Today’s five articles are a lot about the explosion of craft beer outside places named Asheville, Portland, and Denver.
- Will Gordon does a side by side comparison of the two main craft lagers sold in the US: Brooklyn Lager and Sam Adams Boston Lager. They are both fine beers that will do in a pinch when you are at one of those chain restaurants or sports bars whose craft selection includes Shocktop and Blue Moon. Gordon’s verdict: They are essential the same quality, but Brooklyn Lager gets the slight edge in taste.
- Quick name the place in North Carolina with great craft beer. OK, now name another one besides Asheville. Let me save you the time: Charlotte. Fortune Magazine takes a look at Charlotte and its craft brewing scene. I will say this Charlotte-centric pride can make Charlotte a bit of a closed shop when it comes to other beers from North Carolina. I run into too many customers who can name their 4 favorite Charlotte beers and 3 favorite Asheville beers, but have not heard of Mystery Brewing or Fullsteam Brewing.
- Richmond, VA is having its own brewing renaissance. Breweries are gaining national recognition and growing in size and distribution.
- Here is the other side of some of that growth Richmond. This is an interesting question: how much should states pay individual companies to stay in the state? We in North Carolina are having this discussion now in the state legislature with many of the incentives ending. What North Carolina found in many cases was that the amount of money given away in incentives was greater than the ancillary tax revenues created (jobs, other additional industries spurred, etc.). Of course, many of the people who say that are the same ones who will tell you building a sports stadium will spur the economy when every economist will tell you that is at best a case by case argument.
- We’ve come a long way. Now a public library in the South is holding home brewing classes. The changing attitudes towards alcohol in the Bible Belt South is the part of the reason the region has some of the fastest growing craft beer areas in the country. It is also why some of the biggest fights over changing alcohol laws related to craft beer are some of the fiercest as older elements fight to hold on to a quickly changing code.