Published Sat, Dec 3, 2011 6:45 am Dateline
A new business is taking off in Ohio and it's centered around beer.
No, Bud and Miller are not opening up production plants in the Buckeye State, this growth is on a smaller-scale.
Local breweries are popping up all over.
Jackie O's is one of those and is located in Athens.
Brewmaster Brad Clark says the increase in local breweries is happening in Southeast Ohio and around the nation.
"I think more and more we're finding people are getting into craft beer. As they get into craft beer, they start to realize that's there's local breweries that are producing beers or brew pubs that are producing beers as well, that they can go visit that aren't far from their homes. So, they're beginning to check those out and are finding some really tasty beer there," says Clark.
Clark says 400 new breweries are expected to open in 2012.
It's a trend that started about seven years ago and Clark says the idea of opening a local brewery is now hitting its stride.
For Jackie O's, Clark says the popularity of buying local beer has allowed them to buy more equipment and produce more product.
But, it's also given the brewery some flexibility it didn't have before.
"It's also given us an opportunity to experiment a lot more with our beers and create some really interesting and innovative products that are getting some accolades from all across the nation," says Clark.
Clark says people are discovering that craft beer is something that pairs well with dinner.
A spot that's long been reserved for wines and spirits.
But, Clark, who admits he might be biased, says craft beer goes better with dinner than wine.
And he's hopeful that as more local breweries pop up, more people will give local craft beer a shot.