Have you yearned for the kind of neighborhood bar that has an entire line-up of terrific craft brews, but can't quite see yourself quitting your day job to open one yourself? I'll raise my hand here, for sure. Here's an idea: start a brewpub co-op. This is a real thing and it's picking up popularity in many major cities.
The idea here is the same behind any co-op: it's a collectively-owned business and members get a say in how the brewpub is run — and perhaps more importantly, what it serves. Most of the brewpub co-ops already in operation, like Black Star in Austin, TX, and Fifth Street in Dayton, OH, use membership primarily as a means to acquire financial backing and support for the pub. Members aren't required to work in the brewpub, but are involved its governance.
A co-operative brewpub might not work in every neighborhood, but it's certainly an interesting idea to explore! Read more about it:
- Member-Owned, Worker-Run: Black Star Brewery Taps Into a Radical Idea by Stacy Edwards on Sheepless
- San Jose Co-Op Brew Pub to Host First Public Event by Andy Lee on Examiner.com
- Black Star Co-Op Pub and Brewery, Austin, TX
- Fifth Street Brewpub, Dayton, OH
- San Jose Cooperative Brewery and Pub, San Jose, CA
- Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery, Seattle, WA
- Riverwest Public House Cooperative, Milwaukee, WI
(Image: Andy Lee/Examiner)