Bogus Brewing is poised to take over The Venue's former home, according brewery founder Collin Rudeen, who signed a five-year lease on the building at 521 W. Broad St. in early June. Now, he's working to raise enough money to buy equipment and start pumping out brews.
But his fundraising efforts are following a slightly different path. Though the company already raised more than $30,000 through a Kickstarter campaign, it's hoping to attract more investors through an "Idaho Public Offering."
Bogus, which held a community ownership meeting June 11, is offering Idaho residents the opportunity to become shareholders in the company with a minimum investment of $1,000. Shareholders will automatically receive a Community Supported Brewery membership--which includes a rotating growler of beer every month--and will be able to test the brewery's pilot batches throughout the year. Shareholders will also have voting rights at meetings, receive dividends when possible and have a special owner's mug kept for them at the brewery.
"There should be the feeling that customers are participants," Rudeen said. "They'll be owners."
The company has enough money to start design work for its new, almost 4,000-square-foot space, but will need at least $240,000 to get the building ready for brewing, Rudeen said.
Last week, Rudeen and head brewer Lance Chavez, previously an assistant brewer at Sockeye Brewing, unveiled their first batch of beer. The duo served up a keg of its SupPorter at Bar Gernika during a "one-tap takeover" First Thursday, June 6.
The beer, which received solid reviews from patrons, was brewed using a Bogus recipe at Sawtooth
Brewing Brewery, since Rudeen doesn't yet have a license to sell his beer.
"People are coming back for more, which is a good sign," said Jeff May, who owns Gernika. "It's not just one and done."
When Bogus is up and running, Rudeen plans to involve as many homebrewers and community organizations as possible. He wants to offer an incubation program for aspiring brewers to use a commercial system without having to make the upfront capital investment.
Dave Krick, who owns Bittercreek Ale House and Red Feather Lounge, is the first brewer lined up to use Bogus' system.
"For me, it's a chance to brew and test the ideas I have," said Krick. "I can see how they might work without getting too far into it."
Krick said he has entertained the idea of opening his own brewery for years, but simply hasn't had the time. Krick completed a master brewing course in Munich, Germany, but hasn't worked on a large-scale system.
"Not ever having been a commercial brewer, it's good to find out whether I'm any good," he said.
In the meantime, Rudeen is focused on reaching the $240,000 threshold. The money investors contribute will be held in escrow until he makes it to that point, he said.
Rudeen said installing equipment and wrapping up improvements on his new space will take at least six months once funds are in place, so spring of 2014 might be a "reasonable" time to expect to drink some of Bogus' brews in its new taproom.
"I thought we'd be open already," Rudeen said. "Now I know that idea was fairly naive."