This story touches on some of the themes you may have read about in What’s Brewing, like this one.
by A.C. Shilton in Yes Magazine
When Sierra Nevada Brewing Company was looking for a city to host its new brewery, it had a stringent list of requirements: The city had to be near outdoor recreational opportunities, it needed to be centrally located on the East Coast, and the state’s laws had to be friendly toward craft brewers.
Asheville, North Carolina, seemed like an obvious choice. It’s centrally located on the East Coast, with easy distribution channels to New York and Miami, and outdoor recreational activities are abundant. But it was struck from the company’s list for one key reason. “We didn’t want to go into any city where we’d be within 50 miles of another craft brewery,” said Brian Grossman, Sierra Nevada’s general manager. “We didn’t want to be the 800-pound gorilla that came into town.” While this may seem unusual for a profit-driven business, it wasn’t for a craft beer company.
Since the beginning, craft beer has been about community. Before your neighborhood taproom started stocking hoppy IPAs, before most of us sampled nitro-infused coffee porters, before growlers were part of our dinner party lexicon—the craft beer movement was mostly a loose coalition of home brewers tinkering in their basements and sharing recipes over the beginnings of the Internet. And since beer brews in batches, they needed friends to help drink it. In living rooms and back porches across the country, the gospel of good beer was spread one kicked keg at a time.