We’ll drink to that

The news about craft beer seems to flow continuously across the Triad these days. It’s part of a larger entrepreneurial small-batch trend that seems to be leading the region’s economic development.

We like these green shoots of independence from our corporate overlords.

In the beer industry, Red Oak, Natty Greene’s and Foothills set the standard over the years, leading the way for the myriad of emerging breweries that have sprouted and taken hold across the Piedmont Triad.

Brewers, perhaps, represent the best that a local business can be. Fiercely independent and unique, these innovators strive for excellence in order to attract a customer base whose own discriminating taste demand strict attention to detail, refinement of process and consistency. Would that all businesses were so constrained, not to mention the many ways local government could benefit from being forced to be so responsive.

Our hopes for an improved economic climate rise each time we hear of the next Hoots, Pig Pounder, Small Batch or Gibb’s Hundred making plans to join the craft beer field. The folks at Preyer Brewing in Greensboro are soon to open, followed by Wiseman Brewing a few blocks east.

This burgeoning field of brewers could support demand for locally grown hops in the near future, creating the vanguard of a new, sustainable economy in a niche market with high demand.

We know that these operations don’t employ the hundreds that our past staples in furniture and textiles did at one time, but even there small, independent firms are growing as self-reliance continues to emerge from the ashes of the Great Recession.

We applaud the small, independent firms that continue to spring to life in our region. We urge our local government leaders to take a hard look at their economic development methods and consider more support for the microfirms waiting in the wings. !

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