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keep it regional

Early last summer, my mom and I took a trip up the coast of Maine.  We paused in Portland and stumbled upon the Shipyard Brewery (thank you, gps.)  We got there right in time for the tour and a tasting, and left with a six-pack to enjoy during the rest of our trip.  I got to really liking the beer, and started dreading the fact that it would likely not be available when we returned home.

Just as I expected, none of our local stores carry Shipyard.  It's a reasonably small brewery will limited distribution.  As much as I really do enjoy the beer, though, I appreciate that it has limited availability.  These sorts of regional specialties add flair and charm to places everywhere, and I would argue that they taste better after you haven't been able to have them for awhile.  It's that whole 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' argument, and I buy into it.  Could the same thing be true with products?  Would a Fisher-Price toy be more special if you could only buy it in upstate New York?  Is there even room to capitalize on this idea in the era of shopping online and international shipping?

(As an aside, I discovered that a liquor store across the state line carries Shipyard, and I have a six-pack...well, now a five-pack nestled in my fridge at this very moment.  Should you come across Shipyard, I recommend their export ale (the brewery's flagship beer) and their pumpkin ale (if it's in season.)  Cheers!)