Black Lung Brewing hits goal in online fundraiser for new Round Lake Beach taproom

  • Black Lung Brewing Company co-owners Sarah Grubbs, left, and Josh Grubbs, right, pose for a photo with their four children, Savannah, Cheyenne, Jackson and Charlie. The family plans to open a taproom in Round Lake Beach in January.

    Black Lung Brewing Company co-owners Sarah Grubbs, left, and Josh Grubbs, right, pose for a photo with their four children, Savannah, Cheyenne, Jackson and Charlie. The family plans to open a taproom in Round Lake Beach in January. Courtesy of Josh Grubbs

 
 
Updated 12/17/2020 9:27 PM

With days still left to go before a Dec. 21 deadline, Black Lung Brewing Co. exceeded its $15,000 goal in an online fundraiser launched to ensure the company could afford to open a new Round Lake Beach taproom in January.

The company has received $16,646 in pledged donations so far through its campaign on Kickstarter.com.

 

The campaign started off well but founder and head brewer Josh Grubbs admitted that it got nerve-wracking in November when the number of donations plateaued and Black Lung was still far from its goal.

But on Dec. 2, a person Grubbs described as a kind and generous family member who wished to remain anonymous, donated more than $7,000.

"I'm not giving the person's name out because they don't want me to," Grubbs said. "It was someone very supportive who wanted us to succeed."

Grubbs, a 39-year-old father of four, founded the company with his wife, Sarah, last year. Grubbs and his team have been brewing at a rented space at ZumBier in Waukegan, but they are in the process of opening the company's first taproom in a storefront that used to be a pawnshop at 2217 N. Route 83 in Round Lake Beach.

Grubbs said he is still hoping to open in January, but it could be later in the month.

"We're still waiting on the state to come in and do their inspection," Grubbs said. "We can't produce beer there until the state comes."

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The company's campaign has offered a wide range of rewards to people who pledge funds. At the low end, donors of $5 can share a "social distanced air hi-five" with Black Lung staff at the taproom.

Once the campaign ends on Monday, Grubbs and his team will begin fulfilling those rewards. The family member who donated more than $7,000 elected not to select a reward so the most elaborate rewards Grubbs and his staff will fulfill are for people who pledged $300 or more. Those 11 people get invites to an special party and the taproom's soft open as well as receiving branded apparel, glassware and their own special 20-ounce glass mug that will stay at the brewery for them to use when they visit.

Credit for the company's name goes to Sarah Grubbs, who heard the Joe Bonamassa song "Black Lung Heartache" about the rough life of a coal miner and thought of her husband's grandfather Bill Grubbs, who worked briefly as a coal miner before nearly dying in a cave-in.

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