Reflections on 2013, Expansion, and More!

2013 has been, in a word, crazyawesome (that’s a word, right?). Craft Beer Cellar has grown, big time, and we now have SIX!! stores open across 2 states (admittedly we were planning/hoping for eight by year’s end, but paperwork delays mean Craft Beer Cellar Portsmouth and Craft Beer Cellar Brandon will now be January 2014 gifts to the people of NH and FL, respectively). We’ve added jobs, raised loads of money for local charities, and continued to be a leader in craft beer’s growth. While we await 2013 craft beer consumption reports from the Brewers Association and other sources, suffice it to say that there is still work to be done. And we’re doing it!

In the wake of last week’s Boston Globe profile (for which we are humbled and eternally grateful), we saw many new faces in our stores. The growth of craft beer culture depends in large part on bringing new people into the fold, and spreading the word in both young and established beer communities alike. The Pacific Northwest, for example, has an amazing beer scene, and because of this, it’s an ideal place for a Craft Beer Cellar store. To be clear, we will not be the first to open a beer store/bottleshop there, just as we were not the first to open one here. But our model (and mission) IS special!

Since its inception, Craft Beer Cellar has been about love and education. Love for people, product, and community, and a commitment to educating ourselves and our customers about what we’re/they’re drinking. Over the last three-plus years, our customers have made their voices heard in support of small, local, and independent breweries. We don’t judge those who drink Miller Lite and we don’t judge those who drink Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout, but you won’t find either of them on our shelves. (For those who remain unaware, Goose Island was purchased in-whole by Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2011.) We believe that it is this combination of factors, diverting funds away from the entire MillerCoors and AB-InBev portfolios and into the pockets of small producers, introducing drinkers to traditional and experimental breweries from around the world, and doing it all with tenacity and passion, that makes us a truly unique addition to the craft beer community.

Perhaps the thing that we are most excited about in 2014 and beyond is expanding our role as an information hub and craft beer connection point. We believe that the success of other great brewpubs, bottleshops, and bars is critical to our own growth and the growth of craft beer culture. We are proud of our relationships with breweries and beer industry folk throughout the United States and across the globe. Do you know of a great beer event happening at another shop or bar? A can’t-be-missed festival? A favorite beer blog? Please let us know!

We work in beer, so yeah, we’re living the dream! But we also trying our best to make the world a better place, Craft Beer Cellar Style!

Thank you for making 2013 CRAZYAWESOME!

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