BREWERY BUBBLE: In the waterfront Ballard section of Seattle, home to fishing shops, shipyards and boat fueling facilities for decades, six breweries have sprung up in the past two years. They joined Hale's Ales and Maritime Pacific Brewing, which both opened in Ballard in the 1990s.
Hale's Ales in 1995 took over a facility that had housed an industrial hose manufacturer and before that a maker of engines.
The neighborhood has become "softer," says Hale's Ales manager Phil O'Brien. "What used to be fishing shops are little restaurants — what used to be hardware stores are now coffee shops."
While Ballard is still a hub of maritime industry, it has landed higher-income apartment buildings and has attracted restaurants and nightlife.
BROOKLYN BRANDS: When Brooklyn Brewery opened in the Williamsburg section of the New York City borough in 1996, its neighbors were mostly deserted warehouses and factories. Today, Brooklyn Brewery is surrounded by modern apartment buildings, trendy bars, shops and restaurants. There's still some graffiti, but that hasn't deterred the influx of new residents willing to spend a lot of money to live there. In the past decade, home values in the Brewery's neighborhood have more than doubled — up 145 percent, according to real estate appraiser Miller Samuel. Brooklyn Brewery and another local craft brewer, Kelso, worry that rising property values will eventually force them out of their current neighborhoods.
ACROSS THE BAY: The tech boom has made one brewpub's growth plans more complicated. In San Francisco, 21st Amendment brewery is two blocks from AT&T Park where baseball's Giants play. Along with the bustling technology sector, 21st Amendment helped to transform the city's SoMa neighborhood.
"People refer to use as the granddaddy of the neighborhood," says 21st Amendment founder Nico Freccia.
Now the company wants to build an 80,000-square-foot brewery — but property values are too high. The company has opened offices in the East Bay, and is scouting space there for the brewery, hoping to help revitalize an Oakland neighborhood.