–by Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog–
Recently, we reported on Flying Bike Cooperative and its plans to create a new kind of brewery: a community brewery based on co-op principles. Today we learn of a similar venture in Bellingham that is trying to gain momentum, or at least gauge people’s interest. The organizers envision a craft beer incubator where a fledgling brewery can get up and running, developing its products and brand before venturing out into the world on its own.
The people behind the project describe it this way: “Bellingham Beer Lab would be home to five small startup brewing companies sharing one brew system and a tasting room. The brewery and tasting room would be cooperatively owned and funded through the sale of coop memberships and CSB (Community Supported Brewing) subscriptions. Brewers at Bellingham Beer Lab would launch and establish their brands, then move out into their own brewery, making room for new startup brewers at the incubator.”
As part of their feasibility study, the organizers are currently running a survey to gauge public interest. Even if you do not live in or around Bellingham, your participation in the survey is valuable. Click here to take the short survey.
The idea of Community Supported Brewing is interesting, to say the least. Based on the few details I’ve discovered, it sounds very similar to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) plan. Basically, in a CSA plan you buy stock in a local farm or agriculture cooperative that pays dividends in the form of fresh vegetables, eggs, dairy and other farm product. You play a part in keeping the farm going: they are producing food for you and because of you. It helps keep local, small-scale agriculture alive. I like the idea of extending this principle to beer.
If you have questions about the Bellingham Beer Lab, go take the short survey. They provide contact information at the end of the survey.