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Rockaway Brewing aims to sell beer by the can, but first needs funding

RockawayJuly 15, 2014 By Michael Florio

A local brewery is calling for community assistance to help it grow.

Rockaway Brewing Company, located at 46-01 5th Street, launched a 30-day Kickstarter campaign last month, in hopes of raising $30,000 to purchase a semi-automated canning line.

The brewery is looking to buy a machine where it can feed empty cans onto a conveyer belt, where they will be filled with beer and sealed. The cans would then come out ready for packaging.

“After that we would bring them to grocery stores and other places to sell,” said Marcus Burnett, a co-owner.

Currently, Rockaway Brewing’s beer is served on tap at John Brown Smokehouse, Alobar, Sweetleaf, as well as several bars in the Far Rockaways. It is also rotated in and out of the menu at several other bars in Western Queens.

Rockaway’s beer is primarily sold on tap–hence the need for cans.

Burnett said the company would be able to sell more beer if it could serve its product in a can. The beer is available in bottles, but only at the brewery, as a special.

While his goal is $30,000, that is only part of the cost of the machine and installation. The dream goal is $43,000, but Burnett did not want to ask for that much.

“If we get the $30,000, we will supply the rest,” he said.

The Kickstarter is 18-days in (with 12 remaining) and the company has raised $9,056 with 150 backers so far.

The donations are incentive based, starting at $5 for a free postcard all the way to $1,000, where the donor is declared an assistant brewer for the day. One backer has donated $1,000.

Other incentives include a tour for two for $500, as well as T-shirts, bottle openers, pint glasses and more.

All Kickstarter campaigns have a deadline, said Burnett, but they wanted theirs to be relatively short.

“It takes a lot of energy to keep a Kickstarter going and keep the momentum of the project going,” he said.

The brewery will host a closing party on July 26th, the day before the campaign ends. It will be open to the public, with all donations made that night going to the campaign. The party will feature a small tour of the brewery, a tasting of and a DJ.

Beer will be served until 10 p.m.

“Rockaway Brewing Company really appreciates the support we get from LIC and Queens,” Burnett said. “The community has been really supportive and we hope they will continue too.”

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