Think watering holes are bad for the neighborhood or bad for business? Think again!
Craft breweries often start in low-rent neighborhoods with abandoned warehouses or other large, unused spaces. Young people with time, energy, creativity, and a taste for suds set up shop and experiment with their favorite hobby: making beer. Some of the recipes they design dance on the taste buds of beer lovers, rivaling the excitement a 100-year-old Cotes du Rhone from the south of France induces in a die-hard vinophile.
And that is just the beginning. What follows is the renewal and revival of dying neighborhoods. CBS MoneyWatch describes how a microbrewery transformed Cleveland, Ohio, when the once-thriving city was on very the brink of bankruptcy.
Great Lakes Brewing opened in 1988 in the downtown Ohio City neighborhood. At the time, Ohio City was blighted with abandoned buildings, boarded up storefronts, and crime. Beer changed all that.
After beautifying their own buildings and creating a successful business, Great Lakes Brewing seems to have become a beacon of light. Other businesses joined them in Ohio City, including a bike shop, a tortilla factory, restaurants, and bars. While the overall population of Cleveland continues to decline, young people are moving to the Ohio City neighborhood, setting down roots and starting families. It is happening in cities all over the country. Because of beer.
Not just any beer, of course — good beer. Wine snobs have been around for a long time, discussing and debating which tastes better, a French chardonnay with its sharp, crisp finish or a California chardonnay aged in oak and smooth with vanilla overtones. Now beer snobs may sit in breweries and restaurants discussing and debating whose oatmeal stout has the most well-integrated coffee taste, and whether a stout with chocolate overtones should be reserved for dessert.
Another benefit of microbreweries: they are great employers to work for. Typically, craft breweries pay employees more than other food-related jobs, such as restaurants. If you like beer, one may assume there are some awesome perks to enjoy, as well. If you want to make good money and live in a thriving community, follow the beer.