Craft beer's big impact on small towns and forgotten neighborhoods

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Todd, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,426) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Subscriber

    Quick piece from Curbed on how brewing has a big chapter in the comeback stories of many cities and rural ares.
    Read more: https://www.curbed.com/2017/6/13/15788960/brewing-economic-development-craft-beer
     
  2. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (2,759) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Stopped at Brew Gentlemen last weekend and it felt like a similar story could be told there. Really nice place bringing in people from all over to a relatively rough suburb of Pittsburgh. The long-teased Superior Motors remains unopened, so whatever credit for being among the first to try to pick the place back up would definitely be more directed towards BG and their fantastic beer.
     
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  3. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,784) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Supporter

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  4. nick_perry

    nick_perry Aspirant (272) Mar 11, 2017 North Carolina

    Great article, I've always been a fan of craft beer's benefit to the community. It's a great thing when you see people of different ages and walks of life congregating at their local brewery. I know in NC many small towns, especially central and western NC, have a brewery, and they're undoubtedly an economic benefit to the town.
     
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  5. Jaguar10301

    Jaguar10301 Initiate (148) Mar 1, 2010 Maine

    Definitely some good beer bars and places in the U street area of DC, I'm sure they helped in the gentrification. Meridian Pint is in an area I would never have gone if not for it. Some new places by Nationals park helped along with the stadium start to reclaim the "other" side of the Anacostia.
     
  6. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Devotee (481) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I mean, people leave Cambridge, Boston, and Somerville to hang out in Everett (Night Shift) on weekends. And when Everett is too busy, people grab drinks in Chelsea (Mystic)!
     
  7. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (186) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Enjoyed the article as well and also love to see the revitalization of quaint towns and historical communities.
     
  8. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (186) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    My issue with this is that Brew Gentlemen, much like Voodoo's location across the river in Homestead, are in VERY bad parts of town and pretty much out of the way for most people who buy their product. If not for the cooperation and exceptions made for them by local government, they would have been MUCH better served to have locations that were more centrally located.
     
  9. Jaguar10301

    Jaguar10301 Initiate (148) Mar 1, 2010 Maine

    the idea is to gentrify the areas and draw in more money and make the areas attractive to more affluent people. I've seen it work in DC, parts of town you'd never used to go in are hip and trendy now.
     
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  10. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (2,759) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    It's all relative. I'm sure more people die downtown Pittsburgh from hit and runs than do in Homestead or Braddock from violence. Just because you see a violent or seedy event one time on the news, or see someone across the street that makes you feel uncomfortable, doesn't make it a "VERY" bad part of town. Honestly, it's exceedingly rare in America for there to be a "VERY" bad neighborhood. Most of the unfortunate events that occur in rundown neighborhoods occur between its residents, not to those coming in to patronize local business.

    I'm sure prohibitive costs in downtown or centrally located areas play a large part in deciding the location a place like BG chooses to open up shop. There is no shortage of people hitting up BG despite its location, and especially Voodoo, which seemed just as, if not more popular due to its proximity to the very popular and bustling Waterfront shopping area (walking distance, which we took advantage of). However, I found Voodoo to be highly overrated. I was especially disappointed in the building, as they really could have turned such an awesome place (basically an antique fire station) into something much more than throwing up a bunch of chalkboard paint and opening up the garage doors. It looks like it could be magnificent from the outside, but the interior is really scuzzy.

    Certain parts of Detroit are becoming quite magical in that way as well. A lot of people from the outside might have considered these areas "dangerous" because they looked like an absolute warzone, but they were just rundown or abandoned neighborhoods or industrial districts that were almost completely depopulated, and actually had far less crime in them than even the still bustling financial districts do to this day.
     
  11. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (186) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    They certainly couldn't have done what they have on the Southside, in The Strip, or even in Lawrenceville. Well, maybe in Lawrenceville.

    Though I've never been, I hear the Voodoo location in Erie is quite nice.
     
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  12. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (2,759) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Going to Toronto soon, and just checked the map. It will be easy to swing by on the way back, thanks for the tip and cheers!
     
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  13. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (186) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Just out of curiosity, which areas of DC? Wife and I love to go down and stay near Thomas Circle, which is, strangely enough, only about a block from Churchkey. :relaxed:
     
  14. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Defender (688) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

  15. smakawhat

    smakawhat Poo-Bah (5,936) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland
    Subscriber

    That was long going on before beer even took off in DC.
     
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  16. zid

    zid Crusader (780) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Schlafly isn't shy about reminding people that before they had their brewery, the abandoned building was used for shooting Escape From New York. I don't know how many people here are old enough to get the reference, but apparently that part of town was suitable for representing a sorta-post-apocalyptic urban wasteland.
     
  17. Jaguar10301

    Jaguar10301 Initiate (148) Mar 1, 2010 Maine

    I've been gone a few years but the gentrification is in effect by Nationals stadium which is across the Anacostia and just before I moved to the DC area it was always warned not to cross the anacostia river. Greg Engerts brewpub Bluejacket is there. It appears Meridian Pint is actually in the NW which has traditionally been the best part of the city though it is out off the beaten track, I just remember the one time we went there it was an area we normally wouldn't have gone. I can say that the NE had parts being gentrified before we left but I don't know it well. Doing a google search on DC I am seeing beer spots in NE. Like I said though I'm about 5 years removed from whats going on there, just what I remember seeing before I left and the news I read
     
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  18. Jaguar10301

    Jaguar10301 Initiate (148) Mar 1, 2010 Maine

    When would you say beer "took off in DC"?
     
  19. rgordon

    rgordon Defender (684) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Natty Greene's has continued to be a big piece of the burgeoning vitality of downtown Greensboro. And down in little Saxapahaw, Haw River Farmhouse Ales is a beautiful and fine brewery. The Village of Saxapahaw, sitting on the banks of The Haw River, is one of my favorite places anywhere. Haw River Farmhouse Ales and Saxapahaw fit perfectly together.
     
  20. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (186) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Was there a year or two ago. VERY nice location and great food. Wasn't terribly impressed with the beers though. LOTS of new construction in that area.
     
  21. smakawhat

    smakawhat Poo-Bah (5,936) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland
    Subscriber

    I would say beer has always had a home here since the early 2000s it just was a different scene. I can't comment before then cause I wasn't living here at the time.

    There was the Brikskeller, and then places that were and still supported like Flying Dog and Dogfish Head. Brikskller is still around (the bier Barron) but back then their shtick was they had the most amount of diverse beers in the country, from all over the world. Now thats a foot note cause there are more breweries now and huge taplists like you never would have imagined.

    The scene was also very Belgian as well, it was a big deal to go somewhere and drink Belgian beer in a bar, with quite a few joints . The stores reflected this as well.

    Then essentially it really exploded when Port City and then really when DC Brau opened up. Suddenly there was just tonnes of new beers to be had among regular Goose Island pre inbev, Stone and Schlafly.
     
  22. bbtkd

    bbtkd Meyvn (1,103) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Supporter Subscriber

    Beer seems to have been a major part of the recent turnaround in downtown Sioux Falls. Within a few blocks, there are three breweries with taprooms plus two brewery taprooms (separate from their respective breweries), an independent taproom, and several bars and restaurants with craft beer. This area of town was once a pretty rough area but between beer, small businesses, new office buildings, condos, lofts, and restaurants, the area is revitalizing. There are now two new very nice hotels right on the river, and this area is now great for a beercation weekend.
     
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  23. Jaguar10301

    Jaguar10301 Initiate (148) Mar 1, 2010 Maine

    DC has had a good beer scene for a while, they didn't have the breweries but since they don't mandate distributors and any bar owner can purchase beer from anywhere in the country and bring it in DC has had a great scene. Brickskeller, RFD, Rustico, Pizzeria Paradisio. Of course SAVOR being hosted in DC. I moved there in 2007 and most of this already existed. I guess we could debate when certain areas got gentrified and I never said it was just a beer bar in a bad area that magically brought them back, but in general the not as good areas had craft beer as a part of their rejuvenation story.
     
  24. RVAcraft

    RVAcraft Initiate (129) Aug 6, 2014 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    Scotts Addition neighborhood in Richmond used to be rundown, abandoned old buildings, industrial part of town. Now it has 5-6 breweries a meadery and has revitalized the whole neighborhood. All kinds of new lofts and apartments along with restaurants has made it one of the best neighborhoods in Richmond to hang out. Not to mention making RVA one of the best craft beer cities on the East coast.
     
  25. Tmwright7

    Tmwright7 Initiate (172) Feb 3, 2015 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I was in Sioux Falls on business last December and was pleasantly surprised by the downtown area. Our customer had cited the numerous breweries popping up and fueling a lot of the change. I love stories like these.
     
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  26. HeilanCoo

    HeilanCoo Initiate (28) Sep 11, 2014 North Carolina

    The idea is to redefine what is 'central' in the first place. You develop a constituency, and then you give them a place to come and experience your products on their home turf. If all breweries that wanted to be 'better served' located in already booming economic districts, the phenomenon outlined in the article would not be happening.
    Breweries change places.
     
  27. southdenverhoo

    southdenverhoo Disciple (334) Aug 13, 2004 Colorado

    what do you mean, "across the Anacostia?" Nationals Stadium is down in the old Navy Yards, but on the same side of the Anacostia as, say, the Capitol...
     
  28. Jaguar10301

    Jaguar10301 Initiate (148) Mar 1, 2010 Maine

    Well color me embarrassed, lived there 5 years and always thought it was across. Shows you how rarely I used the green line.
     
  29. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (186) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Not for nuthin', but one small brewery isn't going to revive a depressed area. It's just going to make people hesitant to go there to buy and drink their beer, whether it has to do with distance or safety or both.
     
    cavedave likes this.
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