Academic journal article Southeastern Geographer

Under-Tapped? an Analysis of Craft Brewing in the Southern United States

Academic journal article Southeastern Geographer

Under-Tapped? an Analysis of Craft Brewing in the Southern United States

Article excerpt

Over the last thirty years, the United States has experienced rapid growth in the number of operational breweries. The huge increase has been primarily in the form of craft breweries. We argue that craft brewery expansion fits well within resource partitioning theory in which firms that serve small niche markets challenge the monopolistic competition of the multinationals that dominate the brewing industry. Further, we suggest that a greater degree of resource partitioning is present in locales with more attractive and creative urban attributes, which helps to explain why large disparities in craft breweries exist at the regional level, with the South being the most poorly represented. The main focas of analysis is on metropolitan areas throughout the South and the country as a whole. Socio-economic, demographic, and situational characteristics that are argued to be relevant lifestyle attributes of the craft beer-consuming populace are entered into separate stepwise regional and rational regression models in an attempt to explain the per capita distribution of craft breweries. Neither the regional nor the national regression models produced a high degree of explanatory power, indicating that the spatial distribution of the craft brewing industry is one complicated by other issues such as legal, moral and religious ones. Southern MSAs still contain the lion's share of the region's craft breweries whereas diffusion down the urban hierarchy typifies the expansion of craft brewing in states outside of the South.

En los ultimos treinta anos, Estados Unidos ha experimentado un rapido crecimiento en el numero de fabricas de cerveza en funcionamiento. Este gran aumento ha sido principalmente en forma de cervecerias artesanales. Argumentamos que la expansion de lus cervecerias artesanales encaja bien dentro de la teoria de division de recursos, en la cual las empresas que sirven a pequenos nichos de mercado representan un reto para la competencia monopolistica de los multinacionales que dominan la indastria cervecera. Ademas, sugerimos que un mayor grado de distribucion de recursos esta presente en lugares con atributos urbanos mas atractivos y creativos, lo que ayuda a explicar por que existen las grandes disparidades en cervecerias artesanales a nivel regional, siendo el Sur el peor representado. El enfoque principal del analisis es en areas metropolitanus en todo el Sur, y el pais en su totalidad. Las caracteristicas socioeconomicas y demograficas urbanas, y los factores sitaacionales demostraron ser importantes para los estilos de vida en los cuales el consumo de cervezas artesanales es un componente importante, son introducidos en modelos separados por etapas regionales y nacionales en un intento por explicar la distribucion per capita de cervecerias artesanales. Ni los modelos de regresion regional ni nacional produjeron un alto grado de poder explicativo que indicara que la distribucion espacial de la industria cervecera artesanal es una afeetada por cuestiones legales, morales y religiosas. Los MSA del Sur todavia contienen la mayor parte de las cervecerias artesanales de la region, mientras que la difusion por la jerarquia urbana tipifica la expansion de la elaboracion de la cerveza artesanal en los estados fuera del Sur.

KEY WORDS: Craft brewing, hierarchical diffusion, resource partitioning theory, South, stepwise regression analysis

INTRODUCTION

Prohibition, as codified in the Eighteen Amendment to the Constitution, devastated the American beer brewing industry. But, even after the repeal of Prohibition in 1933 by the passage of the Twenty-First Amendment, instead of an increase in the number of breweries as might be expected, their numbers continued to dwindle. This decline persisted for the next several decades until the early 1980s. The decrease in the number of breweries was largely the result of corporate consolidation, with smaller, more locally-oriented breweries being swallowed up by emerging mega-brewers. …

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