Beer entrepreneurs unveil membership-driven brewery

By Chris Morin, The StarPhoenix January 20, 2015

If you’ve ever dreamt of owning a pub, a group of local beer brewers might have you covered.

Temperance Brewing Co-operative Ltd., a collective of suds enthusiasts, is currently selling memberships to their organization via their website for $150 a share.

According to Adam Worobec, one of the partners in the collective, the group hopes to create Saskatchewan’s first co-operative microbrewery, and says that a new brew pub could be coming as early as next year.

“We want to sell memberships and build a community of people who are interested in owning a brew pub, which is one of the ultimate goals of doing this,” he said.

According to Worobec, the idea of a membership driven co-operative has been in the works for several years now. Buying into the organization will get members input into the beer production and recipes, voting access on committees and other rewards.

The concept is similar to crowd funding, but Worobec says the main difference is that the group is attempting to create a community as they build the business.

“The co-operative aspect allows us to really focus on the beer. Everyone who joins with a membership is there because they are passionate about the beer. “

All profits from sales are folded back into the brewery, said Worobec, who added that dividends will not be paid out to members.

Finding a physical space for the pub and the microbrewery is still in the works, says Worobec, but indicates that the group already has a team in place for when they hit the production phase. He also hopes to see their product on the shelves in the near future, but doesn’t yet have a timeline in place.

Worobec also says it is a possibility that the group will look at contracting their beer brewing to another brewery in the province.

“It will depend on how fast the memberships are going, but we are trying to get a product out to our members before we secure a space for the pub,” said Worobec.

Due to a recent explosion of the Saskatchewan craft alcohol industry over the past few years, the government recently announced it will enlist a third party to take a “comprehensive” look at craft alcohol policies.

Worobec said that the group has been in contact with SLGA, and is looking forward to any changes in the current policies. So far it’s only been word of mouth for the past year, and Worobec and his partners feel confident that there is an appetite for a collectively owned pub in the province.

“We have a goal of selling a hundred memberships this year,” said Worobec, who added that the number sold has jumped since the group unveiled their website. “I think that’s pretty conservative and I think we will hit that pretty quickly.”

© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix