The owners of the first craft brewery for downtown Marion said they have launched a GoFundMe page so that the local community can feel involved in their new venture.
Jason Snyder and Emily Causey are the owners of Mica Town Brewing, which is planned to open later this year or early 2018 in downtown Marion. Their craft brewery will be located in the building on Brown Drive behind the building which houses the Crooked Door Coffee House and Sun Kissed Tanning.
And last week, Snyder and Causey announced that Mica Town Brewing has started a GoFundMe page. They began the effort now because April is North Carolina Beer Month. Friday was also National Beer Day.
Snyder and Causey said on Friday to The McDowell News that the GoFundMe page is more about getting community investment for their business.
“It was an idea we came up with,” said Causey. “We want it to be a community effort. It’s a way to get folks involved.”
It can be seen at https://www.gofundme.com/micatownbrewing or you can go to GoFundMe and search for Marion, N.C.
“What happens when two WNC beer nerds, whose retirement plan is to open a brewery, end up in a city twenty miles from the closest brewing establishment?” reads their page. “They get a wild haired idea to turn their retirement dreams into a reality several decades early! Armed with extensive homebrewing knowledge, determination, and the support of a thirsty community, Mica Town Brewing is soon to be up and running.”
Their goal is to raise $20,000. Snyder and Causey said their craft brewery will open even if they are not able to raise the $20,000.
“We’re still going to open if we don’t meet that goal,” said Causey.
Whatever money is raised will go toward the renovation of the building and purchasing equipment, said Snyder.
“This project started with a lot of ambition but not much in the way of capital resources,” reads their page. “We’ve been working for the past six months to research our options and have finally gotten to the point where this project is going to happen. All that being said, we’d like to raise funds from our community to show our lenders that the people of Marion and McDowell County are supportive of local business and all around awesome. If plans line up, and funding is secured, we hope to be up and running by the beginning of 2018.
“Our mission is to house a brewery that constructs quality beer, while promoting community development. A focus on our patrons will ensure our future business growth, and the future of the independent craft brewer movement. We also know from our visits to other breweries in North Carolina and the southeast, that local craft breweries can revive communities, create good jobs, and bring people closer together, and who isn’t all about that?!”
Snyder and Causey said the most popular reward level so far is the $100 level. This amount gets folks into their Mug Club, which is limited to 150 people.
All members of the Mug Club will get their own half-liter German stoneware Mica Town Brewing beer mug. The owner of that mug will have two options.
“You’ll be assigned your very own mug number and we’ll clean, store, and serve your beer in your mug, forever and ever,” reads the GoFundMe page. “If over the course of time, your mug is broken we will do our best to replace it while supplies last.”
Or Mica Town Brewery will mail the mug to the Mug Club member and that person can drink out of it anytime he or she pleases.
“The ability to join this club ends when 150 mugs have been reserved or when the GoFundMe campaign is over,” reads the page.
Other levels of giving come with different awards and benefits.
“So this is about you, and we want you to play an active role!” reads their GoFundMe page. “Contribute to this campaign and become part of history in the making, be a founding supporter of McDowell County’s first brewery.”
As of Friday, their GoFundMe effort had raised $1,500. That money was raised by 14 people in just three days.
“So excited for you! Can't wait to visit next time we're in WNC. My parents will be happy to drive down the mountain from Burnsville too. We are proud to support your dreams!” reads a comment from Shelby and Matt Harasty, who donated $200.
Snyder said he hopes to start his brewery around the end of this year or early 2018. He has applied for a federal permit and it will take around six months for it to be approved.
“After that, I can start brewing,” he said.
In a previous interview, Snyder said he is working on several types of craft beer, including a brown ale made with sweet potatoes and an IPA using carrots.
On Friday, he said Mica Town will be a four-barrel brewhouse. It will have seating both downstairs and upstairs in the Brown Drive building. Over the years, that building has seen a lot of uses. In the late 1980s, it was the home of MACA and there was once a dramatic colorful mural on its outside wall. The building later became an FM radio station and after that, a tax preparation office.
He said the name for his craft brewery comes from his background in geology and mining.
“This is a tribute to all of the mining heritage in western North Carolina,” said Snyder.