MobCraft Brews According to the Roar of the Crowd

The Egg Harbor AleFest on Sept. 21 will offer Door County it’s first look at MobCraft, a new concept in brewing that one of its three 24-year-old founders describe as “the world’s first crowdsourced brewery.”

“It’s a brand-new business model in an old industry,” said Giotto Troia, one of MobCraft’s founders.

He and his partners, Henry Schwartz and Andrew Gierczak, plan to brew beers suggested by online MobCraft followers, but only after the same followers have voted for a particular beer by ordering a four-pack of 22-ounce bomber bottles for $24.

“It’s a huge hit with the younger generation, the techie groups, and people who are using the technology of where the world is going,” Troia said.

Troia said MobCraft’s journey began in November 2011 when the trio was looking to build a brewery in Baraboo.

“We started looking at brick and mortar stuff and decided that would be too expensive,” Troia said. “We wanted to start a little bit smaller and maybe do a mobile brewery. We were contemplating a brew on premise facility but it would be mobile. We were going to call it the Winnabrewgo.”

But the team soon learned that such a business is not legal.

“We knew it would become legal at some point, but we decided to move on,” Troia said.

The Mobcraft brew crew throwing spent grains around are, from left, Henry Schwartz, Giotto Troia and Brewmaster Andrew Gierczak.

The idea for MobCraft came when Henry Schwartz bought some T-shirts from a company called Threadless, where artists submit designs for T-shirts but the company doesn’t make them until enough have been ordered to justify the cost.

“We thought, ‘Why can’t we do that with beer, where we crowdsource recipes and we formulate beers around them, then push them back out to the crowd. At that point, the crowd can make them popular and get people to vote on it. Once it becomes popular enough we make that beer,” Troia said. “We are going to have flagship brands, but our crowdsourced beers will be done once and will never see the light of day again. So that’s exciting for people.”

While they don’t have an actual brewery yet, the House of Brews on Madison’s east side is contracting brewing MobCraft beers for now. The latest beer was released at House of Brews on Saturday, Sept. 7. They called it Most Mobbed Imperial IPA. It has eight different malts and 12 varieties of hops added at nine different times during the brew.

“It comes out at about 10 ½ percent alcohol. It’s a big ‘un,” Troia said.

Next up is a Blood Orange/Green Tea Heffeweizen.

People have submitted both recipes and requests for certain beer styles.

For the Most Mobbed IPA, a follower came up with the name, but on the form where he was asked to list ingredients, all he wrote was “hops, hops, hops, hops…”

“We’re asking people to submit the beers of their dreams that you’ll never see commercially available,” Troia said. “They are beers you will never find anywhere else.”

MobCraft has applied for a sales permit from Illinois that will allow them to send their beer to 36 states.

“Our main goal is to really spread around the country and grow,” Troia said.

In the meantime, the team has been hitting beer festivals to spread the word about this new concept in brewing and also to let people sample their products.

“Festivals are great way to build a mailing list, and the people there are really interested in the beer. It’s a quick way to build our following. Our following online is pretty much all we have. We really only started in June, but it has grown pretty fast. We have hundreds and hundreds of people on our social media account following us and on our email list,” Troia said.

In addition to the two commercial brews released so far by MobCraft – Most Mobbed IPA and their first brew,  Participation Pale Ale – Troia said he expects the MobCraft crew will have samples from several small-batch brews at the Egg Harbor AleFest.

“I think we might be bringing down some special bottles we’ve been cellaring for about a year now,” Troia added.

Be sure to check them out at the Egg Harbor AleFest.

Egg Harbor AleFest takes place Sept. 21. VIP admission starts at noon. General admission is from 1 – 4 pm. The festival will feature unlimited tastings of more than 120 craft beers. There will be a number of seminars throughout the afternoon, including home brewing, beer and food pairing, and the Mobcraft Beer.

Price of admission ranges from $40 for an adult to $79 for a VIP pass. Designated drivers get in for $15. All attendees receive a commemorative pint glass. For more information or to purchase tickets visit