin some vinyl, head up to Pappa’s Firehall Bistro for a bite and a pitcher among friends, and then leave with a fresh growler of beer for home. Just what every town needs. All in the name of the freshest beer possible.”
The Family. Missing from photo: Joe Whyte, baby Noah, and many other family members and friends
Beer Shop Start-Up Costs
RISKS & CHALLENGES
Not only is the big empty room beside the brewery simply wasted space, but it’s also a currently unused license. When the Old Firehall was renovated and re-opened as the Wine Country Welcome Centre (years before the brewery was even conceived), the “Captain’s Room” got fully licensed. So the hardest part is done: getting municipal approval and zoning, and a provincial liquor license from the BCLCLB (British Columbia Liquor Control & Licensing Branch).
The next obstacle is fronting the cash for equipment, renovations, and start-up expenses. If our spring campaign is successful and the Beer Shop & Social gets funded, we can get the ball rolling immediately and rock open the doors before summer (late May, 2016). We’re pretty convinced that we brew delicious and wholesome beer, so the last thing left to do then is to bring in the people. With competitive pricing, a loyalty program, convenient operating hours, interactive social marketing (more than just online!), and a tasteful, social atmosphere, this should be no problem.
An average of 10,000 cars drive past the Old Firehall building on Highway-97 daily, and the local agri-tourism industry has been highly developed by the Okanagan Wine Industry. Wine Tours and tourists pass this building every day during the spring/summer/fall season, and many of them have been persistent in demanding a stop at our brewery be added to their list of offerings. Tourists that visit our region are our guests, and we already know we can be great hosts, which will secure a certain amount of high-season business. But this is a community-brewery, which means that, although we are a very small part of the national tourism industry, we are a relatively much bigger part of our small town of Oliver. We want to be here for our locals all year-round, which will require constant, intimate communication with residents so we can craft our offerings to suit our citizens.
Since we’ve opened, the Bistro on the main floor of the Old Firehall building has had to suffer through continuously telling often-frustrated locals that the brewery itself is not open to the public, and retail beer to-go can only be purchased at liquor stores elsewhere. The People have spoken; they want brewery-fresh beer from the source.