Instead of embracing the beauty of public and outdoor drinking, Americans have largely relegated alcohol consumption to bars, implicitly marking them as dark dens of adult iniquity. Fortunately, small breweries are pushing for change.
Taking cues from the pub and taproom model used by smaller breweries, big players in the beer industry, from 10 Barrel to Blue Moon and Lagunitas, attempt to cash in on the convenience and sense of community of urban outposts.
Since launching Victory in 1996, Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet have remained true to their founding principles. When it came time to expand, they added a second production facility in Pennsylvania even as their distribution has grown.
Across the country, craft breweries have coffee specialists going far beyond mere coffee-beer collaborations. Taking notes from beer, coffee shops hope to increase conversation and connectivity between the parallel crafts, opening both to new customers and ideas.
A bill widely viewed as a setback for Florida craft brewers died in the state House. After passing the state Senate with a 30–10 vote, Florida Senate Bill 1714 would have prohibited brewers making more than 2,000 kegs per year from selling more than 20 percent of their beer on-site.
Basecamp. Outpost. Those are the two halves of Devils Backbone Brewing Co., one of Virginia’s fastest-growing beermakers. And in their short life span, Devils Backbone’s two brewhouses have garnered 23 medals at the Great American Beer Festival and five more in the World Beer Cup competition.
Breweries are starting to realize that it’s time to rethink the standard tour they’ve been offering unchanged for years. As breweries remain in a near constant state of expansion, designers are starting to integrate expanded taprooms, beer gardens and community meeting spaces.
In marketing, connecting a face to the “brand” means something. But for the small guys who can’t afford national publicity and TV commercials, that connection and personal brand management becomes a physical reality with their taprooms.
Garage breweries aren’t brewpubs in any traditional sense. You won’t find any food, beyond peanuts or popcorn, and the beer is usually sold off-site as well. And you’re always aware that the brewery hovers around you, not hidden away behind glass partitions.