From a Drewrys Brewing Company media release:
Drewrys Brewing Company announced Monday plans to move forward with a South Bend based facility that will include a tasting room and a Drewrys Museum, and a private placement offering to raise a new round of capital for the existing business.
"We are taking advantage of the new rules mandated by Congress and implemented by the SEC," said Frank Manzo, President of Drewrys. "Although the equity crowd funding rule has not yet been put in place, they have lifted the ban on general solicitation, which allows easier rules on soliciting new investors."
Previously, private placement rules were designed by the SEC to be offered only to people "in the know," and companies could not advertise them as is commonly done with gift-based crowd funding like Kickstarter or Indiegogo.
The lifting of that ban now means that companies are able to offer privately-placed common stock to a much broader audience, and with a minimum buy-in of $250, it's appealing to Main Street as well as Wall Street.
"We decided against a Kickstarter-like offering," said Drewrys' Vice President of Marketing, Dan Blacharski. "We don't just want to offer tee-shirts and beer mugs in exchange for peoples' support. We want to offer a piece of the company and a chance to play a meaningful role."
Drewrys' unique strategy is a hybrid. While it is a traditional private placement stock offering in full compliance with SEC rules, the new ability to make public appeals has characteristics similar to crowd funding.
"What's especially powerful about this particular offering is that investors will all have an opportunity to take an active role. “Every stockholder – no matter how small – can apply as a Board of Directors, subject to annual elections at later dates," said Blacharski. "Although active participation is certainly not required, we want to build a group of stockholders who will share their own visions for Drewrys, as they help to guide ours."
With several investors already on board, Drewrys has begun discussions for locating a South Bend facility, which will include a tasting room and a Drewrys Museum, which will be open to the public.
Drewrys has a long history in South Bend, coming to what was then the old Muessel Brewery on Elwood Avenue in the 1930s, not long after the end of Prohibition.
At its peak, Drewrys produced about 1.5 million barrels of beer a year at the old South Bend plant, and employed nearly 400 people. Since its re-launch last year, Drewrys has gained a very strong core following and demand has been growing steadily.