Hard Cider Sellers 051313 GN

Jeremy Quaglia, left and Kyle Schmitt carefully inspect the color, clarity and effervescence of their product in this file photo from May.

ATTLEBORO - Jeremy Quaglia and Kyle Schmitt are closer to their goal of opening a hard cider brewery in a converted steel plant, thanks to almost 200 friends from Massachusetts to California.

Quaglia and Schmitt's Kickstarter campaign to raise start-up money for their business, profiled June 2 in The Sun Chronicle, raised more than $11,000 in one month - 110 percent of their goal.

Quaglia said he and his partner will use the money to buy tanks and other equipment for the brewery located in the former Mossberg Pressed Steel factory on West Street.

"We're very excited," Quaglia said. "We're just overwhelmed by the response."

The successful fundraising campaign means the pair's Homestead Hard Cider might be in stores and on tap by the end of the summer.

Patterning themselves after Sam Adams Lager Beer brewer Jim Koch, the pair worked for a year to perfect a recipe for their craft brew. But they needed additional financial backing to get their product into production.

So they advertised for backers on Kickstarter, a crowdfunding site that allows donors to contribute start-up money for a variety of projects, ranging from music albums to video games.

"We were full of anxiety for a while because after the first few days the contributions slowed way down," Quaglia said.

Then, a few days before the deadline, donations surged to put the project over the top. The fundraising campaign closed June 21.

In return for contributions, the partners offered small rewards, ranging from mugs to T-shirts.

Quaglia said he and his partner are working to put in three large tanks the brewery needs. Additional work on the production facilities will be needed and state and federal licenses obtained before industrial scale production can begin.

Homestead already has agreements to provide draft cider to taps and has received interest from package stores who want to carry the cider.

With any luck, Quaglia said, the brewery should have products available for sale by August.

The partners are also considering a brewery tour and tasting to celebrate the formal opening of their new enterprise.

RICK FOSTER can be reached at 508-236-0360 or at rfoster@thesunchronicle.com.

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