Last Father’s Day, I wanted to buy my dad some beer. I went to the Simply Fresh where I lived at the time, which has a great selection, and found 12 different ales from four breweries, all within two miles of the store.

I was reminded of this last Sunday when reading an article in The Economist about how US microbreweries command 10% of the $100bn market. There’s a similar trend in the UK too.

One of my favourite pubs, for example, recently shut for a few months to set up a microbrewery in its back room. Meanwhile Crate, a tiny brewery in Hackney Wick, has recently had a number of lines listed in Waitrose.

If you’re not taking advantage of this growing market, you’re missing a trick. There are some great local producers, and new sales, on your doorstep. For example, a quick search found a family-run brewery less than a mile from my new home in Caversham and dozens more in the area.

There are some great local producers, and new sales, on your doorstep

If you are taking advantage, could you do more to boost trade and create some theatre? In a similar vein, I’ve written many times about the amazing artisan bread on sale in my old local shop in Mile End. Owner Paresh Patel told me he recently invited the baker to set up a stall outside the store and sold hundreds of loaves over two mornings.

Whether they’re a butcher, baker or craft beer maker, local producers share your passion for local people. Talking about their goods and holding tastings creates excitement and opportunities.

Your customers will love it. I hadn’t intended to buy my dad 12 bottles that Father’s Day, but the offer was so tempting I couldn’t resist picking up the full set.

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