As we think about what it means to make good beer, we have realized that the truck might well not be the way to enhance your reputation or the quality of the beer. So, it was with some interest that I read this bit about the New Belgium's plans for expansion:
New Belgium sent a team to Asheville to talk with city officials, and Simpson said they received a warm welcome. He said Asheville made the cut because of its central location on the East Coast, providing an easy jumping off point for distribution along the eastern seaboard that New Belgium is eyeing for expansion. In addition to the prime location, Simpson said the city provides access to a high-quality water supply and a savvy beer drinking population. "At this point, it's on the short list; a few others are on the list," Simpson said. "It's not a decision we make lightly. ... This is a big chapter for us to open a new brewery."
I have had very little New Belgium beer and that, if we think about it, is a good thing. I live in a particular region within this continent and I should not be expecting that thousands of miles of travel from another region would ever enhance the goodness of any product. Bring the mountain to me, I say. And New Belgium seems to agree. A network of regional breweries is a far better way to expand both production and market share. Not only does it multiply opportunity for local loyalty, it creates valuable redundancies as well as the opportunity for enhanced innovation within the brewery.
Great idea that more should explore. Now, if they would just all choose to branch out to my town!