Making Waves in the Ocean State's Beer Scene
In 2007 Matt Richardson and Joel Littlefield founded Ocean State Hops, Rhode Island's first commercial hop farm. As the website at www.oceanstatehops.com says, these homebrewing brothers-in-law are fueled by a passion to cram as many hops into each batch of beer as humanly possibly and supply other brewers looking to quench their thirst for hops. Over the past six years Matt and Joel have succeeded, supplying hops to local homebrewers and breweries alike. Now we, Matt and wife Kara, are looking to expand on this success and open Tilted Barn Brewery, Rhode Island's first farm brewery.
Tilted Barn Brewery will be located in the historic barn on our farm in Exeter, Rhode Island, which has been in Kara's family for over 50 years. Our mission is to expand upon the success of Ocean State Hops and not only provide locally grown hops but also provide local, hand-crafted beer that is brewed with ingredients grown right here on the farm. Visitors to the farm brewery will be able to tour the barn brewery, enjoy samples in the tasting room, and walk around the farm to see the ingredients that will go into each batch of beer. Not only will you be able to see the beer being brewed, but you'll be able to see what goes into each batch as it grows.
The Details (a.k.a. What We Need & What You Get)
We've already secured most of what we need to launch Tilted Barn Brewery:
- First and foremost, we own the farm. We don't need to worry about finding a location, securing a lease, or purchasing property. This is one of the biggest hurdles for new breweries.
- We own the equipment. We recently purchased a 1 barrel brewhouse with six 2 barrel fermenters from a local brewery that is expanding. This is a perfect starting size for the farm brewery to get our business started and our beers on shelves and on tap. We plan to expand within 2 to 4 years and have the space to do so when the time comes.
- We have a Tilted Barn. Our barn dates back to the early 1900s. It's had many different uses over the years (horse barn, woodworking shop, Christmas tree farm gift shop) and is begging to be made into a farm brewery.
What we need:
This is where you come in. Contrary to its namesake, the barn is in pretty good shape. It is not, however, a brewery. The funds raised through this campaign will be used to convert our barn into a barn brewery. The renovated barn will showcase the brewery and all of its components, and will have a tasting room, complete with bar and ample seating. Visitors to Tilted Barn Brewery will be able to get an up-close and personal tour of the brewery, relax in the tasting room while sampling what's on tap, take a tour around the farm, and go home with a growler of their favorite Tilted Barn brew. A visit to the farm brewery will truly be a complete "farm to pint" experience.
Your contributions will be used to:
Convert the first floor into the brewery space and (assuming we reach our goal) second floor into a tasting room and viewing area of the brewery.
Make the necessary modifications to the infrastructure of the barn, such as heating, plumbing, drains, etc. (This is a big one).
Construct the bar and purchase the necessary draft lines, refrigeration, etc.
Build a temperature controlled fermentation and cold storage room.
We have faith in you guys and are optimistic we'll reach our goal (and maybe beyond?) and any funds that are leftover will go towards purchasing kegs, growlers, and other necessary brewery equipment.
The motivation behind Tilted Barn Brewery is to keep Kara's family tradition of farming alive while adding our own modern twist for craft beer and the art of brewing. A trip to our farm brewery will go beyond that of the normal brewery experience. Visitors to the brewery will be able to get a firsthand look at what goes into each batch of our hand-crafted beer. They'll get to learn a little history of not only farming in our area but hop farming throughout all of New England (Matt could go on for hours about that...). They'll be able to walk through the fields to see, touch, and smell the ingredients that will go into their beer, and relax in a century-old barn while enjoying the fruits of our labor. The community as a whole will also benefit. The brewery will add another source of revenue to the farm and help us keep the farming tradition alive and continue to preserve open space - not an easy thing to do these days. The brewery will also help to bring additional "agri-tourism" customers to the area, which should help our neighboring farms. On a larger scale, we're hopeful that Tilted Barn Brewery will help to revive the hop farming and farm brewery tradition of New England that was lost long ago.
Other Ways You Can Help
Can't commit to a donation? Already donated and want to do more?? No sweat, there's always another way to help.
Spread the word! This campaign is only 60 days long so we need to get as much attention as possible. Put a link on Facebook, send your friends an email, mention it to a co-worker, call the news! Anything and everything will help.
Send us a message or 'like' us on Facebook. Getting feedback from our future customers is great motivation.
Come visit the brewery when we open! This campaign is our launching pad but we want to hear from you after we open also. Day 60 will signal the end of the Indiegogo campaign and Day 61 will mark the start of the Tilted Barn journey.
Thanks for your support! We couldn't do this without all of you.
Matt and Kara Richardson
Looking for more information? We like your enthusiasm! There have been quite a few news articles and stories on Ocean State Hops and our plans for Titled Barn Brewery recently. Here are a few links:
(Video music credit: Old Barns by Greensky Bluegrass)