People often ask me how #BREWardInlet could Support 4 Breweries and I often answer the same way. Absolutely yes. Now comes the fun part, how?
The first line of questioning is always “Is Port Moody big enough for 4 breweries?” The quick answer is of course not, but its not like any of the 4 breweries will ID you to make sure you live in Port Moody before being allowed to buy beer. In fact they will let anyone from anywhere (as long as they are 19) buy beer! The Population of the tri-cities is around 210,000 (not to mention nearby North Burnaby). Vancouver Proper is around 600,000. So the Tri-Cities is about 1/3 of Vancouver… Vancouver supports 26 breweries (with more to open). By these numbers BREWard Inlet could open 8-9 and still be viable, ok thats not perfect math but i think it really puts to bed there is not enough population argument.
These Breweries are not forced to sell their beer in Port Moody or the Tri-cities. Believe it or not but NAFTA didn’t just bring down the tariff barriers between Canada, the United States, and Mexico but also between inter-city beer trade. Thats a lie Inter-city Beer trade has always been cool. What I’m saying is Our local breweries can sell out of their local market. This means they are free to try and sell to whole provincial market of 4 million+… and they already are. Moody has a listing with the Liquor Distribution Branch, Yellow Dog may too. Being with the LDB means that your beer goes province wide as so to does your market. Also lets not forget but these breweries can easily get their beer to any private store in the lower mainland too, that’s somewhere between 2.5-2.75 million people.
The Final thing I often hear is “Well how long ’til the macro’s start buying them?” I answer: “Fast enough to make our time seem to be going back in time relative to how fast the macro’s are moving to buy craft brewers.” In other words they already have. Granville Island was Craft, So was Okanagan Spring, now they are mediocre regional brewers no one cares about, and are likely themselves losing market share with the other macro brands to the independents, now why is that? Well let me drop some Adam Smith & Ricardo-Wealth of Nations on you (no thats not a mixtape) . Economic Liberals will argue that for a industry or company to do well they need an advantage over their competitors that allows them to create or build more efficiently so that when cost and value is considered their product is comparatively better. This concept is creatively known as “Comparative Advantage”. So what is Craft Beer’s comparative advantage? simply its independent. Whereas Macros are capable of making beers as good as independent craft brewers (its rare), macro’s are still losing share to Craft. This is because buying independent is a rejection of the status quo, its a declaration of sorts that illustrates a move to post-consumer society wherein we consider not only the value of the product but the effect of the product on society. Once Craft beer is no longer independent it simple no longer has its competitive advantage, and thus an independents breweries true value lies in its independence/