How niche-y can you get?

Crooked Letter Brewing Co. in Ocean Springs, Miss., recentlystruck an exclusivity deal with the local casino-resort. The craft brew revolution has relied, to some extent, on the brewpub for sustainability. This makes sense, beer and food go together naturally. When done correctly, well, and efficiently, the profit margins are significant, but never sufficient unto themselves. Brewing often is a grow or die business, and to stay afloat, breweries have to secure tap handles at other

Fratware

Brew Cutlery, a Kickstarter with the goal of producing flatware with bottle openers built in, markets its products as “bridging the gap between craft beer and cutlery.” Those you you who keep an eye on the craft beer industry might not remember thinking there was a gap between craft beer and cutlery, but probably because you’re grownups. Also, it is not clear whether these will work on bottles that don’t contain craft beer, but I

Craft beer embraces quality over quantity

There are few, if any, industries outside of brewing where a large company will protect a potential competitor’s trademark, return it to them for free and encourage them to take advantage of the resurgent market and get back to work. That’s what happened with Samuel Adams and New Albion Brewery a few years ago (New Albion is back in production after being closed 30 years). Founded as a craft brewery in 1976, New Albion helped kick-start

Give the Gift of Brewing

I do a weekly podcast about homebrewing. It’s my hobby. I’m not on anyone’s payroll, but, because people are looking for gifts this season, we did a show about getting people started in homebrewing that I thought was worth promoting. So I apologize in advance if I sound a little pitchy. I blog a bit about the brewing industry, but think about the brewing culture way more often. Brewing is one of those endeavors where,

How will craft brewers stand out?

For those of us who run in craft beer circles,  it’s easy to forget that, proportionately, almost no one drinks craft beer. As with any culture, immersion can give you a false sense of superiority in numbers as well as in beliefs. But of course, the former isn’t true. The good news is, a staggering number of people, because of all the craft beer noise, are about to start drinking craft beer more regularly. According

Brewing is about community

Jimmy Sharp measures his grain into the mill one recent Saturday at Xtreme Brewing The first time I went to Xtreme Brewing, in Millsboro, Del., I was hooked on the homebrew culture. I am not a homebrewer, but, rather, have always described my self as a hobby collector. I love to learn about other people’s hobbies, what drew them to their passion and why they pursue it so ardently (or, when they don’t, why they

Homebrewers getting younger, girlier

Young women have really only stopped brewing for the last 200 years or so. Homebrewing news stories (most recently, “Not Every Homebrewer Has a Beard“) increasingly emphasize the fact that women are brewing, which is funny because it highlights a generational, rather than a gender gap. Stereotypically, the oldsters who assign trend stories in newspapers truly are locked into a perception of gender roles that has only barely been true for the last 200(ish) years, especially

The State of the Beer Podcast

The State of the Beer is a weekly podcast discussing home brewing, brewing and beer news, trends and culture. Hosted by Tony Russo and Doug Griffith, the show is a great way to learn the language of beer and to participate remotely in the larger beer community.Homebrewers will be an important part of the show. Each week, Doug and Tony will taste and review a home brew submitted by a listener. If the brewer is

Beer makes great copy

Sure. Like you don’t have a beer writing hat. When I was a reporter, and then when I was an editor, publishers would give me a hard time if I wrote too many brewery stories. I understood where they were coming from, but there were (and still are) few small-town business stories as compelling. The story about small batch breweries has always been a double-trend story. Opening and hiring people was bucking the employment and economic