I know you Pennsylvanians -- and some others -- know about Scott Smith at East End Brewing. I've certainly written enough about him. I mentioned recently that plans were underway for an expansion -- only because he really really needs it -- and the building's been found (a much bigger building at 6580 Frankstown Ave., not far away, a former telecom warehouse). You can read more about it here in Bob Batz's -- as always -- nicely detailed article in the Post-Gazette.
Two things leap out, besides the greatly increased capacity and the proximity to the current plant (had to stay close, Scott acknowledges, or he'd have to change the name). First, Scott and his wife Julie are mortgaging their home to raise most of the money, laying it on the line. (I just saw on his Facebook feed that he's off to sign the papers this morning.) Second, he's looking for small investors -- friends of good beer -- to help make the nut.
Here's the deal. They need about $250,000 more to cover the expansion (the $500K in the article is the whole thing; Scott has about half of that). They're hoping to get $100K from you, the drinkers, in what Scott calls a 3-year microloan. You won't make any money; you get paid back in beer. Or t-shirts, or cake mixes, or growlers, or whatever other stuff Scott's fertile mind has dreamed up (me, I'd get one of those Big Hop bike jerseys), because you'll get $10 vouchers to use at the brewery (or the growler store in the Strip). Details are all here, investing goes live next week, I believe.
Look, I'm not advising you to "invest." I wouldn't advise you to put money in one small brewery over another. But I would advise you to invest in a small, local brewery if you get the chance. I would, if there weren't obvious ethical issues preventing me. This is your local community, your local beer, and you get to be part of it. Will you make money? Well, no, not on this "investment," though you might on others; similarly, you might lose money. How much you stake is up to you, after due diligence. But the point is...you can be part of this. Which is pretty damned cool. So open your eyes (and your ears) and think about it. That's small brewing.