retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

We've all read and heard about the burgeoning craft beer business, but in Sandy, Oregon, one landowner wants to put his money where his mouth is. Or, more precisely, his real estate where his thirst is.

According to the Oregonian, Mark Benson owns an eight-acre piece of land that one passes on the way to and from Mt. Hood, and he's decided that it would be a perfect spot for a brewpub. But not being a brewer himself, he's posted a large sign on the land:

FREE LAND for BREWPUB.

Benson even is willing to become a partner in the construction of the brewpub, if he can just find someone to take him up on his offer.

The story says that Benson originally hoped to pen a car dealership on the property, but those plans fell through. "In the meantime, he started getting familiar with Oregon's burgeoning craft-brewing industry and became convinced the property would be ideal for a large brewpub and restaurant. Knowing that Sandy's location might be an issue for some, he decided to increase the incentive to build by offering the land for free."

He has the support of local officials, who'd like to see the town's restaurant options expanded, as well as the new jobs that a brewpub would bring. So Benson waits, with just one caveat: While he's willing to be a partner in the construction, he wants nothing to do with the actual brewing.

"I'm a beer drinker, but I have my limitations," he says. "I don't even want an employee discount."

It is a unique sort of entrepreneurship and, in its own way, an Eye-Opener.
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