When Boise Brewing offered shares of stock before it opened in 2014, the money flowed as freely as the beer. The brewery signed up more than 200 owners and generated in excess of $400,000.
IPA? Try IPO. Fueled by growth, the community-supported brewery at 521 W. Broad St. has unveiled round two of its so-called “Idaho Public Offering.” With an initial goal of generating $250,000, Boise Brewing will let Idahoans buy stock for a minimum investment of $1,000.
Boise Brewing needs the money because it has a problem: The brewery can’t make enough beer, founder Collin Rudeen says.
In January, Boise Brewing started selling Snowboarder Porter and Syringa Pale Ale in six packs of 12-ounce cans.
“We’re seeing the early sales start to come in,” Rudeen says, “and it’s kind of like, ‘Yeah, there’s no way we’re going to keep up with our current capacity.’ ”
Boise Brewing pumped out about 1,500 barrels in 2016. Rudeen thinks 4,000 barrels is a realistic annual goal with the addition of fermentation tanks and other brewing equipment.
“We’ve only had cans out for a couple of weeks, so it’s hard to say exactly how successful we’ll be with our cans,” he admits. “But I know a lot of the other breweries, around 60 to 70 percent of their volume is through cans. So I’m pretty optimistic that we can max out the brewing capacity of our building and not have trouble selling it.”
In the last few years, Boise’s brewery scene has skyrocketed — and there’s no indication of a nosedive anytime soon. This week, Barbarian Brewing, a husband-and-wife operation that debuted in Garden City in late 2015, announced that it will open a second taproom at 1022 W. Main St. (formerly The Crux) in Downtown Boise. Barbarian, which focuses on barrel-aged and sour beers, hopes to open the new watering hole by late spring or early summer.
Launching an unknown new brewery today would be challenging, Rudeen says. But established Boise breweries — even ones that are a toddler’s age — have potential to upsize, he believes.
“When we come out with a new product like cans, people are familiar with us already, and it’s not as hard of a sell,” Rudeen says. “Our sales have kind of been increasing since inception in just draft, anyway. I think for us, sure, there’s a lot of competition out there, but we’ve been able to successfully grow month over month and year over year.”
Rudeen feels confident that Boise Brewing will meet its investment goal by April 30. At that point, the brewery will pause. Leadership and shareholders will evaluate. Future projects will be analyzed, including the construction of an eye-catching grain silo in front of the brewery.
Rudeen says that most investors in Boise Brewing aren’t aiming to get rich quick.
“It seems like people are drawn more to getting their name on a mug at the brewery,” he says. “And they get a growler fill once a month for the rest of their lives.”
Valentine’s Day best bets
Valentine’s Day lands in the middle of the week this year (which means nobody can figure out quite when to celebrate it). Here are a few last-minute ideas.
▪ Take advantage of the balmy temperature, hop on your bike and join the Bikin’ For Lovin’ social ride. It starts at 6 p.m. Friday at Boise Bicycle Project, 1027 S. Lusk St., and cruises the Boise Greenbelt. There’s food, beer and live music Downtown afterward, should you choose. Details: boisebicycleproject.com.
▪ County Line Brewing, 9115 W. Chinden Blvd., will put the frosting on your weekend with its Valentine’s Cupcake + Beer pairing event ($12). It runs from noon to 6 p.m. (or close) Sunday. You get three miniature cupcakes from Sugar Rush Cupcakery plus three 6-ounce beer pours. Milk and juice are available for kids. If you’re running late, consider calling ahead to make sure cupcakes haven’t sold out: (208) 830-2456.
▪ Liquid Laughs, 405 S. 8th St., will host a local Valentine’s showcase at 7 p.m. Tuesday for $10. The comedians: Emma Arnold, Jeni Adams, Alisha Donahue, Jynx Jenkins, Sophie Hughes, Brett Badostain, Eli Nary, Eric Lyons, Kaz Gable and Thomas Paul.
▪ The Fabulous Chancellors will perform classic rock ’n’ roll from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Riverside Hotel’s fifth annual Valentine’s Ball. It costs $15, or you can buy room packages: (208) 343-1871.
Diana Krall, Blondie summer concerts
▪ Crossover jazz singer Diana Krall has never performed in Boise. A five-time Grammy Award winner, she’s one of those names that has been bandied about for years as a possibility. In 2007, the executive director of the Gene Harris Jazz Festival told the Statesman that the festival had attempted to book Krall, but that it couldn’t afford her.
Outlaw Field can. Krall will perform there Saturday, July 29.
Tickets to the 7 p.m. show go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Friday at Ticketmaster for $58.75.
▪ Female-fronted hit machines Blondie and Garbage will co-headline an outdoor concert Friday, July 14, at the Ford Idaho Center Amphitheater in Nampa. Tickets to the 6:45 p.m. show go on sale Feb. 17 at ICTickets for $35 to $95. John Doe and Exene Cervenka will open.
Blondie and Garbage haven’t rocked the Treasure Valley in, like, forever. I have no record of a Blondie gig in Boise, although it’s possible the band visited during its heyday in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Garbage’s last Boise stop was in 2002 as the opening act for No Doubt.
Credit both groups for keeping key members on board over the years. Blondie, formed in 1974, is fronted by Debbie Harry, of course, and still has guitarist and co-founder Chris Stein. (Can you believe Harry is 71?) All four of Garbage’s original members have stuck with the band since 1993.