The most approachable beer in the metro is coming to cans—hopefully.
On December 1st, we launched a "CanStarter campaign", with hopes to raise over $60,000 to fund a canning line. Founders Deb Loch and Jill Pavlak hope to start producing their flagship beer, Cowbell Cream Ale®, in what will be an expanded brewery space dedicated to the canning line. If all goes well, craft beer drinkers will be able to find Cowbell Cream Ale® in cans on retail shelves sometime early this coming summer.
It’s been quite the journey for the first woman-owned and operated brewery in Minnesota. The brewery that started as a dream opened in July 2014 with the simple mission of bringing people together through beer. Since then, Urban Growler® has come a long way, supporting local farmers through their seasonally-inspired Plow to Pint® series, playing a strong charitable role in the St. Paul community and growing to employ a whopping 50+ craft beer enthusiasts. However, the story of Urban Growler’s rise to fame hasn’t been all rainbows and pints. Funding for the taproom—and now for the brewery expansion and canning line—has been a grassroots battle, enlisting the communities support for the future of great beer in St. Anthony Park.
“We’ve had to rely on crowd-funding from the beginning. When our vision of Urban Growler® began, it was an uphill battle in a male dominated industry; we were denied funding by more than 12 banks. We relied on people who believed in our quest, and without them we might not be here,” said co-founder Jill Pavlak. “Sometimes it takes a village to make things happen, and Urban Growler® is just that.”
The expansion will be directly attached to the current brewery space and will include four new 40-barrel fermenters and two new 40-barrel brite tanks. The setup will boost capacity by 3,000 barrels, almost exclusively destined for the can.
“It’s not just making our beer more accessible to more people, it’s the anticipation of how our supporters will weave our beer into their story,” said Jill. “Canning our beer gives it a ticket to ride on craft drinker’s wildest adventures, to remote places and beautiful landscapes. We can’t wait to be a part of that.”
Urban Growler® has planned their “CanStarter campaign” around exclusive once-in-a-lifetime experiences and things that normally wouldn’t be on the table for purchase. “It’s a chance to connect on a more personal level with supporters,” said co-founder and Master Brewer Deb Loch. “What’s more exciting than being able to show your biggest fans some of the back rooms, limited editions, and special releases that you could never offer to the masses? It’s a unique opportunity for us to really give of ourselves as a thanks to the people who continually lift us up and support our shared dream.”
The CanStarter will be using the Urban Growler® website, urbangrowlerbrewing.com, to launch and host the crowd-funding campaign. Why the deviation from crowd-funding campaign overlord Kickstarter? One simple reason—on Kickstarter, you’re not allowed to give beer as rewards. Launching December 1st and running for just over one month, CanStarter rewards will include limited edition swag, insider access and, of course, delicious beer.