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Budding brewers hope public will help them get the beer flowing

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Enthusiasts look to crowdfunding to support a new microbrewery project in town. Gill Kay reports

Jersey may have a new brew if a group of local entrepreneurs are successful in their crowdfunding campaign.

Leah Bliss and four fellow brewery enthusiasts are hoping to create a new microbrewery, Bliss Brew Co, in Jersey that will be set up within JB’s craft beer bar in St Helier.

The project has been developed in conjunction with JB’s, where the new microbrewery will be on view behind a glass screen within the bar. Customers will be able to see the beer being made and enjoy the result, with a variety of beers, including stouts, pales, sours and fruity wheat beers, on offer. ‘We are hoping to champion variety and have people rediscover what a beer can be. We’ll also be kegging and canning our product – if our campaign is successful,’ said Leah.

Leah and husband Ben and have been brewing from the confines of their kitchen for nearly a decade and dedicating their free time to all things brewing.

They have now joined forces with the founders of JB’s, Josh Band and Marcus Calvani, and designer and branding expert James Carter, of Midnight Industries.

Their vision is to create a drinking experience where people can see beer being made and pumped straight to the bar. Ben and Leah have written more than 200 recipes and Leah believes there is a beer for everyone.

She said: ‘If you’re partial to a fruity cider, give our raspberry wheat beer a try. If you savour a glass of white wine, try our crisp summer saison. But perhaps you just want something different… in which case you might brave a small glass of our 12% chilli-infused, barrel-aged, chocolate imperial stout!’

The Bliss brewers are also already planning collaborations with a number of the Island’s best restaurants and producers, as Ben explained: ‘We respect beer in a way that many would appreciate a bottle of wine or a spirit. We only use the best ingredients and some of our beers take years to reach their optimum flavour. A lot of love goes into making them.’

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The team is hoping to realise their dreams through crowdfunding and Marcus hopes the new venture will attract the necessary support. He said: ‘We have the business plan, the venue and the expertise. We just need the means to make the dream a reality, and crowdfunding would make our supporters integral to the journey.

‘It’s illegal in Jersey to give away equity, but we’ll remember those that believe in us now. They’ll be the first we contact should the business warrant global growth in the future.’

Funds raised will determine what the team can purchase – but as well as funding a brewing plant itself, they also hope to invest in a canning line so that their product is available to venues in the Island and further afield.

The group wants to raise £100,000 for the project and are offering a wide range of rewards for those who can pledge money. These include a lifetime’s discount on Bliss beers, brewing experiences to make your own beer, corporate rewards that allow company team-building days and even the option to commission a customised beer festival where ticket proceeds are donated to charity.

  • For more information or to support this project, visit crowdfunder.co.uk and search for Bliss. The deadline for the crowdfunding drive is in 21 days.

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