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How craft beer saved the book store

21 April 2017

From IndyStar:

Craft beer and books go together like F. Scott and Zelda. At least it seems so. Books and Brews, a brewery and used book store combination, is a love story that is expanding quickly through Indiana.

The community pub for creatives hangs on the nostalgia of classic literary and film references. Beers don names like Clifford Irish-style Red and Charlie Chocolate Milk Stout. There are no TVs. The furniture is handmade. Clay mugs are handspun. Donated books line the walls at a cost of only $3 each. Ongoing events include trivia and movie nights, open mic jams, and Settlers of Catan tournaments.

. . . .

In a world where Barnes & Nobles bookstores are closing, and screens are taking over, Books and Brews owner Jason Wuerfel is gaining momentum. He always wanted to open a bookstore, but craft beer is making it possible.

“The death of the bookstore actually works in our favor because it is a model that people can be near to books and still pay the rent,” he laughed.

Link to the rest at IndyStar and thanks to Dave for the tip.

PG probably doesn’t need to mention it, but he will: Sales of used books make no money for either the author or the publisher.


10 Comments to “How craft beer saved the book store”

  1. Apparently the trick with “saving bookstores” always involves something other than selling books.

    • The ‘books’ are a sideline. And used books at that, so it won’t save trad-pub or help writers – other than to get more eyes on their stories maybe (or used for a coaster.)

  2. Donated books

    Not a bookstore.

    • I mean seriously – http://www.booksnbrews.com/books

    • Yeah. Their thing is beer not books.

      • I visit several retail outlets fairly frequently, and browse their racks of “how-to” books. One of them, I also take a look at their selection of local history books.

        However, they don’t call themselves “bookstores.” They call themselves “hardware stores.”

        Next time I see him, I’ll suggest to the franchise owner that he start calling his place a bookstore. Maybe he, too, will get a long gushing write-up in the local paper.

  3. Being here in Indianapolis myself, I’ve been to this place a number of times, and covered it for TeleRead a time or two. At least when I went there, it wasn’t really much of a bookstore, but I haven’t been lately and I seem to recall hearing they did put some effort into reorganizing their shelves.

  4. I got the same nonsense nearby with a place that calls itself Book Cafe. It sells espresso and the like and books. Oh, and crap tea. Too badly lit to read. It has lasted longer than I thought it would, but I don’t see them franchising this concept.

    • Boy, not the same one since it closed three years ago, but what a sad one.


      “We’re just spent, in every sense of the word,” said the Book Café’s co-owner Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld. “We really, really tried. We threw everything against the wall. But we were never able to find a permanent, game-changing solution. We were only able to find band-aids that bought us a bit more time.”

      “[…]because of these struggles, we’re better operators than we’ve ever been. We’re leaner and meaner. We understand the business better. But we can’t escape the debts and the losses we incurred when times were tough.”

  5. Craft beer and books go together like F. Scott and Zelda.

    Umm…didn’t F. Scott and Zelda spend a great deal of time fighting like cats and dogs? I vaguely remember reading one of F. Scott’s diary entries that was along the lines of The only thing I remember about Rome is that Zelda and I had a terrific fight.

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