To close out the Brew Talks West Coast Tour last week, a panel of publicans in the San Diego area discussed the myriad challenges of building relationships with both brewing partners and customers. Sitting on the panel held at Stone Brewing Co.’s Liberty Station restaurant was Scott Slater, founder of Slater’s 50/50, Scot Blair, founder of Hamilton’s Tavern, and Tom Nickel, owner of O’Brien’s Pub.
During the final stop of last week’s Brew Talks West Coast Tour, Brewbound had the opportunity to examine a variety of beer industry trends with Lost Abbey partner Tomme Arthur. Among other top-of-mind issues, Arthur tackled quality concerns, rotating tap handles, and franchise laws.
Craft brewers talk a fair amount about building a footprint in a chain account. But at least one chain account, 167-store Fresh & Easy, is much more focused on keeping its craft beer selections as local as possible, rather than looking for chainwide one-size-fits-all offerings. That perspective, which takes its cue from new CEO Jim Keyes’ emphasis on having local managers make their own decisions, has allowed Fresh & Easy’s beer revenues to grow to $21 million in 2013, nearly 40 percent of which came from craft. But it also creates problems when the store [...]
During the second stop of this week’s Brew Talks West Coast Tour, Tom McCormick, the executive director of the California Craft Brewers Association, provided an update on raft of legislative issues that, if passed, will impact the way small brewers operate. In a moderated discussion at Sudwerk Brewing in Davis, Calif., Brewbound editor Chris Furnari asked McCormick to explain the current issues. McCormick’s favorite bill was first on the list: Assembly Bill 2004, if passed, would enable brewers to sell their beer at local farmers’ markets. Currently, California-based winemakers are allowed to sell their products [...]
It’s no secret that Oregonians have quite the affinity for locally produced craft beer. Of the 1.4 million barrels of beer the state’s brewers produced last year, 500,000 were sold to Beaver State drinkers alone. During the first stop of the Brew Talks West Coast Tour, which was held at Portland’s Breakside Brewery on Monday, a panel of industry experts weighed in on the various factors that have helped craft beer thrive in “Beervana.” Breakside’s founder Scott Lawrence joined Brady Walen, the Widmer Brothers brand manager and Mike Gorman, the president of Rev. Nat’s Hard [...]