It seems it’s time for another exposition of this confusing thing called Effigy.
What is Effigy right at this moment? Effigy is a brand. It is a fully formed, tax paying LLC in the state of California. It is not a brewery, but a brewery in planning. We do not yet have a permit to make our own alcohol, so we do not. We are currently working on our ABC permit, but even filing takes some time. Meanwhile, we collaborate with our friends, who are fully licensed brewers, and who retain ownership of the beers they brew with us. We take no part in the ownership or profits of these beers.
Sometimes, Effigy coordinates an event in which the collaborating breweries choose to sell their beer to a fully licensed venue. A few collaborations made with Effigy are poured side-by-side, in the spirit of community. Effigy makes no money in the process. Each brewery sells their beer to the venue individually. At the time of the event, we do our best to make sure that everyone knows who made and owns the beer.
Is it legal? Sure is. There is a great precedent of brewers making a name for themselves in the industry using this method, and an even greater history of breweries collaborating with non-licensed brewery brands that are important to them. Brewers may collaborate with non-brewers as long as the non-brewers do not benefit financially. We wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t legal because we don’t want to jeopardize our business, or the businesses of our friends.
Is it confusing? Yes, admittedly it is confusing, but it is not intentionally misleading. We try to be as clear as possible, and sometimes feel like a broken record. But we want our bases covered, and credit to get to where it is deserved.
So why “Effigy Brewing” if it’s not a brewery? Well, we chose “brewing” intentionally to not be thought of as a brewery, but as an entity that brews. It’s literally what we do as a brand. We collaborate on recipes and advise on brewing processes to create unique beers. One less confusing option was to simply say “Effigy” when collaborating, and drop the brewing. We are hoping that the situation is understood beyond the name once clarification is provided.
It would be misleading if Effigy were to simply milk this current model in order to pull attention away from some of the brewing community. This is not the case. This is simply the wind up to our next big leap: starting a brewery. We plan to have our ABC permit in the next several months, which will allow us to contract brew with our friends (contracting is another sore subject in the brewing industry, but a subject for another post) and to finally call some beer our own, which, trust us, we want more than you.
Thank you to the those in the brewing community who have supported us so far. Especially to the breweries who have welcomed Effigy into their space. We look forward to getting the hell out of this phase.