A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

BIRCUS Brewing Company keeping circus alive and evolving through its beer-making startup in Ludlow

P.T. Barnum said ” Without promotion, something terrible happens… nothing! ” and it is in that spirit that Paul Miller is inviting you to come to Ludlow for the BIRCUS Brewing Co. Circus Sampler on January 27 and 28 at 8 p.m.

Paul Miller toured with Ringling Bros. Circus, and in 1997 Cincinnati was underwater and the show was cancelled in Cincinnati. However “The Show Must Go On” it did and it will. 

Ringling Brothers Circus now has announced it is closing after 146 years.

The circus is evolving, says Miller. 

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For his BIRCUS Brewing, Miller — owner of Circus Mojo in Ludlow,is working with a dynamic group of investors, partners and community-stake-holders to continue the circus via the BIRCUS Brewing Company.  

Since 2009 Circus Mojo has been producing circus entertainment at the Ludlow Theatre  with the help of artists and coaches from 36 Countries, featuring a variety of acts, including aerial silks, gym wheel, juggling, acrobatics, clowns, tight wire acts and trapeze, with plenty of audience participation to keeping visitors engaged.

Performers from locations such as Argentina, Germany, Mexico, Venezuela, Ghana, South Sudan, Indonesia, and Israel have cultivated a unique destination in Ludlow that has drawn over 50,000 to the river town. 

BIRCUS (BEERCUS), a Flemish pronunciation, is the collaborative brainstorm and clever invention of Circusplaneet, a youth circus in Ghent, Belgium.

Circusplaneet founders “dreamed of a better world. A place where kids, youngsters and adults could celebrate their quirky creative zest of life. And all of this in an atmosphere of trust, solidarity and fun.”

At the 2010 Network of International Circus Educators Conference in Berlin, Circus Mojo’s Creator, Paul Miller, met Circusplaneet’s Coördinator, Matthias Vermael. An innovator, free thinker and showman, Vermael introduced Miller to BIRCUS, an idea sparked from the desire to eschew government funding in pursuit of circus autonomy.

Ringling Clown College, 1996 (Photo provided)

Ringling Clown College, 1996 (Photo provided)

These kindred spirits bonded over a couple BIRCUS beers and planned to bring this big-top idea stateside. Miller licensed the concept and set forth to expand the Ludlow Theatre into a brewery connected to local history, community outreach, unique entertainment and stellar beer.

BIRCUS is the first brewing company, Miller says, in the USA and the first company in the Commonwealth of Kentucky to qualify its offering under Tier 1 of Regulation A+ with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

BIRCUS qualified its offering with the SEC of $500,000 in equity units at a fixed price of $1,000 per unit. The offering is being made in accordance with the rules of Regulation A+, Tier 1, Title IV of the JOBS Act.

The beauty of the Regulation A+ status is that eligible investors residing in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana can invest in BIRCUS for as little as a $1,000 per unit. Individuals residing outside these three states still may create an investor login to learn more about expansion plans and other investment options.

Gourmet Renee LLC also has been certified as a “Qualified Small Business” with the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA). The Angel Investment Act requires a minimum investment of $10,000 and gives investors a 40 percent tax credit to invest in BIRCUS http://www.thinkkentucky.com/Entrepreneurship/KAITC.aspx.  

Simply put, you do not need to be a millionaire to back BIRCUS, says Miller.

Over half of the 500 units have been sold thus far to 40-plus investors. To be a part of this grassroots business venture, visit www.bircus.com for brewer/investment information.

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