San Diego Business Journal

Sober Assessment Time For Craft Brewing

Crowded Market, Limited Shelf Space and Other Factors Force Brewers to Have Solid Business Strategy By Lou Hirsh Originally published April 27, 2017 at 12:43 p.m., updated April 27, 2017 at 12:43 p.m.
   

Jim Crute owns and operates Lightning Brewery in Poway. He recently tested the waters for a possible sale of the company, but couldn’t find the right buyers. He is now downsizing parts of his operation and refocusing on customer service and brewing.

Jim Crute owns and operates Lightning Brewery in Poway. He recently tested the waters for a possible sale of the company, but couldn’t find the right buyers. He is now downsizing parts of his operation and refocusing on customer service and brewing. Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle.

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Jim Crute adds malted barley to the mix at his Poway brewery. He says it has gotten easier to start a brewery but tougher to keep one profitable.

— Brewers like Jim Crute, who has owned and operated Poway’s Lightning Brewery for the past decade, are finding that this is a critical time to assess their place in a craft beer industry where growth is slowing, and where retail shelf and tap space is getting increasingly tough to conquer...

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