There was an article about Trek Brewing this week in the local newspaper. The reporter did an excellent job of paralleling the 3 breweries in planning that are set to open in Licking County within the next few month. Several people have asked John and I what we thought about all these breweries coming in to the same county at the same time – and honestly – we’re excited.
Craft brewers have a community that is unlike many in the corporate world – instead of competition it is collaboration. Craft beer is still very much a “little guy” standing up to “the man” culture. Although the craft beer segment has seen double digit growth year over year, we’re still only a very small percentage of the overall beer market; a 12.3% market share in 2016. As craft breweries continue to pop up all over the country, brewery owners are excited. This means that the culture is shifting toward supporting great, local, craft beer.
Before prohibition there was a bar in every neighborhood. There are parts of the country that are getting close to that – Seattle, for instance, has 174 breweries (and counting) in King County alone. As we were getting ready to leave there, breweries were opening at the rate of 4 a month. All of these breweries co-exist. A lot of them collaborate on projects together. Beer lovers go on amazing brewery hopping tours all over town. In other parts of the country, like here in Licking County, there are still lots of opportunities for growth.
We are proud members of the Ohio Craft Beer Association. There are a lot of really exciting things happening in the Ohio beer scene. The Columbus Ale trail allows consumers to get a passport for every brewery in the Columbus area. There is a brand new app (available for iPhone and Android) called Ohio on Tap that will help you find a brewery near you all over the state. Go download it right now, because it is amazing (Side note: WA friends, there’s an app called Washington Beer Commission, go download it now). There are several beer festivals going on throughout the year, and the number of craft breweries is rising rapidly in the state. This really is an exciting time for craft beer in Ohio, and we can’t wait to be a part of it.
So back to your question, are we threatened by all the breweries coming into Licking County? Not even a little bit… but we are psyched to have a beer with them, and maybe even brew one together some day.
P.S. Do you have your Trek Brewing Company swag yet? Collaborate with Trek Brewing and help us build our patio by checking out our Indiegogo Campaign!