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Don't open a brewery!

In 1983, a brewer named Mark Stutrud wrote to the Brewers' Association of America to tell them he was starting a new brewery. "He was hoping for a little encouragement and few tips. Instead, he got, well, this..."

 

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"My dear Mr. Stutrud:

Thank you for your letter, and I note that you are working on a feasibility study on establishing a Micro-Brewery in the Twin Cities area. Please know that I am not encouraging you to do so, because it is a long and hard road that you planning to go down."

 

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Stutrud would ignore the 'advice.' He opened his brewery, Summit Brewing, three years later, in 1986, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Thirty years after that, in 2016, Summit is still in operation, the 27th-largest 'craft' brewery in the United States, producing 129,000 barrels of beer.

 

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In 1942, small American breweries —"pinned down by [WWII] rationing and ambitious national shippers [large breweries] on one side and a fusillade of federal regulations on the other"— created a lobbying group for their interests. They called it the Small Brewers Committee, soon thereafter changing the name to the Brewers Association of America.

 

In 2005, the BAA, then headed by Daniel Bradford, merged with the Association of Brewers (which Charlie Papazian had created in 1983) to form the Brewers Association, to advocate for American breweries producing fewer than 2 million barrels of beer a year (later increased to 6 million).

 

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▶ Photo of advertisement for Summit Brewing published in the November 2016 issue of All About Beer (Vol. 37, No.5).

▶ The quotation concerning the formation of the BAA is taken from the book, Ambitious Brew, published by historian Maureen Ogle in 2006.

 

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Taken on October 31, 2016