Have you heard of Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery? I’ve spoken about them here a few times before and, in fact, used to be a member of the Flying Bike Board of Directors. The idea is simple. So many people have the dream of opening a brewery, but few have the means to do so on their own. After all, launching a new brewery takes a lot of time and money. Enter Flying Bike.
If you aren’t familiar with the cooperative business model, it’s basically a legal entity owned and democratically controlled by its members. Members often have a close association with the enterprise as producers or consumers of its products or services, or as its employees. In this case, the ‘product’ in question is beer and the employees, at least at this point, are the unpaid Board of Directors. Membership in the Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery is just $150. For that price, you become a member/owner and have a vote in all important matters facing the coop. Using this membership model, along with a few other fundraising events from time to time, Flying Bike has amassed nearly 700 members and have started looking for a brewery space in the Seattle area.
Obtaining a space and purchasing the necessary brewing and other equipment to actually open the brewery doors, however, will take a bit more capital than they’ve been able to collect thus far through memberships and some merchandise sales. To that end, Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery recently launched their Member Investment Campaign. The goal being, to raise $300,000 to be used towards the acquisition of a brewery space and equipment.
Here is the full press release from Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery:
SEATTLE, WA, 02/03/2014 Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery (FBCB), Seattle’s first planned cooperative brewery, today launched a Member Investment Campaign, the next big step to opening a production brewery by late2014.
At the September 2013 Annual Meeting, the FBCB Membership, by majority approval, passed an amendment to the Articles of Incorporation to provide Members the opportunity to purchase nonvoting Preferred Stock. The goal of the Member Investment Campaign is to raise $300,000 through sales of Preferred Stock by March 31, 2014. Proceeds from the Member Investment Campaign will be used to acquire a leasehold brewery space and purchase capital equipment.
“I’ve never been more excited to be a part of Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery,” stated Ryan Vanderpol, President of the Board of Directors. “2013 was a landmark year for us and really solidified that the community supports us and believes in what we’re doing. We’ve accomplished a lot, but we’re still a long way from done. We need the membership’s help more than ever. This investment campaign will give us the capital we need to secure a lease, build a brewery and taproom, and finally make this dream a reality. I sincerely urge every member to consider contributing to this campaign and helping us get Flying Bike off the ground. This truly is Member Driven Beer!”
As a cooperative, FBCB member/owners choose board members, what beer will be brewed and what beers will be on tap, along with the general direction of the brewery. Member/owners will also receive a taproom patronage refund and other benefits. FBCB has supported many Seattle beer events including the signature Tour de Pints bike ride during Seattle Beer Week each May.
To learn more about the Member Investment Campaign, please visit the Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery website at http://www.flyingbike.coop/investmentcampaign. Please note that the Preferred Shares are only available to members who live in Washington State.
About Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery: Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery (FBCB) is a member owned cooperative developing a brewery in the Seattle area. FBCB will feature beers from member sourced recipes and fosters cooperative principles built around community, collaboration, and education. FBCB has nearly 700 members.
Though Flying Bike does not yet have a brewery of their own, you may have already tasted a few of their beers. Through member homebrew competitions, Flying Bike members vote on the winning recipes and then partner with local breweries to upscale and brew the beer for wider distribution. So far, Flying Bike has introduced an IPA, an Oatmeal Stout and a Pale Ale.
If you’ve ever wanted to invest in opening a brewery, this is your chance. Visit Flying Bike’s website, learn what they’re all about, become a member and, perhaps, make an investment to help them obtain their brewery space and really get this thing off the ground.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.