By Brando Sencion, Program Coordinator of Santa Cruz Community Ventures
Beer is more than malt, water, hops, and yeast. Craft breweries provide us with economic models’ other businesses can use to their advantage to create strong local economies.
According to the California Craft Beer Association, in 2016, craft breweries contributed $7.3 billion to California’s economy and the industry supports 49,308 jobs across the state. More than 900 breweries are operating across the state of California, more than any other state in the country. I use this statistic to demonstrate breweries are able to flourish in numbers, even though there are many like them.
A key to their success are collaborations between breweries. This is a great example of businesses working together to support their local craft beer economy. Economic Networks, are a way to promote groups and businesses to interact with each other to benefit the whole community. Thus collaborations, allow breweries to exchange best practices, consumers, and strengthen their economic ties to each participating community. In my opinion this is key and diverts from conventional practices of competing businesses.
Small businesses can analyze these practices and think of innovative ways to help their own business and other potential partners. If businesses are able to create a collaborative culture the possibilities to help each other are endless.