This week’s Feature Friday post “kicks off” a short series where I’ll be highlighting craft beer related projects that are being funded by crowd-sourced or other non-traditional methods.

For those not familiar with crowd-sourced funding models, here’s the basics. Normally, when you open a small business or embark on a creative project, you have to find either a)investors to donate the money for you to start in hopes that they will get a good return on their investment b)a bank to give you loans. However, there’s a third option to get some amazing projects going – seeking small amounts of backing from many people – from “the crowd” to fund what would otherwise be a risk to an investor. Have an idea for a project? Let people donate anywhere from $1 to $100,000 to see it succeed. With media being generated by the masses now, why shouldn’t good ideas be shared among the many that want to see it happen?

I first heard about Kickstarter last year, when I “backed” my first beer-related project- a microbrewery known as “Mystery Brewing” after meeting Erik (the brewer) on a beer related social network. Now successfully on their feet, I am hoping that at some point I’ll get to taste some of what my contribution allowed to come to fruition. 🙂

So without further ado, I introduce to you, “Community Beer Works” – a Kickstarter project that’s close to my heart because its in Upstate NY, and I’ve been tweeting and talking to one of the founders for… I dunno… ever.

Their goal?

The founders of CBW all have roots in Buffalo and we want our brewery to be an integral part of our city and the neighborhood our brewery is located in. We are planning partnerships with local urban farmers and gardeners to create a network of hop gardens that can be used in specialty beers as well as to dispose of our grain in ecologically friendly, mutually beneficial manner.

I really think that this type of entrepreneurship, responsibility and attitude is *exactly* what an area like Buffalo needs.

Check them out on Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1141062595/community-beer-works-a-buffalo-ny-nanobrewery
Visit the Community Beer Works Webpage: http://www.communitybeerworks.com/