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The Brewfest Report

A hearty thanks to everyone who came to see us last Friday at the Buffalo Brewfest. I was a little worried about the reception we’d get: after all, it was an event where people came to drink beer, and we had only our smiles and a pile of t shirts.

Greg and Ethan manning the booth

Even so, people were incredibly friendly and interesting in learning more about us. That they were coming from the Flying Bison table and were drinking their excellent altbier from a handpull may have contributed to their good mood, of course. We talked to a few hundred people, most of whom hadn’t heard about us before.

Our mailing list got close to 150 new subscribers because of the Brewfest. You have signed up for our mailing list, right? The inaugural message will be going out tonight, and I don’t want you to miss out. Collect them all! It’s worth noting, of course, that when 150 people sign up for your mailing list, somebody must then enter their details into a spreadsheet. That’s how I’ll be spending my night, tonight. Sometimes you’re the rock star, sometimes you’re the roadie.

Julia Burke of the New York Cork Report, proud owner of CBW's first women's t shirt

Miss out on us at the Brewfest? Did you actually want to see Rudy and leave disappointed when you were told he wasn’t there? Want another sweet-ass sticker? Good news! We’ll be at the Bidwell Farmer’s market again this Saturday. We’ll be brewing a batch of beer, as always, and we look forward to yet another day of talking with friendly people.

It’s worth noting that the people of Buffalo are awesome. Don’t ever forget that.

Finally, we got an email this week from the Brewer’s Association. You may be surprised to find out that we are not the only small brewery in the process of opening in the country! There are actually quite a lot of us. According to them, there are 725 breweries in the process of starting this year, up from 389 last year. That’s even better when you consider that these numbers are inherently low: they can only go on the number of breweries who have contacted them, and many aren’t yet at that phase. We got our start over a year ago, after all, but 2011 will be the year Community Beer Works will be considered to have been founded.

That nearly double the number of breweries are starting this year than last naturally leads to the question of whether or not their customers I’ll support them. “If you build it, they will come” is only guaranteed in movies starring James Earl Jones.

We think so, obviously. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Buffalo is a great beer town, and has the potential to be one of the best in the country. Luckily for everyone, the numbers support this growth: craft beer sales in 2010 were up 14% by volume in the first half of the year, as opposed to a 9% increase in the first half of 2010. This is a fantastic, but not surprising, trend: people want good beer, and more and more breweries are starting to quench that thirst.

That’s it for this week. Hopefully we’ll see you this Saturday!