Minimum town size to support brew pub?

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kmarkstevens

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I think they've won best craft brewery in the world 6 of the last 7 years on Rate Beer... not hard to figure out
That was a really helpful reply. Really appreciate a cryptic reply I have to go figure out instead of a simple answer to something you know. You're the embodiment of living the homebrew spirit of helping out a fellow brewer in the Christmas season. And if it is some skank brewery in Vermont that is 3000 miles away with no distribution within 250 miles of Seattle, then ask me if I care how it is rated? Thanks for playing.
 

VikeMan

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Arguably the best craft brewery in the world exists in a town of 232 people, On a dirt road, 20+ miles from the nearer stop light, with literally zero signage. People fly from all corners of the globe to go there.

Our homebrew club has a few pro brewers in it. At a meeting about a year ago, we were half jokingly talking about strategies to increase sales. One of the ideas was "brew beer as good as Hill Farmstead." Absolutely a great idea. But imagine that on a loan proposal/business plan.
 

ALExanderH

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This thread and answers kinda make me laugh.. I'm from Iceland and the whole population is 356k. So for us the numbers talked about in this thread are high for us, not low and there are brewpubs all over the country here.

I helped start a small 5-10b brewpub in a really remote location almost as far from the capital as possible and the population of the town is 139 people with some similarly small towns nearby. It works because the locals are loyal and there is some tourism. Could be the lowest populated town in the world with a brewery?
 

bobeer

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If you make a great product and get it out there for people to try they will come. Then couple it with something simple that everyone loves like a bbq pit or brick oven pizza. Been to a lot of small town breweries/brew pubs out here in Virginia and they do well if your product is good.
Location is key also. If you have a good view or a wide open space for people to hang out, and market it well, you will do fine.
 

yoop89

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Could be the lowest populated town in the world with a brewery?

Ill see your 139 and lower you 3 ;)

Ive been here a few times since they've opened and they are doing great! Dreams can be had anywhere if you try hard enough.

 

Brooothru

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Because the National Beer Wholesaler's Association (the lobby for distributors, ie the aforementioned middlemen) is a huge political monetary force. On par with the NRA. A lot of Prohibition-era restrictions no longer needed are the only thing keeping the distributor industry in business and they fight hard to keep that three tier system alive.
You're probably familiar with the arcane laws in Maryland regarding the shipment of alcohol into and out of the state. In recent years they have gotten relaxed somewhat, over strong opposition from the distribution lobby. In the late 90s and into the 2000s I used to enter the Sam Adam's Longshot competition. In order to ship my entries to the brewery in Boston, I would drive to the FedEx facility at Dulles in Northern Virginia because it was A FELONY to ship any amount of liquor into or out of the state unless you had a distributors license.

Even our wine club deliveries came in unmarked boxes that looked like porn, though most vineyards refused to ship here. It wasn't religious conservatism like you find in the South blocking Demon Rum, but rather the liquor lobby that had a stranglehold on the House of Delegates.

Brooo Brother
 

Qhrumphf

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You're probably familiar with the arcane laws in Maryland regarding the shipment of alcohol into and out of the state. In recent years they have gotten relaxed somewhat, over strong opposition from the distribution lobby. In the late 90s and into the 2000s I used to enter the Sam Adam's Longshot competition. In order to ship my entries to the brewery in Boston, I would drive to the FedEx facility at Dulles in Northern Virginia because it was A FELONY to ship any amount of liquor into or out of the state unless you had a distributors license.

Even our wine club deliveries came in unmarked boxes that looked like porn, though most vineyards refused to ship here. It wasn't religious conservatism like you find in the South blocking Demon Rum, but rather the liquor lobby that had a stranglehold on the House of Delegates.

Brooo Brother

Wasn't familiar with that particular one, but Maryland alcohol laws are pretty much a mess across the board. And since much is county by county it's even more maddening. I don't know about much of the state but I know MoCo is a place beer goes to die.
 

Brooothru

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Wasn't familiar with that particular one, but Maryland alcohol laws are pretty much a mess across the board. And since much is county by county it's even more maddening. I don't know about much of the state but I know MoCo is a place beer goes to die.

I really think the laws were partially responsible for Frederick Brewing Co., nee Blue Ridge Brewing and a few iterations not being able to make a go of it until Flying Dog took over the facility and moved here from Denver/Aspen.

Thankfully things have changed for the better in the last 15 years. I remember one experience with FedEx when I was attempting to ship an entry to Sam Adams. I was getting some pushback from the shipping clerk since I had disclosed on the shipping form that my incognito "cereal malt liquid sample for analysis and evaluation" contained ethanol less than 5% in solution. She got on the phone to a HAZMAT specialist in Memphis who wanted me to describe the liquid.

When I described it to him, he said, "It sounds like beer." I said, "It IS beer." He replied, no problem, they'd accept it for shipment. What a hassle. That was the last time I entered that competition.

Brooo Brother
 

couchsending

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Our homebrew club has a few pro brewers in it. At a meeting about a year ago, we were half jokingly talking about strategies to increase sales. One of the ideas was "brew beer as good as Hill Farmstead." Absolutely a great idea. But imagine that on a loan proposal/business plan.

You ever hear Shaun Hill talk about his business plan? His plan entailed him selling 1 growler a week and just self distributing beer in kegs around northern VT. The pictures of His first brew system are awesome. He did happen to win two WBC medals before he opened the doors so that probably helped. Yes he knows how to make good beer but first and foremost he’s a branding ninja. So is JC Tetreault, Nate Lanier, Peter Bissell, and just about anyone else who’s started from nothing and become wildly successful. The brand identity is just as important as the liquid, you can’t have one without the other.
 

50calshooter

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The town I live in (Nixa, Missouri) has a population of 22,515 (2019 census). It supports my brewpub. Full liquor, commercial made beers, and 10 or so of mine. But... and this is a big but: I am the only real bar in town. No food and no one under 21. The rest of the places are an Applebee's or something like that - non corporate sports bars, etc. That might have something to do with our success... or not. May be we just make really good beer and folks like it. We never got any studies done or consulted any pros about bars per capita. We just stuck to our business plan and work our asses off every day.
 
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