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When we opened our first store, near six years ago, we very much defined ourselves by the Brewer's Association definition of a craft brewer, which at the time, seemed appropriate, though it's worth noting that the Brewer's Association is a trade organization, intent on defining a brewer, not a retail bottle shop or bar. As we grew and watched the very small industry around us grow, we realized that it was time we figured out who the heck we were.
Much of 2014 was spent hammering out our mission (and trinity): amazing beer, education and hospitality! The first four years of our business was spent not buying or selling beer that was brewed by those breweries that controlled the majority of the beer brewed in the world, breweries like AB-InBev, MillerCoors, and Cerveceria Costa Rica. In late 2014 we made a decision to stop dividing ourselves from others, by what beer we bought and sold. We actually wanted to stop keeping score and let what was at our core be the shining star in our stores: really amazing beer!
So craft beer, to us, is incredible beer. It's that simple!
We are a craft beer bottle shop, whose primary focus has always been the best beer that we can get our hands on. We spend our lives in search of beers made in breweries just down the street or on the other side of the world, that are well-crafted and good examples of either their style or what we think excellent beer should be, keeping in mind that "style" is not everything. We are not snobs, we are beer geeks! We are students of our trade and take great pride in learning everything we can about beer; how it's made, what the ingredients are, what we should drink it from, what food a beer pairs well or can be made with. We like to tinker with draft systems, tap faucets and kegs, and have been known to brew some pretty ridiculous beer, ourselves. We are your local beer bottle shop and in many states, draft bar for growler fills or in-store draft service. Many of our stores offer limited food service as well as an extensive selection of books, glassware and homebrew supplies. We are good beer, good people, and good times!
All beer geeks in all of our stores are, at minimum, are Cicerone Certified Beer Servers and many go on to obtain higher certifications. Rest assured that we have studied & researched every single beer in all of our stores, before we made a decision to put it on the shelf.
Our customers are the reason we exist and you should expect to be treated like you are important to us! We carry boxes to cars, make great eye contact, genuinely care how your day is going, and are not afraid to own our mistakes, if we screw something up. In addition to great beer and education, we promise that you'll always have an awesome experience at any Craft Beer Cellar!
And yeah, call us a Franchise if you like, because that’s what we are, but we’re also a family of independently owned Craft Beer Cellar stores. We are committed to driving the growth and awareness of craft beer through hospitality, education and support of exceptional beer. Craft beer isn’t a section of the store for us . . . it’s what we are all about!
Jon Steffens, Dan Campbell & Steve Labac