Wiedemann Kickstarter for new brewery earns $31K

Posted at 5:33 PM, Apr 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-07 17:33:42-04

NEWPORT, Ky. -- Geo. Wiedemann Brewing Co. met its Kickstarter campaign goal to raise $30,000 to build a brewery and taproom with some room to spare.

The historic Newport-based beer company – which was revived by Jon and Betsy Newberry in 2012 after previous owners ceased producing and distributing the brand in 2007 –  launched a six-week fundraising effort in February on the popular crowdfunding platform. The campaign's final donation tally was $31,558 given by 225 backers.

Kickstarter rules (and many state laws) prohibit giving free or discounted alcohol as an incentive. Instead, donors to the Wiedemann campaign earned invitations to special events including a brewery pre-opening, as well as a variety of goodies created specifically for the campaign: art prints, mugs from Germany, beer glasses, T-shirts and a host of other items – all bearing the Wiedemann logo.

The push was created to help Wiedemann build its new brewery and taproom in Greater Cincinnati, preferably in its historic home of Newport. However, other areas are still being considered. 

Wiedemann’s $30,000 fundraising effort is still just a drop in the vat compared to what is needed to open the brewery and taproom. The estimated full cost of the project is around $1 million. The Newberrys continue to negotiate with private investors, as well as traditional lenders, to hammer out working capital loans and loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

For now, Wiedemann is available only in Greater Cincinnati: at grocers including several dozen Kroger stores, Party Source, Jungle Jim’s and some Remke locations; restaurants such as Mecklenburg Gardens, Pompilios, Green Derby and Arnold’s; and at festivals, community events and beer tastings. Until it can build its own brewery, Wiedemann is crafted by the Cellar Dweller brewers at Valley Vineyard in Morrow from a recipe created by Kevin Moreland, head brewer at Taft’s Ale House. 

Read reporter Karen Bell's original story about the Wiedemann Kickstarter launch here.