Utah’s Dented Brick Distillery — which produces rum, gin, vodka and whiskey — is offering consumers a chance to own stock in the 4-year-old spirits company.
To be a partial owner, a minimum investment of $1,000 is required, said founder and CEO Marc Christensen. Those who invest more — between $4,500 and $150,000 — qualify for perks such as merchandise, new product tastings and a brick on the wall with their name on it.
Christensen said Dented Brick hopes to raise about $1.2 million through the stock offering. The funds will be used to buy equipment — including a chiller to speed whiskey production and a whiskey mashing tun — as well as to hire more sales staff.
Dented Brick currently sells its products in Utah’s state-run liquor stores as well as 10 other states. It also signed a deal to sell its items in Walmart stores in Wyoming, Washington, Alaska and Nevada, Christensen said. “Working with the big-box retailer represents a significant opportunity for growth.”
A new “Regulation Crowdfunding” rule, approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission, allows average investors to become stock owners in products they buy and use. Under usual SEC rules, a person must have a net worth of at least $1 million to be an accredited investor.
Unlike a Kickstarter campaign — in which friends, family and customers can donate $20, $50, $100 or more to a startup in return for products and company perks — Regulation Crowdfunding allows companies to sell stock to consumers, which is more valuable but comes with more risk.
Dented Brick opened its 14,000-square-foot facility in an industrial area of South Salt Lake in 2016. The site was selected because there was a natural, artesian well on the property. Christensen said tapping the fresh spring water for its products sets it apart from other craft distillers.
Its first product was Antelope Island Rum — a white rum made with organic cane sugar, molasses and the Utah spring water. Since then it has added Hugh Moon, a white rye whiskey named after a well-known Mormon distiller; Great Basin Bristlecone gin; and Roofraiser vodka.
Last year, it also launched three tropical-flavored rums for golf legend Jan Stephenson. In the Hall of Famer’s home state of Florida, Dented Brick products are sold in 26 liquor stores owned by the large alcohol retailer Total Wines & More.
Dented Brick also raised $2.1 million from large investors in 2019. But it was important for the company to let consumers who buy products have an opportunity to invest, said Christensen. “We’re giving ordinary folks that love our products a chance to become part owners of the company with us.”