Black Lung Brewing launches online fundraiser for new Round Lake Beach taproom
Black Lung Brewing Co. founder and head brewer Josh Grubbs launched an internet fundraiser this month to ensure the company has the cash needed to open a new Round Lake Beach taproom in January.
The company has received $3,570 in pledged donations so far through its campaign on Kickstarter.com with about a month to go to reach Grubbs' goal of $15,000.
"It's been steady," Grubbs said of the number of initial donations. "I'm good with that as long as we hit our goal."
To receive the money, the company must hit its goal by Dec. 21. If the campaign falls short, all of the pledged donations are returned.
"We're all or nothing. We're hoping it's going to happen," Grubbs said.
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, who lives in Round Lake Beach, said he is still hoping to open in January but acknowledged recent construction setbacks. In addition, Grubbs said, one of the massive, expensive tanks he owns at the rented space recently sprung a leak and had to be welded back together. Fortunately, the leak was discovered while the tank was being cleaned so no beer was wasted, he said.
"It's been a rough couple of months," Grubbs said.
People who wish to pledge to the company's campaign are able to choose a wide range of rewards for doing so. Donors of $5 can share a "social distanced air hi-five" with Black Lung staff at the taproom. The highest reward tier is at the $10,000 level, where donors can elect to design and brew a beer with Grubbs and his team as well as receive other rewards such as branded apparel.
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.