Los Angeles Business Journal

Beer Crafter Hops Onto Crowdfunding

Dave Hodgins looks to tap Kickstarter to get Dry River flowing. By Justin Yang Monday, July 8, 2013

Dave Hodgins is trying to give his planned Dry River Brewery an unconventional start – crowdfunding through Kickstarter.

Hodgins is promoting his brews and the Kickstarter campaign by serving some of his beer at various fundraisers, concerts and art galleries. Since mid-June, the fundraising drive has drawn pledges of more than 20 percent toward the $25,000 he needs to start brewing his beer commercially.

“Kickstarter is great because it involves the community and investment,” Hodgins said. “Not everyone has $10,000, but they are still interested in supporting us.”

Backers can get a “thank you” on Dry River Brewery’s website and happy-hour prices for a year at the brewery when it opens. Big donors can get a beer named after them.

Hodgins’ brewery’s is trying to follow another L.A. brewery’s formula for success. Los Angeles Aleworks raised $38,000 in March through Kickstarter to start commercially brewing.

Kickstarter policy forbids Dry River to promise beer in exchange for pledges – the site has a no alcohol-giveaway policy.

Hodgins is planning craft brews such as Horchata Cream Ale, a beer based on the Latin American rice milk and cinnamon beverage, and the florally scented Chamomile Honey Wheat.

He wants to start his brewery somewhere along the concrete Los Angeles River in hopes of revitalizing what he calls the underappreciated area. His business will give away 1 percent of its profits to the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corp., a non-profit looking to improve neighborhoods around the Los Angeles River.

“The river is why Los Angeles is where it is,” Hodgins said.

– Justin Yang