David vs. Goliath

How three mighty mites have managed to carve out niches in the face of competition from brewers big and small, Amazon, and SAP's Ariba software unit.

Oskar Blues vs. MillerCoors
DAV18 oskar blues

The challenge: Getting a toehold in a market with more than 2,000 U.S. craft brewers and a few dominant global titans.

What he did: Dale Katechis, 44, never expected to run a multimillion-dollar operation when he started Oskar Blues Restaurant in tiny Lyons, Colo., in 1997. "Banks wouldn't lend me any money," recalls Katechis, who used credit card cash advances for seed money. But when he started brewing beer in the basement and, later, canning customer favorites like Dale's Pale Ale, the company took off. His beer operation soon spread to a nearby 100-year-old barn and eventually to a 43,000-square-foot brewery too. Now one of the fastest-growing U.S. craft brewers, Oskar Blues has annual sales of $31 million. It launched a production facility in Brevard, N.C., in December -- as well as a mountain-bike startup called REEB Cycles. Yep, that's "beer" spelled backward.


  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated February 28 2013 10:44 AM ET
Join the Conversation
More David vs. Goliath stories
Shoplet vs. Staples

How it's taking on Staples, Office Depot, and an army of smaller office-products stores.

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.