Tanglewood Branch Beer Co. holds online fundraiser to save brewery

J.T. Wampler, owner and brewmaster of Tanglewood Branch Beer Company, pours a glass of his East Kent Goldings IPA back in May 2012.

Staff photo

One of Fayetteville’s local beer companies is in jeopardy of closing soon, but a handful of locals are trying to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Tanglewood Branch Beer Co. owner J.T. Wampler posted on Facebook this week that his brewery will close around the first of the year “unless a Christmas miracle happens.”

Loyal fans of the brewery immediately started offering to help, and as of Tuesday morning, 39 locals had pitched in over $2,700 via a recently established online crowd funding campaign toward the $21,000 needed to keep the business alive.

From the description on the crowd funding site:

We started in 2011 with a tiny brewery confident that we would be able to create a good brand and reputation that would lead to expanding. While we built the reputation for quality beer and have a solid following, the investment funds for our brewery upgrade have not been forthcoming and we’re reluctant to seek loans.

Business has been below expectations for several months now causing us to become in arrears in rent, utility bills and taxes. We cut our costs to the bone but without the increased capacity and ensuing outside sales we’re still losing money.

Ironically, we just purchased bigger tanks for boiling and mashing that will increase our output by three times. Unfortunately it takes several weeks to see any result from the bigger equipment.

If we get to continue operations, we will be able to start sales of growlers to go and pursue several outside accounts that have expressed interest in having our beer on tap.

Wampler opened the pub in September 2011. He was approved to begin brewing the following March, and he debuted his first local beers in May 2012.

Contributors to the campaign to save the brew pub will only be charged if the $21,000 fundraising goal is met. For more information about the campaign or to contribute, visit the pub’s page at crowdtilt.com.