There are more than 7,000 craft breweries in the United States, which is a huge number, but it doesn’t really come into focus unless you zoom in at the local level. Brewery districts that sprouted five years ago are now overflowing with craft breweries of all shapes and sizes. The argument has always been that this is a good thing, that the rising tide of suds lifts all boats. We subscribe to this theory but in saturated craft beer hubs like Cleveland, we do wonder how everyone is making it work. So, we sent out a roving reporter to ask!
Welcome to the first video in a new video series we’re calling CBB On the Scene. The goal of this series is to sit down with breweries of all shapes and sizes in one dense craft beer region to get a sense of how each of them is trying to stand out and succeed with totally different business plans in a saturated craft beer hub.
In episode one, CBB contributor Kathie Zipp sits down with Bill Wetmore, director of sales and marketing for Fat Heads Brewery. We chose Fat Heads because it is a well-established regional player that just placed a big bet on itself, recently opening a giant $12 million production brewery and beer hall in the Cleveland area, as well as another brewpub an hour away in Canton, Ohio. These are in addition to its Olmsted Falls, Ohio, and Pittsburgh locations. With Fatheads having more going on than ever, our big question is: How can an established large regional brand like Fat Heads avoid stalling out with so many new kids on the block drawing interest? Where does it see its path for growth?