A Legend growing in Richmond

From the Richmond (VA) Times Dispatch:

Fans of locally brewed beer have at least one good thing to look forward to in 2009.

Even with the economy in a downturn, managers at Legend Brewing Co. in South Richmond say they are forging ahead with plans to add production capacity at its brewing operation adjacent to its pub on West Seventh Street.

The microbrewery, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, sells its beer at retail stores in 22-ounce bottles now. But in the next few months, Legend is planning to start selling at least some of its beer in six packs of 12-ounce bottles.

Asked what the recession means for the business, Legend President Tom Martin had a straightforward answer: "There is a lot of bad news in the economy, but people still need to live, and they still want to have a good time."

Consumers typically keep hoisting the beers during a downturn, according to industry observers. The Nielsen Co., a consumer research firm, considers beer one of the most recession-resistant consumer products.

The Brewers Association, an industry trade group, reported that sales of craft beer -- beverages made by more than 1,400 regional, independent breweries in the U.S. -- were up more than 6 percent by volume in the first half of 2008, after growth of about 12 percent for all of 2007.

[Go here for the rest of the story.]

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