So one of the most asked questions that we have been asked is, “Is the market saturated in Charleston?” or “Is there enough room for another brewery in Charleston?”
We have been working on our business plan very diligently and this question is one that HAS to be answered before we move forward.
The research that we have done makes the answer a bit elusive and somewhat difficult to determine, although there have yet to be any indications of market saturation in regional markets with a very high density of breweries per capita. This is good news for us and for the Charleston beer scene in general.
Portland, Oregon has the distinction of having more craft breweries than any other city in the world at 52 (current as of our research), and they continue to grow. In the greater Portland area, they boast more than 70 total breweries. Charleston currently has 11 Breweries. To put this into perspective, the population of the Greater Charleston area is around 698,000 while Portland’s population around 610,000. The Charleston area has a greater population than Portland, while the greater Portland area has more than 6 times the number of active breweries in operation. With the explosive growth experienced by almost every craft brewery in the greater Charleston area, it is a reasonable conclusion that the greater Charleston area has room for growth of the craft beer industry.
I AM starting to get concerned about the ever-dwindling shelf space and tap availability. I have even seen reference to SKU-maggedon, or the overabundance of craft-beers for retailers who will eventually not have space no matter how high-quality and well-differentiated the beer is. I DO think that this is catastrophic thinking and fear-mongering, but I WILL keep my eyes on it.
Regardless, as far as I am concerned is that YES, there is room for another brewery here in Charleston. It might as well be us.