PRESENTING: How to change careers and become a craft brewer with a 6-figure salary and a booming business
- America's beer landscape has changed significantly since Prohibition started.
- Before Prohibition, brewhouses were a staple of the American landscape that reflected the local character of towns across the country.
- Craft breweries added $79.1 billion to the US economy in 2018 and provided more than 550,000 total jobs.
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Thursday is the 100th anniversary of Prohibition, and America's beer landscape has changed significantly since the 18th Amendment of the Constitution went into effect in 1920.
Until Prohibition, brewhouses were a staple of the American landscape that reflected the local character of towns across the country. They only reemerged in 1979, when President Jimmy Carter legalized home brewing.
American craft brewers added $79.1 billion to the economy in 2018 and provided more than 550,000 total jobs, according to a brewing industry trade group. Meanwhile, nonalcoholic breweries are coming into their own, as some reports suggest Americans are drinking less alcohol.
Below, read our stories on American breweries and how their founders changed careers, ramped up production, boosted revenue, and grew their businesses.
Kristie Nystedt quit her job in healthcare, where she was making a $120,000 salary, to start a beer brewery. At Raleigh Brewing Company, she's now making over $200,000 a year as CEO. The company has posted $12 million in revenue.
However, her brewery is not the sole driver of this success. By also selling commercial and at-home brewing equipment, she differentiated her business with three sectors that tapped into an underserved part of the industry.
Night Shift Brewing cofounders Rob Burns, Mike O'Mara, and Michael Oxton started brewing three-barrel batches of unique craft recipes in their apartment kitchen in Somerville, Massachusetts.
In late 2014, they opened their current brewhouse in the nearby town of Everett, where production jumped sevenfold almost overnight. Brewing capacity is up to 120 barrels between their own 20-barrel brewhouse and a 100-barrel contract facility.
Bill Shufelt saw a business opportunity on the long-neglected shelf of the beer aisle at grocery and liquor stores. With the launch of Athletic Brewing Co., Shufelt is leading a transformation of booze-free beer using innovative techniques and e-commerce.
He shared his strategies that have supercharged his volume and revenue growth by more than 10 times in the first year of production.
If you ask authors James and Deborah Fallows, craft breweries are arguably the best way to gauge whether a town is in excellent health. Business Insider rounded up several small breweries shaping the American craft beer landscape and making a local impact, from Maine to California.