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Make a Pledge, Make Reston Beer History

by Karen Goff — September 9, 2015 at 9:30 am 12 Comments

The owners of the Lake Anne Brew House are calling on the community to get involved in the nanobrewery that will open this fall at Lake Anne Plaza.

Melissa and Jason Romano, who have been renovating space at 11424 Washington Plaza since last spring, expect to open Reston’s first nanobrewery in October.

They have started a Kickstarter campaign, offering would-be contributors perks from a special mug to a beer named after them.

“Our dream is to create a place for community, just like [Reston founder] Bob Simon did,” Melissa Romano says in a promotional video (see above).

As of Tuesday, the Romanos have 61 backers and have raised more than $11,000, well on the way to their goal of raising $15,000. While the Romanos have invested lots of money in the endeavor, Melissa Romano says an additional $15,000 will allow them to purchase more equipment and better serve customers.

Here’s what you get for various contribution levels:

$25 – Light Beer Contributor — Invitation to opening night and a Lake Anne Brew House car sticker.

$40 – Malt Liquor Contributor — Name on the Wall of Fame, sticker, opening night invitation, special Lake Anne Brew House Executive Founders Club signature pint glass for home use.

$75 – Pale Ale Contributor — Name on the Wall of Fame, sticker, opening night invitation and special Executive Founders Club T-shirt.

$100 — Imperial Stout Contributor — Name on the Wall of Fame, sticker, opening night invitation, special Lake Anne Brew House Executive Founders Club signature pint glass for home use and special Executive Founders Club T-shirt.

$125+ – Two For the Road — Two signature logo pint glasses and a Founder Club stainless steel 32-oz. growler (with initial fill up at pick up).

$150+ – Beer Appreciation Event — Entry to a special tour and into to brewing event.

Click through to the Kickstarter page to see high-level perks, such as sponsoring a tap or what you have to contribute to get a brew designed just for you.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    They’re asking for contributions towards their start up costs, and only giving token gifts in return? That’s pretty cheezy. Why not offer vouchers towards an equal amount of product? Why not offer ownership shares? Give me a reason to give you my money other than “I don’t have enough scratch to cover my start up.”

    I’ll probably stop by for a beer, but I’ll take a pass on the non-deductible (tax) charitable contribution.

    • Lake Anne Resident

      They have enough “scratch” to cover their start-up, but this is a campaign to upgrade the facility and equipment. It’s also an opportunity to get the community involved with the effort. I think it’s a great idea and I hope they reach their funding goal. It’s more than just a business and as resident of Lake Anne its enterprises and people like this that make my community much better and if I can help out in some small way then all the better.

      • Chuck Morningwood

        I’m willing to help to by patronizing them. If they’re peddling a decent product, I might patronize them twice. However, I will not just give them my money because their still as yet unopened business already needs revamping.

        Like I said, if you want my money, then sell me a voucher good for an equal amount of product (like a “gift card”). Other than that, take a lien against your home, or consider maxing out a credit card or two, borrowing against your 401K, raiding your kids’ college funds, selling your car or, better yet, sell a cut in the profits.

        • Lake Anne Resident

          Well, I guess we see things differently in that not everything has to be quid pro quo and 72 other backers on Kickstarter would probably agree.

          • CE

            Well if they had a S15 donation for just the sticker I would consider doing it but they don’t. Oh well.

      • John Higgins

        I think you have it right. Knowing nothing about start ups of small, niche-market enterprises, the “contribution campaign” struck me as almost bizarre. With or without the full $15k, it will open. Those who contribute are likely to be in the community, and perhaps they will feel invested in the House’s success. Enough so that they will be repeat patrons. Having a dream without a plan is only hope. If this is part of the plan, more power to them. Here’s to the Romans’ success.

  • Reston Resident

    I agree with Chuck. The token gifts are meaningless. For $25.00 why not give 5 beers? How much does a beer really cost? I understand they have invested in the brew house but do they really need to “upgrade” the facility and equipment already? Based on previous articles, I was impressed with this establishment but a kickstarter campaign for $15K seems petty to me.

    • Greg

      Condo fees are steep at Lake Anne? And RELAC! And a $400k mortgage?

  • Mike M

    I wish them all the luck. Not sure I’ll ever go there, but maybe.

    This financing technique struck me as odd too. For what are lenders and shareholders? Is this desperation? Maybe every start-up is desperation. If they can make this work, more power to them. It’s their enterprise to run as they see fit. Time will tell.

  • Ming the Merciless

    Ming admires the… bravery… of a business plan that involves opening in the Fall, right when Lake Anne Plaza enters its “post-apocalyptic wasteland” phase, rather than in the summer when it is crowded with hot, thirsty people.

  • GuyMontagBookSalesman

    I think I’d like a big more than a “tour” and a “sticker” for a ‘donation’ but that’s just me.

  • thebratwurstking

    For what it’s worth. They now have 81 backers and have raised close to $14,000.00. And that since the start of their campaign last Saturday.

    Nobody is forced to contribute anything, but I love Reston Now’s involment in reporting on a new and local business venue that can only be seen as an enrichment to the current situation at Lake Anne. It will, no doubt, attract new customers and be beneficial to the other businesses there as well. Micro breweries tend to attract a more sophisticated audience and I’m pretty sure nobody will complain about that much.

    Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised…

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