Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Two Rivers Brewing Company Kickstarter Campaign Edges Towards Goal

By Christina Georgiou

With 8 days to go, the Two Rivers Brewing Company Kickstarter campaign to pay for a new tap system for the historic pub is at nearly $12,000.

The total cost to replace the antiquated system in the former Mount Vernon Alehouse is $20,000, a number that needs to be reached if the new tap system is to be funded.

So far, 76 backers have pledged to the campaign, which requires a minimum pledge of $1, though the vast majority have promised more than that. Six people have pledged $1,000 or more, which entitles them to a custom tasting dinner for them and their friends with the chef and brewer, plus a variety of Two Rivers Brewing swag and a public acknowledgement of their contribution.

Co-owner Troy Reynard, who also owns the Cosmic Cup coffee house on College Hill, said the campaign was started not only to raise money after the building renovation project hit a number of unexpected construction costs, but also to expand on the number of people involved.

The Two Rivers Brewing Company Founders Club, funds from which are being used to purchase the on-site brewing equipment, offers donors $1,250 worth of beer over three years for a $1,000 investment.

But that's pricey for many, Reynard noted, so the Kickstarter campaign for the tap system offers various pledge levels, along with various amounts of thank you  swag and gifts, so more people are able to participate.

"It's not only people we know, but people we don't know who really believe in what we're doing.  Also, I've had old friends and former employees who've pledged, and it's gratifying to renew those connections," Reynard said. "It goes to one of the main reasons I wanted to do a Kickstarter campaign.  In addition to raising the extra funds we need, it also gets more people involved with our project, and creates a community dedicated to the renovation of this historic building."

The new system will run from tanks in the brewing area on the second and third floors in the back of the building to ten taps in the bar area on the ground floor in the front. The modern lines will also keep the beer, brewed on the premises, chilled to optimum temperature during it's journey.

Some of the signature beers have already been developed by by brewmaster Wayne Milford, a former head brewer for Dogfish Head in Delaware, known for its award-winning beers.

A pint of Two Rivers Brewing Company's
latest creation, an Oktoberfest beer.
(Contributed photo)
 Two Rivers offerings are locally-inspired craft brews, with names like "Pine St. Blonde," "Getter's Island PA" and "Bankers Brown Ale" and have been well-received during preview tasting events in the past few months.

The new brewery also plans to go back to Easton's brewing roots as they get established, Reynard said. To that effect, the company has also been collecting memoribilia and artifacts from former Easton beer companies, including the recipes for beers of old like the former Seitz Brewery which was located at Bushkill and Front streets, which they plan to recreate in limited quantities from time to time.

The eastern wall of the former Mount
Vernon Alehouse was reinforced late
this summer to support an elevator
and the weight of the brewing
equipment on the second
and third floors.

 While getting the former Mount Vernon Alehouse ready to house Two Rivers Brewing Company has been a months-long project that has included some delays from the originally scheduled August grand opening, and has also been more expensive than anticipated, Reynard says all the work is worth the effort to restore an Easton landmark that has been vacant for nearly a decade.

"The process has been very gratifying," Reynard said.

With most of the building work now complete, and a new tap system possibly on the way, Two Rivers is looking to open its doors to the public by mid-November.

To donate to the Two Rivers Brewing Company Kickstarter campaign, click here.

To check on the progress of the new brew pub or to learn more about joining the Two Rivers Brewing Company Founders' Club, visit www.facebook.com/tworiversbrewing

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