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Crowdfunded craft beer

How crowdfunding took us from gypsy brewing to an actual brewery?

Sori Brewing is now in full production and we are now launching new, exciting beers. These are the first ones from us since our gypsy times. But, what was Sori all about and how we got here? Let’s do a brief recap of our journey to this point.

Sori Brewing crowdfunding share

Sori Brewing crowdfunding share

Crowdfunding an idea

For every start-up, the first question after the idea is: how to finance it? People shared our passion towards this idea from the early stage. Thus, it came clear to us that the crowd had the same itch for changing the problematic Finnish alcohol legislation. This was our way of making a change, by starting our brewery in Estonia and brewing craft beer with a passion. We were not alone with our idea.

Crowdfunding is a great way to democratize the company and it fits well into the craft beer ideology.When you combine finance and a crowd, you get crowdfunding. Yes! That is our way of doing it; sharing Sori Brewing with like minded people. So, where to begin? For us, it was three months of real life Shark Tank experiences. As a result, we hit records by raising 453 200 € through an equity-based crowdfunding. What makes Sori Brewing’s case special, is that we raised equity for the initial investment. We executed the campaign on our own and didn’t use any existing crowdfunding platforms. For us, crowdfunding is a great way to democratize the company and it fits well into the craft beer ideology. Financing is not only for the business sharks and banks anymore!

The worst part: Building and waiting

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Moving our Velo brewhouse

What we hear the most from brewery founders, is that everyone hates building a brewery. We totally agree. For example, building a decent floor was a crazy hassle. Making a perfect one is super expensive and rarely you get a perfect, durable result. Lucky us, the brewery itself is designed for big tanks, great water supply, high power and such. Being a part of a former soda factory, it was easier to get all the production necessities there.

For the entrepreneur, this whole process with building and paperwork was quite consuming. We love to brew and do stuff with other people, not to build and hassle with bureaucrats. This long process took its toll. One founding member, Samu, decided to give up entrepreneur life and move on as a worker to an another brewery. This was a big game changer since now it was just the two of us. However, the show must go on.

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Tax Office and Customs inspection

After the four-month long building, started the waiting period. Now we could invite the Food- and Veterinary board to inspect our premises (which is required in Estonia). Since the whole production process is closed, that’s fairly easy, but they still have to inspect everything. After their visit, we could apply for the time-consuming part – excise warehouse permits from the Customs and the Tax Office. The good thing was that fellow brewers here in Tallinn had prepared us well and that was a piece of cake for us and we made it. For that reason, it’s awesome that craft beer scene shares knowledge and best practises!

The best part: People and brewing

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The whole Sori Brewing team

A challenge for every company is to find the best people around you. We think we succeeded well. For two positions (brewer and office person), we got over 120 applications. We found three people to join us, Morten and Riina for brewing great craft beer and Liz as our office goddess. Soon we may hire more.

And now we are brewing! Our mission here is to brew innovative beers and keep up with great quality. For the innovative part, we took our whole team to Copenhagen Beer Celebration, which is one of the best events in Europe to meet brewers and taste the most awesome beers. From that trip, we got some cool stuff bubbling under, so stay tuned!

We launch now our first five beers, including three different IPA’s, one of them being our flagship, US west coast style Investor IPA. First we start from Estonian and Finnish markets, but we are already looking for more distributors especially in Europe. Stay tuned, Sori beers may come near you.

Serious beer for not so serious people.