There are interesting times, indeed. What is old, new, what is new, old. The world has gone on a rollercoaster ride, just to end up back on the platform two minutes or many years later, lately I can't tell which.
With the Dow Jones industrial cresting 11,000 last week, I noted that it was almost back to where it was when I lost my job two years ago. But, really so much has changed. I have recently read articles about Walmart and Target experimenting with small format stores (25,000 square feet instead of their typical 140,000-200,000). McDonald's started buying decent beef (it still tastes like its bad and it is bad for you, however), and trying to compete with Starbucks, and now Starbucks is deciding to experiment with local beers and wines in their Seattle stores to increase evening traffic.
This sounds like a new idea, but really, Starbucks and the craft beer movement were started about the same time and by the same person. Starbucks was co-founded by Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl and Gordon Bowker. Gordon Bowker later founded Redhook Brewery in the late 70's, one of the nation's first new breweries dubbed "microbreweries" since the end of prohibition. It seems fitting and interesting that Starbucks would delve into serving local beers and wines....I just hope that they don't decide to buy their own brand and instead focus on local products you may not have a chance to buy everywhere. If they do this, there might be yet another surge in the local pico or nanobrewery evolution. If they go with a brand, all hail the next King of Beers....not necessarily a good thing.
If Starbucks gets it right, it will localize their shops as a whole different hang out...otherwise they will just turn into another version of Applebee's.
Dear Starbucks. Hire me to run or implement this program....or offer to sell my beer.