"Earlier this year we wrote about nvokh, a crowdfunded and crowdmanaged eco clothing company. Now BeerBankroll is taking a similar approach to the creation of a new, community managed brewery.
The British company has only partially fleshed out its site, but BeerBankroll aims to start a brewery and pub in which many of the key decisions are made by members. It is currently recruiting a minimum of 50,000 members, each of whom will contribute USD 50 in exchange for voting rights on ideas such as the company name, logo, product design, product mix, marketing plan, advertising and sponsorship. Once BeerBankroll has raised USD 100,000 after administration and overhead costs, it plans to begin discussions with a consulting firm—chosen by members' votes—which will then play a guiding role for the community. Assuming the concept goes well, profits will be divided three ways: one part to members in the form of reward points redeemable for products from the Beer Bankroll store; one part back to the company; and one part to charity.
BeerBankroll says it has no set timetable for achieving its milestones, preferring instead to leave that up to members. The company's FAQs do state that "if for some reason we are unable to get a brewing company started [...], then we will take the remaining money after administration and operating costs and give it to charity."
Meanwhile, beer lovers can also join OurBrew, a very new start-up from New Zealand that has similar ambitions, but aims to work with existing breweries. Will it prove feasible for tens of thousands of people to jointly make key decisions for these two breweries-to-be? Only time will tell. However, we think there's also an opportunity here for an existing organization or financial institution that can vouch for new crowdfunded projects and safeguard pre-funding money until the minimum amount of funds have been collected, return it to members if the project doesn't come to fruition."