Podcast: Session 28 – The Power of Synergy in the Craft Beer Community


There’s no denying the synergy and cohesiveness that exists in craft beer circles throughout the world. Brewers are constantly looking out for one another – helping solve technical issues whenever possible, providing guidance to new breweries as they get started, even lending ingredients on a brew day when a fellow brewer finds themselves short of what they need. It’s a dynamic not seen in many other industries. If you go back to Session 13 of the podcast, Poured in PA’s Nate Kresge commented, “If a pizza shop runs out of dough, they don’t call the shop up the street to see if they can borrow some to get them by.” That shop owner would laugh and hang up the phone before they even finish asking.

It’s quite the opposite in the beer industry. Everyone is in it together. Some may say it’s a battle against big beer. Others look at it more internally – they had a passion, they understood what it took to start a business, they brew good beer, they ran with it. Whatever the case may be, the beer industry is still growing and more people are gravitating to artisanal beer options as the supply continues its uptick.

In Session 28 of the Breaking Brews Podcast, Jason Cercone is joined by Dominic Cincotta, one half of Co-Star Brewing in Pittsburgh, to discuss synergy in the beer industry. This subject and the subsequent conversation that unfolds on today’s show contains several layers and takes many different directions – all leading back to one universal truth: breweries working together within a region can create a nationwide destination in which people want to visit, thus spiking tourism at multiple junctures, including art, culinary, and, of course, beer itself.

A few years back, Dom earned his doctoral degree from Robert Morris University. For his dissertation, he chose to focus his research and attention on beer brands in the Pittsburgh region and how they classified themselves within the community. The scene was drastically smaller as Dom’s research came together, but it’s interesting to see how brands established themselves prior to the enormous rise of social media we see today, as well as how many new brands have fit into the criteria Dom used to compile his thesis – even if they weren’t trying to do so on purpose.

With continued camaraderie and synergy in the Pittsburgh region, we’ve seen our area become a destination recognized by beer enthusiasts across the country. Allegheny County alone holds more brewery within its borders than any other county in Pennsylvania…and that doesn’t include the wealth of incredible breweries outside of those borders, but still a critical part of the Pittsburgh region’s beer appeal. The Pittsburgh Brewers Guild has worked together to create the Pittsburgh Brewery Guide, a roadmap that helps enthusiasts experience each brewery and helps them earn rewards for visiting them all.

This is not unlike the rise and growth of destinations like Asheville, San Diego, Denver, and Portland…just to name a few.

All in all, today’s conversation provides positive reinforcement that brands working together in their communities can help establish wins for everyone. Working individually and not helping your fellow brewery can lead to unnecessary rifts throughout the region and, subsequently, less progress made towards establishing a destination that attracts beer enthusiasts near and far.

MUSIC CREDIT: All music heard on today’s session of the Breaking Brews Podcast is courtesy of purple-planet.com.


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