True Wyoming Entrepreneurship: Craft Beer and Liquor
When you look at the industry of craft beer and liquor in the state of Wyoming, an outsider may see something not particularly noteworthy. But locals, those who call the state their home, see the growing enterprise as a return to Wyoming roots, with enterprising spirits and keeping things local as they grow the local economy.
With only 28 breweries registered in the state, and eight small distilleries, it doesn't seem like a big industry, especially when compared to the energy industries in the state. But when you consider how quickly these breweries and distilleries cropped up in the least-populous state in the US, you realize how it's a growing phenomenon that's revitalizing the Wyoming economy.
New Food Economy covered this phenomena in a recent article, saying: "The movement is about building processing infrastructure locally and keeping money circulating in home communities, no matter how modest their size. It’s symbolic of an attitude that hasn’t been prevalent in Wyoming since WWII."
And that's true, when you consider that one part of Wyoming once tried to create its own state to keep from being a part of the New Deal, with worry that Wyoming would no longer be self-sufficient. In fact, the city that was named the capitol of Absaroka, Sheridan, has two breweries itself.
The state of micro-breweries and micro-distilleries in the Cowboy State, with the local focus of ingredients, distribution, and infrastructure, keeps the enterprising spirit of Wyoming alive and well into the 21st century.