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Three years ago, the fizz started seeping out of the craft beer industry.
It was a nasty turnaround from the heady days of the 1980s and the early and mid-'90s, when the Redhooks and the Harts and the Samuel Adamses of the world were attracting plenty of attention. Invest in beer? It seemed somehow cool.
This was before software and the Internet burst onto the scene and made all other investments seem so trifling. But that's getting ahead of the story.
Beth and Tom Hartwell of Kalama were among the craft beer believers. In 1984, they created Hart Breweries Inc. The company grew along with the rest of the sector.
Five years later, the Hartwells sold their interest to five individuals, who began selling a number of beers under a new label, Pyramid. They changed the name of the company to Pyramid Breweries Inc. About the same time the company was preparing to go public.