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Community Spotlight: Downtown Burlington Welcomes New Co-Operative Brew Hub

March 14, 2019 | Community Spotlight: Downtown Burlington Welcomes New Co-Operative Brew Hub

Just in time for St. Paddy's Day, Downtown Burlington, NC is excited to welcome its newest neighbor, Burlington Beer Works (BBW). BBW is a passion project, devised by local lovers of this community who wished to encourage the cultivation of relationships with one another while also providing a venue where members of the community are able to spend their very valuable free time, refreshing and nurturing their spirits.

The BBW founding Board of Directors identifies the co-op as a “ brewery and restaurant located in historic downtown.” They “...believe that a strong community is built around engaged businesses that give back to their community, and that there is no better model than the co-op for this purpose.” And that their “...owners are not just owners of a brewery and restaurant; they are also owners of an engine driving the revitalization of Burlington.”

‘Ambitious,’ in a word, is a great way to describe the founding BBW Board, which also takes great care in regards to its restaurant, offering patrons “...sustainable, local, and responsibly sourced food,” ensuring that it’s “...available to everyone at a reasonable price.” Simply stated, “BBW is comprised of conscientious individuals focused on investing in their local economy.”

Although all co-operative members own a share of the co-op, the BBW Board has remained steadfast in its vision to ensure that it offers a “A unique view of Downtown Burlington.” Encouraging neighbors to “...cooperate – support each other and our local businesses, family farms and craft brewers.” Reminding its guests and visitors that “Our greatest strength is each other...Our shared sense of community and camaraderie will give our local brewpub the opportunity to thrive, positively impacting our members and the public, which only helps to make our beer taste even better!”

According to the Brewers Association for Small and Independent Craft Brewers, “the Craft Brewing Industry contributed $76.2 billion to the U.S. economy in 2017, and more than 500,000 small jobs. The figure is derived from the total impact of beer brewed by craft brewers as it moves through the three-tier system (breweries, wholesalers and retailers), as well as all non-beer products like food and merchandise that brewpub restaurants and brewery taprooms sell....The industry also provided more than 500,000 total jobs, with more than 135,000 jobs directly at breweries and brewpubs, including serving staff at brewpubs. With a strong presence across the 50 states and the District of Columbia, craft breweries are a vibrant and flourishing economic force at the local, state and national level. As consumers continue to demand a wide range of high quality, full-flavored beers, small and independent craft brewers are meeting this growing demand with innovative offerings, creating high levels of economic value in the process.”

In fact, 2017 data shows that in North Carolina alone, the Craft Brewing Industry contributed $2,186,388,000, which equates to an Economic Impact per Capita (21+ Adult) of $288.82.

Margo Metzger, director of the North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild, “has seen craft brewing explode in her state, generating $1.2 billion and 10,000 jobs in 2014.” Metzger also notes that “...when it comes to real economic impact people can feel, it’s the small towns, when someone makes a bet on a little-known street, where it matters....It gives people a public house and a reason to want to live there. But more importantly, it makes people feel like they’re in a relevant place...It’s a powerful, kickstarting force...”