Recently there have been some high profile business closures in the Brooklyn beer scene. Most notably Bierkraft closing a few weeks back and the recent announcement by Brooklyn Homebrew that they will close at the end of July. Although I do not know the exact reasons these businesses have closed, as a small business owner in New York City I can empathize. Rising rents, smaller profit margins, declining sales, taxes, increasing shipping costs and burnout all compete to make running a small business in NYC very difficult. It is not easy owning a small business in such an expensive city. Why do we do it then? Because we love what we do. The life I have lived since opening Bitter & Esters has been intense. Long hours, low pay, stress, anxiety, and hard work are the norm. That said, we have met awesome people, made new friends, and helped them with a hobby that is incredibly rewarding. We’ve established and supported a strong community of like minded people and drank a lot of killer beers. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s obvious the landscape of NYC is changing, as it always has. Businesses come and go, but I’ve recently started to see more small businesses closing. These closings are part of a disturbing trend and should act as a wake up call to us all. We make the community we want to live in by opening local businesses and by supporting local businesses. It may sound like a cliche, but without you the customer, we don’t exist. You have no idea how much we appreciate you. By shopping local you keep the businesses you love in business and you make the neighborhood better for it. A small business in NYC doesn’t have the luxury of low rent, or lots of space, so they can buy in bulk and offer the lowest price. If you want low price, shop the internet. Online stores have giant warehouses in low rent areas and benefit from economies of scale. What we offer you first and foremost, is a community. People who care about you and what you are doing. In our case we sincerely care about you and your beer. If your beer sucks then you’ll be unhappy and you won’t make any more. We want you to make awesome beer and we’re here to help you. We also sponsor events like the NYC Brewer’s Pro-AM, bring in homebrewing luminaries like John Palmer, Charlie Papazian and the Mad Fermentationist. Our monthly beer swap has even grown into a new homebrewing club (the Brewminaries) that had the chance to brew with local breweries like Rockaway Brewing Company. We love our community and want to make sure it continues to thrive. You cannot put a price on that. So remember, you are the one who decides the type of community you will live in. Support your local business if you want them in your life.
Thanks John & Doug