Is Your Local Craft Beer From Out of State?

A startup helps small brews expand to new cities on the cheap
CEO Schoen opened Brew Hub’s first facility near Tampa in August Photograph by John Loomis for Bloomberg Businessweek

Two years ago, Cigar City Brewing founder Joey Redner found himself running out of beer. To meet demand in Florida, where 95 percent of his Tampa-based company’s craft brew is sold, he had to transfer supplies of his flagship Jai Alai India Pale Ale from the five other states where he distributes. To avoid another shortfall and get real growth, he’d have to add capacity to his five-year-old Tampa brewery at a cost of $700,000. “To meet demand, you just have to go into hock for so long,” Redner says. “Banks will give me money, but … I don’t want that level of risk.”

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