Beer + Co-op financing = Internet Crowdfunding Party!

I love innovative financing schemes as much as the next gal. When you add beer to the mix, it kinda puts me over the top. In fact, I almost had my credit card out until I started reading the details.Beer Bankroll has the right idea–they are turning boring old investing into a rockin good time with their community financing model. Unfortunately, Beer Bankroll is not a very good investment because there is no actual opportunity to earn money, but it can still be a fun internet party. Members pay $50 per year to join, and membership enables investors to participate in the most important key business decisions like naming the beer and designing the logo. Luckily it looks like they leave payroll and operations to the professionals. Profits on the sale of the beer are split three ways with a third returned to the company to fund growth, a third donated to charity, and a third returned to members via a point system. I know you’re wondering: unfortunately it doesn’t look like the points can be redeemed for cash or even beer – it’s gift cards and company swag. This has me wondering, because if they are spending an actual third of the profits on the swag for members, why not hand out something more desirable?

It’s clear that Beer Bankroll does not follow traditional co-op financing methods – there’s that blasted points system instead of the cold hard cash you’d get with a traditional co-op– plus ownership of the company remains with the founders. The owners also maintain control over what the members vote on. That might be for the best when you’re dealing with a bunch of internet beer freaks. The FAQ states:

Who decides on what will or will not get voted on by the members?

BeerBankroll LLC reserves the right to choose what the members will vote on. We only do this because we do not want to vote on something every single day. We have to have some control over the process or else it would become complete anarchy.

That’s probably true, but this idea would be even cooler if membership included actual profit sharing and permanent privileges to stop by the factory and drink beer straight from the tap.
Whaddya think readers? Are you tempted?
via Ode Magazine
Jen slings 100% post consumer recycled paper for the Union of Concerned Scientists, but she’s not representing said scientists on this blog. Of course, she fully intend to swipe facts and figures from their materials in addition to her own research as an MBA student in Sustainable Management at the Presidio School of Management. You can reach her at sustainablejen at gmail dot com

Jen Boynton

Jen Boynton is editor in chief of TriplePundit and editorial director at 3BL Media. With over 6 million annual readers, TriplePundit is the leading publication on sustainable business and the Triple Bottom Line. Prior to TriplePundit, Jen received an MBA in Sustainable Management from the Presidio Graduate School. In her work with TriplePundit she's helped clients from SAP to PwC to Fair Trade USA with their sustainability communications messaging. When she's not at work, she volunteers as a CASA -- court appointed special advocate for children in the foster care system. She enjoys losing fights with toddlers and eating toast scraps. She lives with her family in sunny San Diego.

2 responses

  1. Jennifer, I like the concept a lot, but like you am not so impressed with the rewards points as the return on investment. I’d rather invest a little more money for the potential of a more true return.
    Actually, thanks to Peter for sharing Blackstar Co-op, that is very similar to an idea I have had for how you might create a real “neighborhood” bar, owned and operated by the community who uses it. But it will be interesting to see how Beer Bankroll develops and perhaps there are enough Internet beer fanatics out there to make it worthwhile.

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