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Choice Beverage: Selling Craft Beer and Fine Wine Since 2008

By Marina Jokic

Owner of Choice Beverage, Sid Patel relates the story of how he became interested in craft beer and wine and eventually decided to open his own shop. Located in McKinney, Texas, Choice Beverage introduced a wide variety of local craft beer and fine wines to the city, having been the first such shop in the area. Patel works with his brother in managing the shop and providing their customers with a unique and interesting selection of spirits.

"It all started back in 2008 when I had the Goose Island beer in Chicago for the first time," recollects Patel of his original inspiration. Goose Island beers are known to be overpowering, but slowly, Patel says, he really grew to love the beverage.

Following the brothers' move to Dallas, they decided to start looking for a suitable location for their new business venture, and McKinney fit the bill quite well. Having no craft beer shop of its own, the town was in desperate need of one. Patel recognized that as a prime business opportunity, and a way to fulfil the people's growing need for craft beverages.

Initially, Choice Beverage could not offer a rich selection to its customers, but slowly their collection grew in response to customer demand. As the business grew, so did its clientele, and the Patels could not fill their shelves fast enough. "In the process, we saw [that] IPA, Belgian, and German beers were very popular at that time, so we tried to keep a wide variety from various breweries," says Patel.

Eventually, the public started demanding local craft beers, and Choice Beverage had to adapt pretty quickly to the new trend. "People want local and fresh?we even used to drive to Houston, Austin and San Antonio to get their local brewery beers because they were very popular, and we were getting lots of requests from customers," adds Patel. Choice Beverage was the only shop to carry Texas beers outside of the DFW breweries.

"Now, it's all about local beers," exclaims Patel, pleased to have responded to customer trends in the nick of time. His shop used to carry a meager quantity of local beers, but today, the shop specializes in them. Altogether, there are over eight hundred varieties of draft beers in the shop. "There are so many different beers out there that we sometimes have to consider what to bring in due to space restriction," he adds?a good problem to have.

Although Choice Beverage's claim to fame and signature product is draft beer, they also offer some fine wines to satisfy the palate of even the most discerning connoisseur. "Although I am not a big wine fan, I still enjoy a good Chardonnay or Moscato once in a while," Patel points out. His favorite styles of beer are IPA, Sour, Stout and seasonal beers. In preparation for the fall, Choice Beverage is stocking up on Oktoberfest and pumpkin beers.

The secret to the shop's success is Patel's passion for interacting with his customers. He simply enjoys good conversation, and most of all, figuring out what beer or wine to recommend to a particular client.

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About The Author

Marina Jokic holds a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College in Russian and East...

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