In my experiences walking by the beer sections in grocery stores and growing up with my dad being a self-proclaimed craft beer connoisseur, I have seen a lot of local brews. While each craft brewery has its own unique name and plenty of beers on its list, they each tend to cover most of the basic beer bases. Very rarely do you see a brewery without some sort of lager, ale, and/or IPA. These three are standard because of demand in the United States, but breweries are not barred from also producing pilsners, stouts, or porters
While each brewery has a different recipe and style to its brews, this uniqueness is not what generates demand. In my opinion, these breweries are also playing into the craze of supporting local goods. In groceries all over America there are more and more locally grown goods being sold, so why not the same for beer? These breweries are playing up the growing trend of hometown pride. We see this evidenced by Blue Lab as Hugh mentioned in his post, where most of the revenue comes from locals buying from their local brewery. This is also the case with Devils Backbone around Rockbridge County: when people go out to buy “nice beer” they frequently come back with Devils Backbone.
During my time in London this summer, a few W&L students and I stumbled upon a pub where, on the list of 20 beers, we found Devils Backbone’s Vienna Lager. Although there were plenty of beers that we could have bought, we chose the lager out of a feeling of pride for our local brewery. We enjoyed being able to tell the bar tender that we went to school a short drive away from where that American brewery was based.