Stay Apparel Co. sells T-shirts, but we derive as much inspiration from the craft beer industry as from other clothing brands.
The bond that successful craft brewers have with their customers is something that any startup company should want to emulate. Craft beer is a great fit for makers and pop-up markets in general and Stay in particular.
On Sept. 14, we’re participating in the York Flea, which will take place at Collusion Tap Works in downtown York. That day, we’ll also be at Creatively Lancaster, which is citing the availability of craft beer — not to mention the participation of 60-plus vendors — at Clipper Magazine Stadium. On multiple occasions, we’ve celebrated the conclusion of a Harrisburg Flea with a stop at Millworks.
And this month, we’re introducing our Pennsylvania Craft Beer design, which will be available on a unisex tee and on a pint glass. The design celebrates Pennsylvania’s distinction — three years running — of being the No. 1 producer (by number of barrels) of craft beer in the United States.
Pennsylvania’s 354 breweries produced more than 3.7 million barrels of craft beer in 2018, according to the trade group Brewers Association. The number of breweries placed Pennsylvania sixth in the United States.
The list of the top 50 craft brewing companies is led by D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. in Pottsville and also includes Artisanal Brewing Ventures (which includes Victory Brewing in Downingtown) at No. 11 and Troegs at 27.
‘Telling local stories’
Besides making great beer, Pennsylvania’s craft brewers have proven to be catalysts for economic development in their communities. It’s true for new breweries and some venerable ones alike, such as Straub’s in St. Marys, Elk County, which dates to 1872 and in June unveiled a new visitor center and tap room.
“These breweries are preserving small traditional main streets, renovating unique architectural buildings, and telling local stories with their naming of their beers,” said Alison Feeney, the author of “For the Love of Beer: Pennsylvania’s Breweries.”
To be fair, similar stories are playing out across the United States. But Pennsylvania’s craft beer industry generated an economic impact of $5.8 billion in 2016, the most recent year for which numbers are available, second only to $7.3 billion in California, which has a population four times greater than the Keystone State’s.
In addition to Feeney’s book, you’ll find another overview of the Pennsylvania craft beer industry in the form of the documentary “Poured in Pennsylvania,” which can be viewed on Amazon Prime.
Both resources are road maps to taking road trips to Pennsylvania craft breweries and, more than that, discovering parts of the state that you otherwise might not visit. What’s more, the craft beer culture is a reminder to American consumers that there’s great value in spending their money locally.
Such a change in mindset can only benefit the American maker community.
To this, we raise a Pennsylvania Craft Beer pint glass in salute.