Some of my followers are aware that I’m from rural Iowa. I grew up there, moved away to many places around the country for many years, and eventually returned (sometimes wondering why) a decade ago.
Recently, I was chatting with a friend of mine who owns a brewery a few towns away, and I discovered a nuance of the beer selling business that I hadn’t previously considered. It’s rooted in our place, and while I’m sure it is an issue elsewhere around the country, I don’t think it’s high on the list of issues for many notable breweries.
Small towns, it turns out, have rivalries, and they’re not confined to high school sports teams. My friend sells a lot of beer in his community, and he has a nice profile growing in some of the larger markets an hour or three away. But take samples to a neighboring community, one of the same size school district, one which competes in the same high school athletic conference, and the answer is, well, nope.
Craft beer has spread to the hinterlands well enough that I can find a good beer in my local grocery store or bar, but weirdly, it’s not always the most local beer possible. Why?
Weird small town prejudices.
Go Blue Jays!