Urban Microbreweries

One of the fastest growing trends in food and beverage is craft beer.  Microbreweries have experienced double digit growth and rapid expansion, owing in part to consumers’ desire to consume locally and sustainably produced goods.  In a down economy, the craft brewing sector has been a remarkable story of success.

What is unique about craft brewers is not only their growth, but that many are great urban manufacturers.  Across the country, craft brewers have set up shop in older industrial buildings in cities – often repurposing spaces such as warehouses and stores.  These businesses are taking a leading role in bringing manufacturing back to urban areas.

Here in Pennsylvania, Troegs Brewing Company of Harrisburg, Yards Brewing of Philadelphia, and Weyerbacher Brewing Company of Easton are all brewing great beers in urban locations.  In addition to making beer for distribution around the region, the Allentown Brew Works has also had a key role in attracting visitors to downtown Allentown and revitalizing a challenged city center.

For cities like Allentown, manufacturing industry is seen as large scale production of durable goods with heavy machinery.  However, A big part of the urban manufacturing movement and the broader goal of community development is adaptability to change, and currently there is a strong demand for artisanal food and beverage products.  Cities are not only well equipped for manufacturing of building materials, trucks, and other types of machines, but they are perfect places for making items not always though of as manufactured:  bicycles, clothing, and consumables such as beer just to name a few.

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