Love of local brew fuels rapid rise of Cincy’s beer market

Soapbox covers the growth of craft breweries in Cincinnati:

“Knowing what I know now, I certainly would have done things a little bit different,” says [MadTree] owner Brady Duncan. “In our original business plan estimates, we underestimated it so much that our monthly estimate is now like an average Saturday night.” […]

“We’re only in our eighth month, and we’re brewing right now at the rate we thought we’d be brewing about three and half to four years into the business,” says Rhinegeist co-founder Bob Bonder.

Craft Brews Create Urban Revival

Enter Great Lakes Brewing, which opened in 1988 [in Cleveland]. Over the years, it’s built a brewery and a brewpub from structures that once housed a feed store, a saloon and a livery stable.

What’s going on in Cleveland is happening across the country. Trendy small businesses like breweries and younger residents have been returning to downtown neighborhoods in many cities across the U.S. The biggest cities are growing faster than the suburbs around them, according to Census data.

It’s awesome that this article came out the same week as the last episode of The UrbanCincy Podcast, where we discussed craft beer in relation to Cincinnati’s urban revitalization.

Utah tightens liquor laws

  • As of next year, even new restaurants licensed to serve nothing stronger than beer — weak 3.2% alcohol beer at that — must keep taps and bartenders out of customers’ sight and have beer sales account for no more than 30% of revenue.
  • There’s a freeze, probably for at least a year, on issuance of the type of alcohol license that allows restaurants to serve liquor, wine and full-strength beer in full view of customers […]

So all new restaurants that want to serve alcohol will need to install a barrier like Vuz’s, which was 4 feet high and ran down the middle of the length of the bar, or to store and dispense alcohol in a back room. […]

You can’t order a double, or a stiff drink; happy hours and any other drink discounts, even for 3.2 beer, are illegal; […]

Senate President Michael Waddoups, a Republican and LDS member, has said that bar-like restaurants encourage underage drinking because “listening to the shaking of the drinks and the sights can make drinking attractive.” […]

Hersh Ipaktchian, owner of a chain of sports bars, is one of several operators who say they won’t open new places in the state because they’d have to build barriers around bars central to their look and layout. National chains also have slowed their expansion into Utah.

Sounds like job-killing regulation and bigger government.