Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Is the end near?

The Washington Post : The craft beer industry’s buzz is wearing off

This, and many articles of late, ponder the peak of the craft beer revival. In Portland, alone, there were at least 10 brewery closures. In many ways, it is to be expected. In any industry marked by rapid growth, there comes a time when that growth can no longer be sustained.

The recent explosion in craft beer has meant that almost anyone who could brew in their garage, could also find a following for their craft. Who doesn't like beer? Often, that lead to expansion in the form of a tap house. Again, a following could generally be found but not all brewers made for good business people.

The brewing community, generally speaking, is a supportive and collaborative one. New entrants are welcomed even as they compete for tap handles in local bars and restaurants. It's one of the things I love about the industry. You can taste the love in every glass.

Yet this puts pressure on growth and profits. Breweries are sometimes forced to take on investors in order to survive which, again, doesn't necessarily mean an investment in business acumen. Rather, it can have calamitous outcomes as with the case with Ghost Runners Brewery. Although the brewery ultimately prevailed, it was an expensive lesson in investor relations.

Here, in Clark County, the craft beer industry remains strong. Even as we saw the closure of Amnesia Brewing in Washougal a few months ago, we have seen the opening of Grains of Wrath in Camas. At the recent Vancouver Brewfest, we saw two new breweries represented: Northwest Passage Craft Brewery of Vancouver and Captain's Brewing Company in Ridgefield. Amnesia's space will be taken over by Logsdon Farmhouse Ales of Hood River which, while not new, represents expansion rather than contraction.

Is the end near? Many think so but there's something you can do about it. Head on over to your local brewery and show them your support and enjoy the beer we have right here. 

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