Kickstart a sign on Trimtab, if you’re into that sort of thing

Trimtab Brewery, in association with the Magic City Mural Collective, is asking for your help. They want to put a sign on the roof of their brewery, visible from Red Mountain Expressway, with the iconic, yet modified to fit the space version of the famous sign that nearly everyone who lives in this city likes.

If you’d like to give them some scratch and get some Trimtab goodies, Kickstart away.

But hey, while we’re here, let’s ask a question- is this weird? Trimtab is by all accounts a pretty successful new brewery in Birmingham. This sign, for all it’s nonTrimtabness, will still draw people to their business. So is it weird that they want you to pay for it?

The one thing I’ll say in their favor is the old adage, there’s no harm in asking. If people want to give, they give. That’s kind of the beauty of Kickstarter. But there’s a small part of me that says that this feels a little off. If the Mural folks, all fine people, put up a Kickstarter instead saying “Hey, we want to paint murals across town” I think that would be a fine thing and would probably donate to it.

But a business, which charges $5 a pint of beer made 20 feet away from me? I don’t know.


One thought on “Kickstart a sign on Trimtab, if you’re into that sort of thing

  1. Hey BHAMFM, thanks for helping to spread the word about the kickstarter. Because of the wonderful friends of Birmingham and the attention given to the project by people like yourselves we have met our goal!

    We hear your hesitation about our relationship with the mural, and without explanation you would be correct in your skepticism. Please allow us to try to clear up any possible negative feelings.

    First of all, and most important to your concern, this was a MCMC campaign, it was not a request by TrimTab. The kickstarter was put up and moderated by Creighton Tynes, the founder of the MCMC. Yes, the mural will be on our building, which we will take a great deal of pride in. However, the benefit ends there. The project was conceived by the MCMC and 100% of the proceeds raised will flow to the artists in the MCMC. They worked up the standard price per square foot based on the quality of paint used and the needs of their organization. And though the price was high, given the scale of the project it was considered by the parties involved (and apparently the donors as well) to be reasonable. You can find their more thorough explanation on their facebook page:

    Our mission at TrimTab Brewing Co. is to celebrate and support people and organizations that are small sources of large impactful change. Thats how we got our name. A trim tab is the small rudder on the larger rudder of a ship that causes massive movements with almost no effort. Metaphorically its a small source of big change. That metaphor gives us our guiding principal, and inspires us to want to be a trimtab ourselves.

    You see, we were a vocal advocate for this project, and offered up our facility as a canvas because we wanted to support the MCMC doing the exact thing you said you’d support. The MCMC wants to put murals all over town and are well on their way. This was a single project, albeit the largest one, in a longer line of past and forthcoming installations. We were just the group this time that provided a space and offered resources in terms of merchandise, etc that could provide attractive prizes for people that contributed.

    Unfortunately, our resources were pretty much limited to that though. Yes, we have been overjoyed with the positive responses we have received from people that have supported us out in the marketplace and have come to visit our Tasting Gallery in the last seven months since we’ve been open. But, we are still an extremely young company and are very limited in terms of financial resources. Simply put, at the moment we couldn’t have even begun to get this project funded ourselves. In our short time in business we have always been working extremely hard to just be in business for another day, and we are a long way off from being in a place where we have the marketing/improvements budget necessary to put something like this up. And honestly, even if we could have done this ourselves, the fact that we have now been able to enroll so many people in the community to give this project life has given this project so much more meaning and (we hope) community relevance. This will be visible to the people of Birmingham (again, we hope) for decades. Now it can be legitimately said that is was made possible BY the people of Birmingham.

    Perhaps in by the way the video might have represented our relationship and by our logos being shown together it may have been understood by some that this was TTBC asking for funds. The MCMC was the one seeking the funding, and at times we were a vocal advocate on their behalf because we were so excited about this project. This excitement came from us as citizens of Birmingham; The excitement about it being on our building was a distant second.

    Also, as a brief aside, as far as the $5 beers made 20′ from you statement goes, here is the truth. 1) The taxes on alcohol in Alabama are basically the highest in the country which drives up the cost of beer for everyone. Thats why in some states you can find the same beer for markedly cheaper. 2) We a distribution-based business, which means that we take considerations of our retailers first. Before we entered business this was a little hard for us to get our heads around as well. But the fact of the matter is this. We exist because we distribute our beer to retailers, who then make it available for you. The business of a bar/restaurant/etc is very difficult, with many options available to the consumer – which is great for the citizens of a thriving city, but challenging for a business owner. We, as do all the other breweries in town, charge in line with the average price of our beer out in the market. Us charging this amount is not an opportunistic price gouge, its us striving to be conscientious and non-undercutting to our retail business partners. And that being said, the price/beer at local breweries is still lower than many retailers even with this policy in place.

    So all this is to say, we are extremely proud to have supported the MCMC in getting the funds needed to bring their art to the city of Birmingham in such a dramatic way. If this was us soliciting funds to put up our logo then we would be uncomfortable too. Instead, this was us living out our mission of supporting people that do positive things for the community, using the resources that we had available to support them in that endeavor. Again, thank you so much for helping to get the word out, and we hope that this (excessively long) post removed any of the “off” feelings you had about the project.

    Have an awesome day! // The crew of TrimTab Brewing Co.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s