This is a continuation of our Crowdfunding your Meadery series, examining the funding tiers of successful mead Kickstarter projects to identify commonality between funding levels and determine what items are most likely to be purchased by a project’s backers. For a list of articles in this series, see the first article here. In this article, we will examine the Leaky Roof Meadery Kickstarter project, which can be found here.
Leaky Roof Meadery produces a line of 6.5% alcohol carbonated meads. Leaky Roof’s three founders met working at a small production meadery in Rogersville, MO. However, the business fell through before ever opening its doors, leaving Todd Rock, Jhett Collins, and Andrew Steiger to set off on their own. After searching for a suitable spot for a meadery, the three decided to build in Buffalo, MO.
The Leaky Roof Meadery takes its name from the Kansas City, Clinton and Springfield (KCC&S) Railroad, nicknamed the Leaky Roof Railroad. In the 1870s, plans were drawn up and work was started to run a branch off this railroad up to Buffalo, MO. However, the railroad went bankrupt prior to completion, leaving Buffalo, MO as one of the largest ‘landlocked’ communities to never benefit from the presence of a railroad.
In the initial planning stages, the Leaky Roof Meadery realized demand for their product outstripped their production capability. Thus, they went to Kickstarter to seek the funds necessary to build an expanded canning line that would help them meet market demand.
The Leaky Roof Meadery sought $25,000 to build their new canning line, and offered funding tiers from a $1 “build your own” option, up to $5,000 to name the new canning line. Over the 60 day funding period, the Leaky Roof Meadery raised $25,050 from 160 backers, just barely beating their funding goal. Details concerning the funding tiers, number of backers who supported the funding tiers, and the total amount of funding per funding tier can be found in the figures below.
The Leaky Roof Meadery project is unique in that they offered most of their items stand-alone, with packages combining the items vs having every subsequent tier including the options from the tiers above them. They further drove this home by providing a “build your own” tier at the $1 level, and listing individual prices for each of the items available. This resulted in six of the sixteen funding tier options receiving at least 13 backers, with the most backers supporting tier 7 and tier 10 with 23 backers each.
The items offered by the Leaky Roof Meadery included coasters, stickers, koozies, pint glasses, tickets to the LRM Grand Opening, a blue “Bringing the Railroad” t-shirt, a Kickstarter only “Track Crew” t-shirt, a Kickstarter edition Growler, founder’s plaques, catered tours, and the option to name the production fermenters and canning line.
The most popular items included a t-shirt, founder’s plaque displayed in the taproom, a ticket to the Grand Opening, and a specialty pint glass. The most funding was received from the canning line sponsor, netting $5,000. The next greatest amount of funding came from the tier 10 level, receiving $2,300, followed closely by tier 14 with $2,000.
The Leaky Roof Meadery’s decision to offer multiple tier options and a build your own plan was met with great success by their backers. This provided the flexibility to purchase exactly what the backer wanted, without throwing money away on the items summed up in the funding tier with the item the backer was most interested in.
But is flexibility the key to financing your meadery through Kickstarter? While inherently this gives backers the option to purchase what they want, they might only purchase a single item vice spending more on multiple items bundled in a single tier.