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Forbes - Savings Itself For The Right Investors, A Brewer Crowdfunds A Loan

Forbes - Savings Itself For The Right Investors, A Brewer Crowdfunds A Loan

Robb Mandelbaum

When I reached Marie Fox on Thursday afternoon last week, she and her husband Jamie had a little over 24 hours before they opened the doors of their Gunbarrel Brewing Company in Boulder, Colorado, for the first time. Already that day, she had put volunteers, a retired couple, to work refinishing the tables. She paid a visit to Home Depot to pick up light bulbs for the walk-in cooler and paint for the picnic tables, which she had found on Craigslist. She spent some time tweaking the wireless network that would run her point-of-sale system. And just before I called, she finished an email to her lenders, inviting them to what she called a "super soft opening." She acknowledged that she was a little late in getting to them. "We've had our noses to the ground working so much," she said, "that we haven't had time to give them an update."

Crowdfunding, of course, is in vogue now, in theory if not in practice, but it typically involves selling small equity stakes. The Foxes decided to go a different route — and one that is much less expensive for the business. The Gunbarrel Brewing Company's creditors are a dozen (so far) people from around Boulder who together have loaned the startup about $175,000 in aggregate. In return, they are earning between 8.5 and 10 percent annually on their investment, an interest rate that would make many established companies envious — plus some perks only a brewery could offer, including a free monthly tab over the five-year life of the loan, free event-space rental, and barstools named in their honor.

The Foxes didn't exactly need this money to open the modest brewery they had initially intended. But recruiting investors turned out to be sort of the culmination of a plan to carefully cultivate supporters from almost the moment three years ago when they decided to launch the brewery. They had been saving it for retirement. Jamie was a neuroscientist by day and home brewer on nights and weekends — until he finished his post-doc work and realized that jobs for neuroscientists are hard to land. Marie is a marketer, and her plans for getting the word out are as fundamental to the enterprise as Jamie's recipes. While he refined those, she honed an outreach plan that emphasized neighborliness.

The Foxes bottled and delivered Jamie's sample batches to friends and fans around the area. "We would give it away for free," Marie Fox said, "because that's all we could do." They rented out a Denver brewery to brew their own beer and then throw a big party to drink it. And beginning in the fall of 2015, the Foxes put out a call for backyard fruit that would otherwise go to waste if they did not turn it into beer. The Foxes imagined apples and peaches, but "people starting coming out of the woodwork with all kinds of other things: plums, currants, gooseberries, and raspberries," she said. "Often we would go pick it ourselves. And we would talk to the people." This "found fruit" project concluded with a backyard party; donors got to take home a case of beer made from their contribution as well as a sampler pack of the others.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should note here that one of those neighbors who offered up plums — not brew-worthy plums, it turned out — was my brother, who became a fan of the Foxes. When they decided to borrow money, he was one of the people who signed up to lend.

Around the time of the second found fruit project, two years after they started looking for space, the Foxes signed a lease on a building at the edge of an industrial circle in the northeastern corner of Boulder— a building where, serendipitously, brewing equipment was once made. Breweries, Fox says, seldom open with more than 6,000 square feet; this building was 20,000 square feet. The Foxes anticipated growing into the space, but as they waited on their permits, they began to consider the possibilities of adding new brewing and storage capacity sooner rather than later.

"There are these articles out there about Boulder businesses getting financing for some crazy thing," Fox said, "and we thought, 'we're two level-headed people, and it's a local business,' so we thought we'd cast the net out there." The Foxes set a target of $280,000. "We weren't counting on raising anything," she said, "but we thought we had to try."

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Westword - Fifteen Beers to Seek Out at Collaboration Fest on March 25

Westword - Fifteen Beers to Seek Out at Collaboration Fest on March 25

By Jonathan Shikes

With 112 beers on the menu, it's going to be extremely difficult for the giddy attendees of the fourth annual Collaboration Fest to know where to begin. This year's version of the event, which takes place Saturday, March 25, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the National Western Complex, is the biggest ever, bringing together 188 different breweries that teamed up in pairs, trios and even bigger groups to create one-off brews. Each beer was created specifically for Collab Fest, and most of them won't ever be seen again.

The depth and breadth of styles and techniques is truly outstanding this time around, which is why it's fun to seek out a wide variety of beers. Thankfully, the organizers of the festival, the Colorado Brewers Guild and Two Parts, have created a complete list online of all the beers, so you can study up before the big event. From that list, I selected fifteen beers that I am going to seek out first — some because of the breweries involved, some because of the unusual styles or ingredients, and some simply for the whimsy of the collaboration.

Collaboration Fest tickets, $60 to $85 are still available at

Obstructed View
Various Boulder County breweries

Calling themselves the Masshole Brewers Transplant Alliance, or MBTA, this group of brewers decided to make a hoppy wheat beer to honor their home state of Massachusetts. The Alliance consists of 12Degree Brewing, Asher Brewing, Bootstrap Brewing, Gunbarrel Brewing and Sanitas Brewing along with Boulder-based beer writer Dan Rabin. Obstructed View was inspired by the Boston Red Sox and "dedicated to anyone who has ever sat directly behind a post at Fenway, the world's greatest (and least user-friendly) ball pahk," the brewers says. "Obstructed View is wicked session-able and packs a may-jah dose of tropical and citrusy late-addition hops, including loads of Meridian, an intriguing new hop variety. This beer is perfect for an afternoon in the bleechahs yelling at knuckleheads."

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Your Boulder - Meet Gunbarrel Brewing Company


There are over 40 craft breweries in Boulder County, each with their own unique backstory, identity, and personality. Local craft beer enthusiasts here in and around Boulder will have yet another exciting brewery to frequent in just a few months when Gunbarrel Brewing Company, which will feature a broad range of intriguing and audacious ales, opens this year.

Gunbarrel Brewing Company's opening will be the culmination of years of planning by husband and wife team Jamie and Marie Fox. According to Jamie and Marie, owning and operating a brewery is something that they always aspired to do during their eventual retirement. With Jamie's long background in homebrewing and Marie's experience in marketing and hospitality, it was a long simmering idea always at the back of their minds. After Jamie completed his post doctoral work in neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder just a few years ago, the duo found themselves in a transitional period and asked themselves why they should wait to make the idea a reality. Why shouldn't they pursue it in the immediate future. Thus, tangible steps towards making Gunbarrel Brewing Company a reality began.

Currently under construction, the new brewery will feature a 3,200 square foot taproom along with an outdoor space. With the goal of providing a fun, relaxing environment to hang out and sample beers in on the weekend or enjoy a pint at after a day of work, the space will include games, feature regular live music, and aspire to have a cozy, community-driven feel.

Of course, the main attraction at Gunbarrel Brewing Company will be their exciting selection of varied brews.

"We make a broad range of beers and focus on what we like to drink," says Marie. "This could be affected by the seasons, the weather, our moods, really anything. Each beer has a story behind it, and we aren't afraid to play with our recipes and experiment."

A particularly unique portion of Gunbarrel Brewing Company's beers are their historical and rare ales, all with a modern Gunbarrel twist and interpretation. Additional exciting players in the Gunbarrel beer line-up include Bogan, an Australian sparkling style ale that is currently only being brewed by Gunbarrel Brewing Company here in the states. Fizzy, fruity, and crisp, it's a beer like you've never tried before. Fresh Baked is their signature stout, full of flavor and including the enhancing ingredients of vanilla, apples, nutmeg, and cinnamon. There is Cherrish, a German rye beer brewed with organic cherries, Rosemerry, an herbaceous pale ale, Begbie Scottish ale, and many more unique beers to look forward to sampling. From experimenting with fruits to finding a new slant to any given style, Gunbarrel's brews are a reflection of the founders' own adventurous tastes.

Upon its opening, Gunbarrel Brewing Company will also strive to be an educational space for those interested in craft beer, where anyone can visit to learn about beer history, ingredients, and more. From a consistent monthly education series to the Found Fruit Project in which, during harvest season, organic local fruit that would otherwise go uneaten is used by the brewers to develop beers around, Jamie and Marie Fox have a wealth of surprises and hospitality in store for Boulder's craft beer patrons.

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Indiegogo Thank YOU!!

phew! The last 42 days have blown by! Today, we close a chapter on the process for opening our brewery as our Indiegogo Campaign comes to an end. Thank you so much for getting involved and supporting us. We filmed this fun video to share all of the awesome stuff we have in store for the taproom. Soon, we won't have to pretend!

Indiegogo Thank You! from Gunbarrel Brewing Company on Vimeo.

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Left Hand Valley Courier - Gunbarrel Brewing Company to open soon

By: Jesse Murphy

Gunbarrel Brewing Company will soon be opening a 20,000 square foot location at 7088 Winchester Circle.

Husband and wife owners Jamie and Marie Fox have had this plan in place for years, and it will will finally be coming to fruition.

"We have been planning and working on opening a brewery here in Gunbarrel for the last three years," Marie said. "We've always wanted to open a brewery, and we thought 'why not do it now?' Instead of waiting for retirement or something."

Jamie, who has a background in neuroscience, and Marie, who worked previously in marketing-related fields, have been home brewing beers for around 17 years.

"We don't specialize in any one type of beer," Marie said. "We make the things that we like to drink, that varies based on the weather and our mood, as it does with many people. So we will keep a varied tap list."

They also have a good working dynamic.

"Jamie manages all of the brewing operations and planning," Marie said. "I have a marketing and hospitality background, so I do everything for the tap room and all of that. It's kind of like yin and yang."

Being many years in the works, it was more of a case of finding the perfect location.

"We knew for sure we wanted it to be in Gunbarrel because we live here," Marie said. "We wanted to bring more of a place to go out to in town. It was to create something where there are games, live music, nice outdoor space — a fun place to go and chill out after work or on the weekends."

"It took us awhile to find a place to do this. So we had to be patient. But we have found a great building. We have 20,000 square feet. About 3,200 of that will be for the tap room, and then we'll also have a very large outdoor space."

That outdoor space will also be filled with games, and the location has plenty of parking.

They have a wide variety of beers that will come out of their 10-barrel brewhouse. Some of the more popular brews include Dirty Habit, a double IPA, Philosopher's Daughter, a dark beer with tones of cherries, and other rare brews from around the world.

The brewery currently has an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to finish off what needs to be done.

But donors won't just give, they will get something in return.

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Entrance located on West side of property. Enter via second left on Winchester Circle. Drive around the building for parking. Main entrance on the north/east side of the building. Google Maps provides inaccurate parking directions. GBC GoogleMap