Update: We're in the last week of our campaign! It's all about the brewing rig to get the dream started. If we don't raise the £28k needed, all those that have pledged will be fully refunded. Thanks for your help so far!
The story is about a passion (bordering obsession) for beer. For the best part of a decade, Ben and Leah Bliss have been brewing, drinking, travelling and talking all things beer. The result is a book bulging with over 200 recipes that they want and need to share! Enter Josh Band and Marcus Calvani, the brains behind Jersey’s first and only craft beer bar JB's as well as the multi-unit Be Served Group, and design guru James Carter of Midnight Industries and we have a pretty awesome team.
JB's Smokehouse and Craft Beer Bar is situated in the centre of St. Helier and since its launch in 2015 has been tantalising the taste-buds of islanders, championing local produce with their signature smokehouse menu and providing an exciting new venue for craft beer. The taps and fridges groan with over 100 offerings and an ever-changing tap lineup ensures no visit is the same. What would further elevate this dream setup? Why a resident brewery of course!
The stage is set at JB's and a space allocated to host the Bliss Brewing Company. Behind a glass screen we dream about a shiny brewing kit pumping beer goodness straight to the bar. You’ll be able to see the process in action and even better enjoy anything from easy-drinking pale ales to mouth-puckering sours. Variety is key here folks: we want to take islanders, visitors & Bliss-lovers on a journey to rediscover (or discover) beer.
This project is about fostering and celebrating local passion and talent. It's about knowing where a product is made and it's about having a say. We want YOU to get involved! Every month our next brew will go to public vote and Bliss Brew Co. will become a hub for ideas and collaboration. We want to enter international competitions and showcase a little piece of our island, Jersey. We're already talking to chefs to create food-pairing menu concepts, producers for homegrown ingredients and fellow home-brewers for ideas and feedback.
How do we do it?
There's a whole lot of equipment involved in making the perfect beer! We've invested what we can over the past 10 years, but, to get this baby off the ground we want to give crowdfunding a shot to make our supporters integral to the journey. We've compiled a list of rewards tailored to both the individual consumer and also the corporate market. For those that can help, expect a whole lot of love in return.
Incredibly we are the first ever crowdfunding company in the Channel Islands and due to existing government regulations and offshore banking legalities, it is illegal for us to give equity away in a locally registered company. We're starting small but if success warrants overseas growth in the future, our ‘founders’ (that’s you!) will be the first to be offered equity shares in second round funding.
What do we need?
Introducing the team ...
Ben Bliss works as a building manager but in his free time has pursued a passion for brewing for nearly a decade. Largely self-taught he has also honed his knowledge through extensive study and brewery work placements in the UK. Locally he has gained invaluable mentorship from Head Brewers at Liberation Brewery. He loves the alchemy of brewing and likes few things better than donning a lab coat to cultivate his own strain of yeast :-) Through travel and networking Ben has also set-up contact with some of the UK's best breweries. Watch this space for collaboration brews!
Leah Bliss works as a landscape architect by day and is coordinating the design and procurement of our brewing equipment by night! Leah also heads up brewing and has developed countless recipes to create new, unique flavour combinations whilst chatting to local producers to source varied ingredients and explore exciting recipe collaborations. Her passion also looks to learn from ancient recipes (beer has been around for millennia you know!) so prepare your tastebuds for anything from a medieval mead, to a smokey German Rauchbier or a saison heady with fig and Jersey honey...mmm!
Marcus Calvani has studied and worked both home and abroad graduating from the world-famous Cornell University School of Hospitality Management in New York State, USA. After working on concept design and development projects, Marcus returned to Jersey with his family in 2009 to take over the family restaurant business, La Cantina, he quickly established The Calvani Group, a hospitality management, consulting and importing company that proudly represents Carnevale fine Italian foods, Castello Banfi Wines, Joes Tea Co., Wild Beer Co., Tiny Rebel, Brew By Numbers & James Clay in the Channel Islands. Marcus is the Vice President of The Jersey Hospitality Association and in 2015 joined forces with Josh Band to create what would become the Be Served Group.
Joshua Band, a former Commonwealth Games professional table tennis player Josh created JB's Smokehouse and Craft Beer Bar in 2015 with Marcus. The venue celebrates Josh's sporting background but was also pioneering being the first craft beer establishment in the Channel Islands and the first Smokehouse. We hope soon it will evolve to host our brewery! Josh and Marcus have also created the Be Served Group, a +40 person, hospitality operations company which currently owns and operates: La Cucina Restaurant, JB's, The Lido @ Havre des Pas, and The Jersey Royal Distillery Company.
James Carter founded creative company Midnight Industries in Jersey over 10 years ago. James is our design guru, drawing on a background of work with numerous world-class brands. His skillset spans branding, web design, photography, illustration and mural design (we are already benefitting from all of these talents!). His creative flair will ensure that our cans stand out on a shelf and turn heads! Check out our merchandise designs and drool!
Please peruse our rewards list, we really hope you will become part of our project and join us on this adventure.... oh and vote Mr or Mrs Bliss!... they can't decide what they should brew you first!
Love and thanks from Bliss Brew Co.