Written by Ken Carman for Professorgoodales.net
Like any business, brewing beer has ups and downs. And sometimes changes in society can cause a lot of trouble; especially when a business is unwilling to adjust: go with the flow. This is the story of one brewery and how it survived times when brewing beer hit major crossroads: Prohibition… and a steadily changing market: skewing towards craft beer. Not just “survived,” but did so “with ‘style.'” And “styles.” (Pun intended.) This is also the story of a family business; a family business willing to change, experiment, alter and innovate their business plans. And the story of a brewery that went with the ever-increasing nationwide flow of craft beer; go with the flow instead of against it. And go with that “flow” in a bold, aggressive, way.
Thanks to Fred Matt and a very special thanks to Meghan Fraser of Saranac for help with this article. Images courtesy Meghan Fraser and Saranac, except High Peaks Imperial six pack image courtesy Wegmans.com
All across America breweries were going out of business. Surviving breweries were trying to find some way, any way, to stay in business.
Their product had been outlawed.
Recently there has been a spat of Prohibition stories in the brew-based press, and mainstream media, due to the anniversary of its repeal. But a question sometimes left unasked is, “How did some survive?” And these stories rarely, if ever, talk about how Prohibition wasn’t the only historical beer-mageddon traditional, older, long-lived breweries have had to face in America…
Continue reading “How to Succeed When Trouble’s Brewing: A Historical Perspective on Prohibition and Craft Beer”