A new downtown brewery is in the works, as a veteran of the local wine and finance industries is laying the seeds for the venture with a nearly $1 million capital raise.
Belbridge Brewing Co., an in-development brewery by Mike Escobar, has opened a $975,000 fundraising round, according to SEC documents.
Escobar, a senior consultant at The Fahrenheit Group and a finance executive at local wine importer Winebow Group, said he’s been working on Belbridge for about 1 ½ years, and seeks a location for the brewery.
“I’ve been touring some spaces; I’m looking for about 4,000 square feet in and around the Arts District,” Escobar said. “I want to look to complement all the great dining and entertainment down there with The National and the Carpenter Theatre. I think the area is ripe to have a brewery.”
To get things moving, Belbridge opened an equity raise on Feb. 28. Justin Laughter, an intellectual property attorney at Threshold Counsel, serves as Belbridge’s counsel.
Escobar said he hopes to close out the raise in about six months and secure a space as soon as possible.
“I hope to open the brewery, realistically, in early 2020,” he said.
Belbridge will focus on European-style beers, particularly Belgian-style ales. Escobar said the name Belbridge comes from the phonetic beginning of Belgian, British and German – where his preferred European beers originate.
“It’ll be Belgian-focused and have a limited offering, I’m thinking around six beers on tap at any given time,” Escobar said. “The plan is to not initially go into distribution, but sell over the counter in an intimate tasting room.”
Escobar, sole owner of Belbridge, is looking to hire a head brewer.
He said his plan to start his own spot comes after years of working in the booze industry and brewing at home.
“My background is in accounting and finance, and I’ve sort of been a 20-plus-year craft beer lover and got the home-brewing bug about a decade ago,” he said. “I decided I wanted to get in on the making side of it.”