As the number of craft breweries continues to balloon — growing to nearly 9,000 in 2020 — craft beer bars are going extinct. The New York Times explores why: brewers are turning into competitors. Few people want to drink at a bar when they can instead go to a brewery’s own taproom.
Bars helped the craft industry grow, but now what was once “a prime way of bringing people into bars was gradually taken away by the breweries themselves,” says Chris Black of Falling Rock Tap House in downtown Denver. Black was forced to close his bar this summer, as the COVID-19 pandemic caused sales to plummet.
The pandemic accelerated closures for numerous failing bars across America, a big loss for locals who found community at their hometown establishment. But brewery taprooms aren’t the only culprit. The article notes craft beer used to be found only in bars — now it can be purchased in stadiums and supermarkets.
(Pictured: Joann Cornejo and Eddie Trejo, who run Machete Beer House in National City, Calif. It’s a community-focused bar that offers brews from America and Mexico and features pop-up vendors selling birria tacos and paletas.)
Read more (The New York Times)