Friday, September 26, 2008

What Would Joe Microbrewer Do?

Before we get into today's topic, Madison was named the Number 5 beer town in college football. Strangely, the thing that put us over Number 6, Columbus, OH was the Great Dane. Ahead of Madison: Fort Collins, CO (Colorado State? Seriously? That counts as college football?); Eugene, OR (Madison West); Boulder, CO (Madison Mountain); and Seattle, WA (16 brewpubs!? about 600K people, or twice the size of Madison, that's one brewpub for every 37,500 people).

Today it's time to play "what if". I got thinking last night as the final touches were being put on the financial industry bailout package: $700 BILLION is a lot of money to throw away on poorly run companies. What if we actually used that money to give a boost to one of the few growing industries in the United States - craft brewers?

Think about that. $700 Billion. $700,000,000,000.00 There are 300 million people in the United States. That's $2333.33 for every single person; not just tax payers, but persons, 1 day olds and 101 year olds alike. Heck, giving every person half that, gets you an 80% approval rating and the drooling adoration of an entire political party. And, you'd still have enough money to save a bank or two.

According to the Brewers Association there are 1,463 craft breweries in the United States. If we, instead of bailing out the financial industry, instead supported the most American of industries, there would be enough money in the bailout package to give $478,468,899.52 to every craft brewery.

Ok. Sorry. Article is over. That's absurd. The point of this article was going to be: what would you do if you were a craft brewery and you were given your pro-rata share of the bailout? But $478 MILLION dollars for every craft brewery in the United States? That's ludicrous.

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