Newton Resident Launches Kickstarter to Tap Into the Beer-making Market
When Donovan Bailey was 18-years-old he taught himself how to make his own beer, since he wasn’t of legal age and couldn’t go to the store to purchase it.
Soon after, creating beer from scratch became an “obsession” for the Newton resident, and after decades worth of home brewing, Bailey wants to finally create a space large enough to make a product that he can distribute to the masses.
Last week, Bailey turned to Kickstarter to ask local brewers and beer lovers to help him get his own brewery, “Down The Road,” off the ground, and to help raise enough capital for him to open a local facility, and purchase upgraded equipment so he can brew three barrels of original beer at a time.
If he meets his aggressive $30,000 fundraising goal by August 11, Bailey will create a tasting room, and even teach those who support his efforts how to homebrew, in exchange for helping him make his “passion for brewing” become a business venture. With so many new craft beers crowding the market, and brewers using a range of ingredients to create something authentic, Bailey says he aims to keep it simple while paying homage to the brewers who came before him.
We asked Bailey why his brand would standout in the homebrew scene, setting it apart from other local beers currently crowding the market:
So you started brewing at a young age. How did you teach yourself?
When I first started brewing there wasn’t the huge number of books and Internet sites that folks have now. The first bit of knowledge I got was from the folks at Modern Homebrew in Cambridge. I also read Charlie Papazian’s book The Complete Joy of Homebrewing from cover to cover. Also the magazine Zymurgy was a huge help. I also would do extensive research about different beer styles that I was interested in making. Doing a ton of experimentation was a key factor in learning to make great beer.
It looks like you have a plan to keep it simple when it comes to the beers you want to make. Why is that important in the beer market?
I think that a more traditional approach to making beer is one thing that isn’t being done but too many American breweries. I have great respect for the brewers that came before me who helped make the great styles of beer that we have now. [But] my intention is to put my own spin on a beer without making it unrecognizable to those original brewers. The current craft beer market has a lot of beer that stands out for their use of unusual ingredients, but [Down The Road’s] beer will stand out as just being great beer.
Do you want to create a brewery for people to come and do tastings and see the “lab”?
The main philosophy of Down the Road is that we are a local place. It is going to be a place for the community to come together to have a few samples and talk to your neighbor about the topics of the day. Of course there will be brewery tours and other events. Also I plan on hosting a few Irish music sessions every month in concert with evening tastings.
What will make your brews different from the vast craft brew market that is taking over Massachusetts?
Down the Road’s brews are going to stand out as classic and timeless. I plan on being innovative with my own style, but also keeping in mind traditional [brewing].
Where does the name Down The Road come from?
When I was thinking about the name I wanted something that spoke to a neighborhood place. I imagined someone being asked where their favorite brewery was and responding “Just down the road”. I want [Down The Road] to be embraced by the local community. It would be great if people felt a sense of ownership that it is their brewery as much as mine. One thing that I plan on doing to foster that sense of ownership and community is creating a crowd-sourced beer. Once [Down The Road] is up and running, I will hand out hop rhizomes to interested people and then use the hops that come back to make an American style barley wine.
What should potential “backers” know about Down The Road?
The one thing that I want folks to know is that we need their help to get up and running. Any support for us through Kickstarter would be very much appreciated. I can’t wait to start brewing great beer but I can’t do it without the help of the community. If folks are interested in coming to some free tastings, they should sign up for our email.