Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub in Minneapolis, Minnesota needed to raise $220,00 to get a bank loan.

So, they asked several people they knew to help out.

Three business partners asked friends and family for money, but with a pretty nice incentive.  If you give $1,000, you get free in-house beer for life.  You could also receive 0.1 percent nonvoting equity in the business along with the free beer for every $1,000 invested.  If you invested $5,000, you get the free beer and 0.5 equity.

Northbound raised the money and has been thriving for two years.  They make the beer in-house and that helps keep costs low.  They give away about 17 beers a day.  That costs them about 40 cents a beer.

A struggling coffee shop in St. Paul, Minnesota is trying a similar idea.  They don't make their own beer, so you can only get one beer, glass of wine, or cup of coffee per day.  $1,000 gets you a lifetime, $500 gets you two years, $250 gets you a year.

They coffee shop, Groundswell, used to make only $200 a day.  Now, they're up to $2,400 a day.

Could it work everywhere?



PHOTOS: Summer Beers

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