Another great article, this time in the Small Business section of today’s Wall Street Journal, discussing the rise of microbreweries and brewpubs even during today’s lean economic times. Seems more and more people are turning to locally-produced, high quality craft beer instead of alternatives like wine or spirits, and smart entrepreneurs are recognizing the opportunity. Recent sales numbers from the Brewers Association seem to back that up.

The story highlights Metropolitan Brewing in Chicago, who I’ve been following on Twitter for a while (@MetroBrewing), as well as Cigar City Brewing, a start-up down in Tampa, Fla. Interesting to note that most of these folks raised somewhere in the neighborhood of $500,000-800,000 just to get off the ground with their breweries, even more if it’s a brewpub. Not a small sum when banks these days are more intensely scrutinizing business plans and distributors are balking at untested brands.