Mike and Doreen Fitzgerald are trying to bring something new to Rockland County and the Hudson Valley: The Growler & Gill Craft Beer Shoppe.
However, the Nanuet couple can't do it alone. They're reaching out to the community for help and support to raise funds for their new venture.
"My wife and I are starting a craft beer business in Nanuet. We are working with a web site called Kickstarter to help fund our start up," said Mike Fitzgerald. "The way it works is: people watch a video about your business idea and if they like it they pledge to sponser you with donations of $10 and up. They get prizes and gifts from the business when it opens opens."
Their passion in craft beers is evident. They have traveled the North East searching for great microbrews, written about their adventures on The Tristate Beer Blog
"Unfortunately, there aren’t many places close to home in Rockland County to experience the world of craft beer. We are looking to change this. We want to create a comfortable, cool environment to learn about and enjoy craft beer from local breweries and from around the world," said the Fitzgeralds.
Mike is a high school biology teacher at and a singer in a rock & roll band called Labyrinth at night. Mike wrote and performed the music that accompanies their Kickstarter video. Doreen is a Director of Marketing for an IT company by day and a Labyrinth groupie at night.
About Growler & Gill
The first half of their business's name, Growler & Gill, derives from the half gallon brown jugs that are becoming popular in craft beer circles. A gill is a British unit of measure that is equal to four ounces of beer.
"We plan to bring in local breweries to serve sample gills and describe each of their beers at weekly tastings. This will allow our friends and neighbors to experience the joy of hand crafted beer," they said. "We also will hold food pairings with local restaurants and artisanal cheese makers. Education will be an important part of our mission with regular “Beer Geek” classes, taught by yours truly, that will enlighten folks to the wonders of beer."
Fitzgerald is currently attaining the second level in the Certified Cicerone Program. A cicerone is equivalent to a wine Sommelier or expert.
How You Can Help
"Our goal is to raise a minimum of $10,000 in 30 days to kickstart our shoppe," said Fitzgerald. "The way works is all or nothing. In order for us to receive the money we raise, we MUST meet our goal. If we do not meet our goal by July 14, then we don’t get any of the money raised."
This isn't a cheap journey for the Fitzgeralds. There's cost of training for and taking the Cicerone Exam, turning the location into a comfortable, cool environment, ordering inventory, licensing, etc . . .
"(This) is a huge hurdle we have to overcome to make our dream a reality. However, you can help by donating something (the more, the merrier) towards our goal," said Fitzgerald.
In return, you receive the following:
- Recognition with your name on a sponsor wall in the tasting room
- Beer tasting class taught by head beer geek Mike Fitzgerald or a yearly membership in our Growler & Gill club.
- $10 pledge or more: A certifcate of thanks from Growler & Gill Craft Beer Shoppe.
- $25 pledge or more: Your name on a sponsor wall in our tasting room.
- $50 pledge or more: Your name on our sponsor wall and a Growler and Gill "Beer Geek" T-shirt.
- $100 pledge or more: Everything above plus a fancy Growler & Gill pint glass and a copy of Randy Mosher's "Tasting Beer", the "bible" of beer.
- $250 pledge or more: Everything above plus 2 VIP tickets to our Grand Opening Party in August!
- $350 pledge or more: Everything above plus a free Beer Geek 101 class taught by the head beer geek himself, Mike!
- $500 pledge or more: Everything above plus a personal tasting class offered in your home for you and 5 friends.
- $1,000 pledge or more: Everything above plus a membership to the Growler and Gill club including a growler fill every month for a year.
- $2,500 pledge or more: At this level you can basically call your own reward! Just check in with us first to make sure it not illegal!
Here's how to sponsor them:
- 1. CREATE a Kickstarter account. It's simple; all it takes is an email and a password. Or sign in using your Facebook account.
- SIGN IN at Amazon.com - if you already have an account, you're all set. If not, no worries, it is easy to set-up as well.
- PLEDGE at whatever level you like! Your card will only be charged should we reach our full goal.
- SHARE this with your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, and whoever else crosses your path! Let everyone know you are a backer of Growler & Gill.
And don’t forget to "Like" them on Facebook , follow them on Twitter or visit their Growler & Gill Website and sign up for email updates to follow our progress. If they get their $10,000, the grand opening will be in August.
Go watch their Kickstarter video and give them your pledge before the deadline Saturday, July 14 at 11 a.m.