When Boise Brewing offered shares of stock prior to opening 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 Idaho residents 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.
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“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. in Downtown Boise.
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.
“I genuinely want to give a financial return to people,” he continues. “But to be honest, a lot of people ...”
“They don’t care,” he admits with a laugh. “So I guess I feel a responsibility to do my best to give a return, but at the end of the day, it’s to get (your) name on that mug.”