A crowdfunding campaign is looking to get a new brewery off the ground in Greenpoint — and beer lovers will be pretty excited about the perks.
Simply called Production, the brewery at 321 Kingsland Ave. will be the first-ever home base for Stillwater Artisanal, an award-winning independent beer brand. But founder Brian Strumke is thinking beyond just beer to a lab for food and drink science, plus a restaurant, bar and event space set to open by late fall 2018.
“It’s not necessarily a brewery in the traditional sense; it’s more of an experimental fermentation facility, a playground for our ideas,” says Strumke.
With such a large, unusual project, his crowdfunding campaign through Growth Fountain also has the ambitious goal of raising $1 million. Reward tiers start at $100, which comes with a Stillwater T-shirt and free beer on your birthday for life, but beer lovers will be particularly interested in the $10,000 tier, where Stillwater will create a custom beer. You’ll create the recipe with Strumke from the grains to the yeast, with a custom-designed label and 10 cases of your brew.
The story of Stillwater
All investors will receive 5 percent of Production’s gross revenues, up to two times their original investment until it’s repaid.
Strumke began, like most brewers do, with experimental brewing projects in his backyard before founding Stillwater in 2010. Until now, he’s created all of his more than 300 beers as a gypsy brewer, meaning he leases equipment from breweries.
“I’ve always approached beer-making like an artist approaches their canvas,” explains Strumke. “I might be sparked by something I’ve seen, tasted or experienced in the world, and then I’ll fashion a recipe that attempts to capture or reflect that.”
He’s also a synesthete, meaning flavors have a certain color to him, which “usually comes into play at some point in the composition of the brew.”
Knowing that Strumke has been a nomadic brewer makes his success is even more remarkable — you’ve probably seen Stillwater on prestigious menus like Momofuku, Upland and Cosme. Strumke’s brews have found their way to 38 states and 15 countries across four continents.
“When we started, my dream was to create beers that really compete with wine on the dinner table,” he says. “In special cases, like with Cosme, we have actually worked together to design a beer specifically for their menu.”
Next stop: Brooklyn
Brooklyn has been as much of a home base as Strumke has, keeping an office in the borough where his distributor, 12 Percent Imports, is also headquartered. After eight years, “it was time for us to create our own capacity, and invite other artists to collaborate the same way we were so graciously invited to do so all these years.
“It will give us an opportunity to experiment in ways that we could not in our nomadic spaces,” he says, like experimenting with mixed cultures and new fermentation techniques, extended aging and extremely small batches.
It’ll also give them a chance to round out the beverage experience with kombuchas, cocktails, natural wine and an “enviable” coffee program.
“It’s ultimately going to be one large Willy Wonka-style factory where we can dream up new ideas and bring them to life.”