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Looking at beer crowdfunding from the Otherside

Otherside Brewing The Sip

The Sip has a share in a brewery. Maybe it is better to say the team has a share of an interest in a beer maker.

Interest is the key word.

The official notification came through this week that that crew has been awarded one of the slices of the Otherside Brewing Co.’s new crowdfunding campaign. The $250 investment comes with a nice letter, fake deed, hat, cooler, the prospect of a named brick in the new brewhouse and a promise to be included in a raft of activities associated with the up-and-coming Fremantle operation.

Otherside is deep into planning for a new brewery in the port area.

Naturally, the “Bit”, as the share is called, doesn’t provide any equity in the company.

But it does offer a lot of frivolity and that is the key to this exercise. After all, beer should be fun.

The Sip team had been part of a similar crowdfunding exercise with Lucky Chan’s Laundry and Noodlebar in Northbridge.

It would be great to think that for a small investment the team could consider itself a brewery owner. And some of the group is dreaming of such an honour that will be forever out of reach.

So why join the Otherside crowdfunding campaign when the return on investment would hardly please a bank manager?

There are plenty of reasons –

*A great Christmas gift for the most earnest craft beer wanker of all-time – Your mate/sister/boyfriend/cousin loves flavoursome beers but you can never remember what is his favourite. Avoid the quiet questioning to ascertain the preferences, just give the person a ticket into the Otherside brewery. That will cover all bases in the end. Most would never get this opportunity to be involved in a nectar factory.

*Stubby cooler – as the Otherside pack of goodies arrived a few days before Santa’s sleigh, we had the opportunity to regift the holder to a craft beer loving mate.

*Pissy bragging rights to friends – Yeah, I’ve got shares in a brewer. Sort of. Say it quick and move on – nobody will realise it isn’t true.

*An excuse to use Facebook – Otherside will communicate to Bit holders via a closed forum on the social media channel. The brewery wants to seek feedback on concepts from the Bit holders - or Beer Tycoons as we will now demand to be referred to in all correspondence. We can’t wait for the Otherside owners to see our plans for their new labels. My eight-year-old has been hard at work at the crayon table.

*Giving The Sip a reason to go to Fremantle – Our team is very much based north of the river. A trip to the port normally prompts a search for a passport, a small loan to pay for parking, removal of some teeth, a bleak reminder about the city's level of AFL success and the realisation that humans can travel back in time. Those issues can be forgotten once the Otherside’s Freo operation is up and running – or at least there will be a pleasant experience after all the travelling hassle.

*The Sip will appear on a brick in the brewery – normally they are being thrown at us. Or could it be like having a bullet with your name on it?

*A visit to said brewery provides excuse to big note with relatives – you finally have the chance to con them into thinking that having a named brick proves you have left some mark on society. Be prepared for more questions.

*Finally getting to put that super funny beer pun on a big distribution label – Otherside expects to seek feedback from Bit holders on what beers to brew as one-off releases. We got a stack of great names. The Far Cue for a Russian UnImperial Berliner Scotch Ale is a personal favourite. We're also very keen to sit down with the brewers an impart our seconds, make it nano-seconds, of beer making experience. (This is also an in-app purchase).

Getting a personally-signed letter in old Remington style typewriter font – great to remember the old days and it presented a nice marketing touch. No fake news with this old newspaper typeface.

We got a reason to write this – see above.

The Sip can now be accused of bias in every story it runs on Otherside – even if we don’t think our advocacy would actually generate any financial return for the team.

A couple of years of fun – we still get a kick out of the crowdfunding arrangement with Lucky Chan’s even if the benefits ran out years ago. But we're committed investors. We're in for the long haul.

So The Sip is now a Beer Tycoon. Let's strap in for the ride!


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