Friday, April 17, 2009

Zymurgeeks at the Capitola Book Cafe

In an effort to create community and to support a local business, the Zymurgeek homebrew club gave a presentation Wednesday night at the Capitola Book Cafe drawing a large and supportive crowd. With the rapid expansion of on-line book sales through businesses like Amazon and mega retailers like Borders, the small local book stores are fighting an up hill battle to keep their customer loyalty and entice new patrons. As unfortunate as this is, it is becoming the norm regarding small, independent retailers of all kinds and can be seen in every town in America. It seems the days of small town America are over. I'm not going to belabor a point that has been hashed and re-hashed in the daily news and blog forums and is obvious to most but, I will point out that when a person buys goods on line or from a gianormous box store, the money spent leaves the community, etching away at the local commerce. This erosion of the local economy not only effects every ones financial livelihood but maybe more importantly, undermines the quality of our lives by creating a separation that isolates us from each other.

To begin the evening, several members gave talks on beer taxes and the daunting prospects for a huge tax increase in Oregon followed by a brief overview of how to get started brewing with malt extract. As the presenters talked, a variety of brewing books were discussed and pointed out as available to purchase or special order. A large number of books were taken home that evening.

Then we poured home brew to all interested. We had about 8 kegs of beer on tap and a keg of mead all donated by the club members. The audience was impressed and lingered to taste and ask questions about home brewing, the club and our connection with the Capitola Book Cafe. At the end of the evening, we gathered our mostly empty kegs to head home and congratulated each other on a successful event. I look forward to the next opportunity to build alliances, and connect with my neighbors while supporting a local business through home brewed beer.

Comment below to share your ideas of creating community.


nursemedic97 said...

I dunno, Uncle Mark... points well taken, but Borders Books' corporate headquarters is right here in Ann Arbor, MI and they've had to lay off a few dozen people in an already crippled Michigan economy. Now, Barnes & Noble coming in and taking over previously independant college textbook stores, THAT'S another story. :-)

Your nephew-in-law, Mike Long

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,
the economic effects of the corporate headquarters in the town they do business in may be the exception to the rule. However, all of the money from our local economy that goes to Borders' corporate offices probably has less impact on Ann Arbor than the impact it would have here. I don't have any statistics on this assumption so I could be way off base in saying this. The consumption (dollars spent) on the part of Borders' employees in Ann Arbor would be the benefit but the majority of the surplus profits would be stashed away in an accumulation of uncirculated monies. I think on a smaller, local scale much of that profit gets reintroduced.
Thanks for supporting the blog.

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