You're right on this front; however, this business is in this modern world long-term a loser financially, and by extension, culturally. The old tiny breweries don't make financial sense any more, what with competition from conglomerates they previously didn't have at the local Aldi/Rewe/etc. Also, the changed EU laws concerning inheritance and modernizing has doomed and will doom even more. Third, there market is demographically drastically shrinking with changing tastes of youth and the death of their remaining, aging customers. So, what to do? First, they can try to break out of their little Kaff, either via marketing or different distribution outlets, á la the internet. 2nd, they can develop other strategies like working with local farmers to assure quality. 3rd, focus on lowering costs/modernizing where possible without losing quality. 4th, they can develop their beer repertoire to play to their strengths and branch out into other styles that will command a higher profit margin. So, is this possible? Hell, yes, and I give 3 examples (mainly because I know them and don't know others, but here is where the BA community can play their role). Each has had a different approach, yet still used all 4 above methods. Schneider Weisse - I think we all know their philosophy and notice they are a great success. They're probably the best known of these due to their marketing abroad and collaborative work with Brooklyn Brewery. Brauhaus Faust - From Miltenberg. I know them only because I have visited their brewery, I live relatively nearby, and have come to know their line-up as well as philosphy. It's family owned and a traditional brewery. Nonetheless, they do all 4 of the above. Here is a list of their line-up, and notice: Faust Auswanderer Bier 1849 (Imp.IPA) - at 13,90 €/bottle. Now, will Germans pay this price? I'm not sure they will, yet, but look at the American craft beer consumer today vs. 20 years ago, and this is the business model that will be neccessary for niche brewers to occupy to compete with the Fernsehbiere. Besides, this is one wonderful beer, akin in taste to 3 Floyds Alpha King. Faust Holzfassgelagerter Eisbock - 16,90 €/bottle. I've sampled this on the brewery tour I took. Wonderfully aged in Wild Turkey wooden barrels, simply delicous. Faust Jahrgangsbock - 9,90 €/bottle. If you haven't already, please read my review on this beer here. Faust Brauerreserve 1237 - 19,90 €/bottle. Haven't had it, but I can only imagine how good it is based on the others I've had from Faust. Faust Schwarzviertler - Haven't had it, but it was featured in a 4 page article in BYO this month. Plus they have invested in modern equipment to become not only environmentally friendly but also to save costs, as well as staying with some traditional stuff. They also focus on sourcing and locally. All these factors are a major part of their marketing. 3. Pax Bräu. Ok, you can read about my love for this new brewery, but the owner is doing everything Imentioned above in being innovative while also maintaining the roots in Oberfranken tradition. For my otherexamples where I show my love for this one-man show, check out here and here. These are the examples of the new Craft brewers in Germany and where success will lie if they're willing to risk it. However, many older, family run enterprises won't have the wherewithal or ambition, and probably the prognosis for them isn't too rosy. I'm not saying that some small places will survive or that a small-scale, brewery/inn/restaurant model/approach will not work; in fact, I think they will, but that will not be a good business model for all small town brewers.