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Craft Beer Business Grows in the U.S.

While the overall beer consumptions in the U.S. dropped 3% in the first six months of 2010, the demand of craft beer increased 9% in volume to 7 million barrels and 12% in sales to 6 – 7 billion dollars. No wonder there are about 500 brewers planning to enter the market to compete with the existing 1,600 breweries.

This Fox News video features a story of Brooklyn Brewery, one of the biggest craft beer breweries in the nation. To my knowledge, many local breweries are actually much smaller than the one we see in the video. Regardless of the size of their business, good breweries attract beer drinkers by adding local favors, producing better quality (fresher) beer, and providing “interesting” food-and-beverage (F&B) experience. Obviously, their competitive advantage is not about volume or mass production. I tried several local breweries in Lubbock, Texas and Syracuse, New York. Good breweries are known for fresh beer and great food. Believe it or not, people are talking about beer-and-food pairings.

I feel that having local favors is important for small businesses. When people travel, they seek out for “unique adventures” in a new neighborhood, both for their hotel stays (like the boutique hotel concept) and F&B experience. For hospitality entrepreneurs, what does “being local and authentic” mean to you and your business? How do you communicate or market the “uniqueness” of your business to the target customers?

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