Interesting. Retail outfits are testing all the time ideas and I'm surprised they haven't tried this before at one location as they are doing now.
Maybe I'm reading the article differently but there is no suggestion that any beer would be brewed on site. Hence, no Starbucks brand beer or even in-house beer. Rather this would simply be another means to generate foot traffic and revenue for select Starbucks - that is if the test at this one single store is overwhelmingly positive.
Again getting way ahead of the article, but even if they did have some select stores selling beer they likely would buy local micro and craft brews.
The next generation Whole Foods stores, for example, have in-store bar stations to drink beer and wine.
Still I doubt too many of their stores could ever realistically offer beer. Much of their labor is under 21 which would make serving an issue and new permits to serve alcohol in many metro areas are difficult to come by.
Personally in terms of threats I'm surprised that a Wal-Mart, for example, hasn't explored selling a private beer brewed for them by one of the major outfits. They have a hunger for private goods and beer cannot be that far off from the next point of focus.
Well the latest out of Seattle is that Starbucks was happy enough with the test marketing to pursue the addition of beer and wine in their stores in select markets. I for one feel that this is a good thing.
The test stores in Seattle featured "premium" imported brands like Stella and regional craft brands like Alaskan and Red Hook and I would suspect that this would be the case as they role this program out in other markets.
My hope is other chain restaurants will pick up on this trend and put on tap handles that are craft exclusives so perhaps we'll start to see more craft beer in more places.