Doug Quint should have been working on his dissertation in June 2009 when he decided he wanted a "fun summer job."
"I thought about being a butcher or an exterminator - just something crazy," he said. Then he saw a posting for an available ice cream truck, and New York's Big Gay Ice Cream Truck was born. He and his partner, Bryan Petroff, spent the summer turning out a more colorful version of Mister Softee - with far better ingredients. One summer turned into another and five years later, the pair - who left their other jobs two years into the venture - have launched a Big Gay empire (two storefronts in New York and one opening in LA this spring).
"Community-supported beer" doesn't just mean buying a pint at your local watering hole. For a growing number of upstart breweries, it's how they're getting their operations off the ground.
Queens' Big Alice Brewing - located in an old Bible warehouse near the water - opened its doors in June and is selling beer shares as a way to finance the brewery. Inspired by the concept of community-supported agriculture, in which people buy directly from farmers, CSB subscribers pay $200 and receive two large bottles of beer each month for six months.