The goal is to have 500 varieties from some 300 brands, and that includes Columbia’s local brewers. Passionate devotees have created a culture that emphasizes learning about and sharing craft brew, primarily through a group called Columbia Beer Enthusiasts. And that culture has celebrated and supported the city’s brewers. Troubles spur litigation Those legal fees stemmed from troubled business relationships between the founders and the franchisees that erupted into litigation. Schalow and Baker were two beer lovers working at Cambridge Common when they spotted the growing demand for unique brews taking off across the country.

The Craft Beer Cellar store in Fort Point is one of five that announced they were closing in the past five weeks. The others are in Swampscott, Winchester, Roslindale, and Columbia, Mo. Craft Beer Cellar™ is on a quest to continue contributing to the advancement of the small but mighty, Craft Beer Industry – an industry that has more than doubled in sales in the past 10 years! There are over 5000 Craft Breweries in the US, with another 2000 in planning. There is enormous potential for growth in this $100 billion dollar industry, as Craft Beer comprises only 11% of the market. Our customers are the reason we exist and you should expect to be treated like you are important to us!

As those cases were pending, other franchisees took to the website Glassdoor to voice their frustrations. The owners of the Fenway store have also been in a similar legal dispute with Schalow and Baker over the proximity of the Fort Point store. “We’ve met some of our best friends there,” a game night host Rebecca Czebrinski said.

Three breweries have sprouted within the past two years, and many restaurants, bars, liquor stores and grocers have started prioritizing serving local craft beer. Another franchisee shared documents with the Globe created by the founders that set his projected first-year sales at $800,000. Instead, he saw just over half of that, and said he never took a salary. “I took a twenty from the safe once to buy a pizza,’’ he said. Several franchisees also told the Globe they paid more than double the projected startup costs in the franchise agreement, which put them deep in the red before they even opened. Some franchise owners, like Andy Bajaj, co-owner of the Westford store, say they’re thriving.

All three are working on Cicerone certification, which is to beer what sommelier is to wine. Steffens said the decision to go with Baker and Schalow was easy. The franchise arrangement offers the training, means and brand resources so he and his partners can focus on building a community around good beer. The judge ordered Schalow and Baker to pay $125,000 to the owners of the Sudbury store, and $150,000 to Loranger, whose store national homebrewers conference 2016 closed last year. In 2015, the owner of a Framingham store, Patrick Loranger, protested to Schalow that she had a Craft Beer Cellar store opening less than 5 miles away in Sudbury, in violation of his franchise agreement. One franchisee, who asked not to be identified because he feared retribution, provided the Globe with projected revenue numbers from the founders suggesting he’d make $1 million in revenue in his first year.

You could go to itap and have way more taps to choose from, but it feels cold and corporate in there. (I know itap is a local Missouri company and Craft Beer Cellar is a franchise, I’m just saying how they feel to me). To me CBC is a much more comfortable place to be, and you can hang out there at one of the tables they have in the front. As a retail outlet they offer much greater flexibility than other stores in that every beer is available as a single.