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Golden Road bets big on craft beer

Marketplace visited the craft brewers Golden Road at their facility in Los Angeles.

Marketplace visited the Los Angeles-based Golden Road brewery.

The craft beer industry keeps getting bigger. The Brewers Association reports that in 2013, the market share of craft beer in the United States had grown to 7.8 percent. Breweries are popping up all across the country including in Los Angeles, where Golden Road Brewing has enjoyed three years of tremendous growth.

Meg Gill and Tony Yanow launched Golden Road in 2011. Their facility now includes a large brewing space, canning line, and a pub. Their beers can be found in grocery stores and restaurants in the area. Their most recent deal puts Golden Road beer in airports across the country, rolling out this summer.

The brewery has been able to find the niche within craft beer with their Los Angeles-based business, Gil says.

“This market is enormous” she says. “We’re already too big for our boots in some accounts.”

Yanow says even with all their growth in the past three years, Golden Road is still far away from achieving the size of the Boston Beer Company, the brewers of Samuel Adams. Gill says craft brewers owe a lot of their success to Boston Beer.

“I think that Jim Koch* and that company is one of the most talented businesses in America and they have brought craft beer back to America,” she says.

Yanow acknowledges the number of new breweries opening will slow. “At some point, the rate of growth, of expansion into new breweries has to stop because eventually," he says. "You have more breweries than people.”

But Yanow’s not too worried about a craft beer bubble. “The real question is, can you put the toothpaste back into the tube?... People who like our beer and people who like craft beer like our beer and they’re not going to stop liking our beer.”


*CORRECTION: The original version of this story gave the incorrect name for Jim Koch. The text has been corrected.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

Marketplace visited the Los Angeles-based Golden Road brewery.

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