By Samurai Artist | January 30, 2015
Agrarian Ales out of Eugene, Oregon, is offering public shares in the farmhouse brewery under a new state law in order to expand. Perhaps Oregon’s most truly “farmhouse” brewery, Agrarian grows 100% of its own hops 98% of the ingredients used on the menu at the tasting room and in the brewery’s beers, from herbs and spices to fruits and vegetables. The tasting room is a secret beloved location, only open on a few days a week that Eugenians and other Oregonians in the know travel to experience the rustic farmhouse setting and wild ales using local hops and spices, play lawn games, stroll the 4-acre outdoor grounds, and listen to live music. Now the two year old company has launched a fundraiser that puts kickstarter capitalists to shame by offering real shares in the company to Oregonians under a new state law, not unlike a company going public on the stock market but limited to only Oregon investors.
The new law, which Oregon is the 13th state to implement, is called “2015 Oregon Community Capital Initiative” and just went into effect as of January 15th, creating an exemption from the federal securities law and is designed to help small businesses grow without selling out.
Agrarian Ales has valued its company based on similar breweries and its own accounting at $500,000, and the company is looking to raise an additional $165,000, or 33% of its current value. The $165,000 needed is broken down as follows: $45,000 for a restroom and outdoor heating upgrade; $15,000 for a grain milling room; $15,000 for a barrel room and bottling equipment; $20,000 for a hop field expansion and processing equipment; and $70,000 for fermentation tanks and cooperage.
Valuing shares at $100 each, there will be 1,650 shares to sell to public investors, who must be Oregonians. The benefits of investing encompass those from a Kickstarter campaign, but with the additional rewards and risks of a true financial investor. Agrarian is offering a 5% biennial dividend that pays every 2 years in brewpub credit and will also create an Agrarian Society club for those investing $1,000 or more. If you’re wishing for more than credit at the brewery, these stocks are worth money, just as those on the stock exchange, and if Agrarian doubles in size, then the value of the stock doubles (or, if things go badly, the value can decrease). Yes, those shares are re-sellable, but only after 9 months and only to another Oregonian. Owner Ben Tilley says, “It is not meant to be an opportunity to make a quick buck. The idea is you are investing long-term in a part of your community that you want to see grow, flourish, and something you can be proud of. In our case, it allows us to grow without having to consider investments from competitors, like InBev (not that we would ever do that).” This is a great way for both a brewery and a prospective beer fan and investor to be a part of the industry and put some skin in the game, rather than throwing in $50 bucks via a kickstarter to get a brewery baseball cap or a couple hundred to be in a club membership. Forget kickstarter, IndieGogo, or any of those other crowdfunding initiatives, because this is an example of a brewery really putting something on the table. Those feeling snubbed by kickstarters or A-B/InBev buyouts can now put their money where their mouths are to help small craft breweries stay independent and locally owned.
Read, Download and apply under the full public offering document here:
Isler Northwest LLC is a firm of certified public accountants and business advisors based in Portland, Oregon. Our local, regional, and global resources, our expertise, and our emphasis on innovative solutions and continuity create value for our clients. Our service goal at Isler NW is to earn our clients’ trust in us as their primary business and financial advisors.
1300 SW 5th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97201