This is a great podcast by local news source Potomac Local, “We tap into the health of the Prince William craft brewery industry”. If you aren’t already a subscriber we would strongly suggest you subscribe to Potomac Local’s content.
In this podcast Potomac Local’s publisher, Uriah Kiser, speaks with proprietors of local craft brewery “Waters End Brewery” in Prince William County. They discuss the rapid growth of local breweries in Prince William and Stafford counties, their impact on the local economies and the challenges the plethora of local brewers are facing.
Over the last several years both Prince William and Stafford Counties have adjusted zoning ordinances to allow craft brewers to open for business and grow. In Stafford County prior to 2012 brewers were unable to open tap rooms and serve their brews anywhere in the county. However, the ordinances were changed that allowed for breweries to open up tap rooms, serve their brew and open up new opportunities for locals breweries to expose the public to their craft, entertain and provide addition social and eateries in the county. The first to open their doors was Adventure Brewery on Perchwood Drive in the middle/south end of the county. They were followed by several others throughout the county.
The challenge for these local breweries in Stafford County is they are limited to exist only in industrial areas. Prince William County has taken the route of opening up their commercial and retail spaces to the breweries. There they have experienced exponential growth of local breweries, however, they have also experienced a number of breweries having to shutter their doors in more recent days.
While craft brewing has proven to be a boost to the local economy it also comes with challenges of sustainability for these small businesses that face a number of challenges. In Stafford County it would be beneficial to the local craft brew market to allow for the breweries to open their doors in more places. County officials should explore further adjustment to the governing ordinances and allowing breweries to operate in more commercial and retails spaces. However, local entrepreneurs should tread into the local craft brewery market cautiously, as it is currently flooded with tasty brews, and has proven to be a challenging market to survive in.
One quote in the podcast that resonates is “over the last year craft breweries have set a record for the number of brew houses opening across the country, but they also set a record for the number of them closing.”