Bad Jimmy’s and the Crowd Sourced Brewery

One of Seattle’s newest microbreweries is planning to give your taste buds a kick in the pants — and they’re turning to Kickstarter to raise the funds they need.

Bad Jimmy’s Brewing Co. plans to open in five or six weeks in Ballard, and though they’re coming to a neighborhood that seems saturated with microbreweries, they’re bringing something different to the table.

“We’re very high alcohol, high malt, American strong ales,” says Billy Burdick, one of five co-owners. “Most of the breweries out here are doing normal style ales with five percent or seven percent alcohol. Our lowest beer ranges around six percent and our highest one is at 13 percent. We’re full flavored and a lot more malty.”

These flavors are the brain child of a group of experienced brewers: Burdick has been homebrewing for the last 18 years alongside buddies John Stinson and Seth Mashni. They’re joined by Pyramid Breweries employees Jill Kramer and Greg Gramenz.

The brewery itself is mostly finished being built. The group leased a former Crossfit gym, so they’ve been refurbishing the space to meet their brewing needs. Construction has included installing drains in the concrete floors, building and painting walls, installing a walk-in cooler, and constructing a bar and back bar. Much of the brewery is made from recycled pallet wood; the team has been hacking apart 30-40 pallets a week.

Two other Ballard breweries have successfully used Kickstarter’s platform to raise enough money to open their doors: Reuben’s Brews raised more than double their $10,000 goal and Peddler Brewing far exceeded their $5,000 goal, hitting an astounding $18,152.

Burdick says he learned about Kickstarter when Reuben’s Brews used it to get off the ground. He donated to their project and saw it as a good way to not only raise money but get the word out, too.

Kickstarter donors can choose from a number of pledge levels; each one has swag attached. Naturally, the more you give, the cooler stuff you get. And that benefits both parties. Bad Jimmy’s is giving away t-shirts, beanies, trucker hats, stickers, posters, and pint glasses to donors. At higher levels, donors can score a homebrew class, private party, or naming rights to fermentation tanks and seasonal beers.

Bad Jimmy’s hopes to use the money to fund glassware, bar stools, and tables for the tasting room; kegs, a water boiler, brewing ingredients, and a glycol system; lighting and exterior signage; and a new paint job for the building’s exterior after a vandal decorated it with graffiti.

The campaign’s goal is $13,000, and it expires on July 10 – if the goal isn’t met, the project loses all of its funding. So the Bad Jimmy’s team is putting themselves in the hands of Seattle beer lovers – and perhaps in doing so testing the market to determine if it really is as elastic as it seems to be.

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