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Impact of Craft Brewerys on Society

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Cultural Studies
Wordcount: 2304 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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When people decide to move to a new place the new communities usually have grocery stores, restaurants, and lately most of them have craft beer breweries. They are not just restaurants that serve beer, but they make craft beer at the location and distribute it to people (Thares). They are four type of craft breweries that you will see in a community a brew pub, micro brewery, regional craft brewery and a contract brewery company (Thares). A brew pub is restaurant brewery that sells 25% of its crafts beer on site (Thares). A Micro brewery is a brewery that sells 75% of its beer of site (Thares). Micro breweries sell to the public either directly to the customer, to wholesaler, or the retailer (Thares). A regional craft brewery is a brewery that specializes in traditional and innovative beer (Thares). A contract brewery company is a business that hires an outside brewery to produce its beer, distribute, sales, and marketing (Thares). All these craft breweries have one thing in common and that is that they sell beer to there communities. By them selling beer to their communities they start to get involved with the people and have an impact on them.

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To begin, American craft breweries have a unique history that shows how they started, fought diversity, and began to expand. Even though the United States is the forefront of the craft brewery, its origin began in Europe (Dighe). It began in Europe and when immigrants migrated to the states they brought their ways of making beer (Dighe). As stated by Ranjit Dighe, “America’s lack of a distinct, indigenous brewing tradition was actually conducive to the rise of craft brewing.”  America style of making beer with their independent traditional ways began the boom of craft breweries. The crucial decade that craft breweries began is the 1970’s (History of Craft Brewing).

In the 1970’s there are some key events that would change the history of craft breweries. The first notable event would be the purchasing of one of the first breweries in America and that is anchor brewing (History of Craft Brewing). It is a notable event because it is one of the first breweries in America and paved the wave for how all the new breweries popping up in recent years. The second notable event would be that many people started to home brew, which would lead to small breweries where they would distribute there home made beers (History of Craft Brewing). The third notable event was that in the 1980’s the new Albion brewery was purchased, even though it did not stay open for long it created an inspiration to small home brewers to start opening breweries (History of Craft Brewing). These notable events are the forefront to the crazy boom of breweries in the 1980’s to the present.

All the home brewing craze would not be possible without the Government having a key role in it. As stated by Aaron Goldfarb, “In 1978 Congress passed a bill, H.R. 1337, repealing federal restrictions and excise taxes toward home brewing “for personal or family use, and not for sale.” This bill was signed by president Carter legalizing home brewing (Goldfarb). This would be a revolutionary moment for people because it would allow them to home brew and eventually lead to creating small breweries. With the bill being passed American brewery association popped up solidifying that craft breweries would start to rise (Goldfarb).

With all the production of beer being made by home brewers, the micro brewery movement began in the 1990’s. From the years 1991-1995 there was a 58%  increase in beer production (History of Craft Brewing). With the increase production of beer many new brewing were popping up left and right that produced good beer (Goldfarb). With anything good that happens, there is also bad that comes with it. The crazy boom of microbreweries caused many breweries that make bad beer (Goldfarb). This would lead to many breweries to close down in the 2000’s because they just made really bad beer (Goldfarb).

In the 2000’s brewer’s had to revamp the beer industry and they did this by going to the extremes. They went to the extremes in the way they produced beer by making them super hoppy and boozy (Goldfarb). Brewer’s would make beer with different ingredients than the norm and the different flavors that came of it actually produced really good beer (Goldfarb). This led to new breweries that sold beer they actually liked, creating a beer scene in America that stood out form the rest of the world (Goldfarb). The big beer production companies started to take notice in the small breweries and would not allow them to take all the credit for the movement. The big brand beer companies had to adapt and start making craft beers of their to keep up with the movement (Goldfarb).

Every state in the Unites States has breweries nowadays. The leading state California with 520, According to William Dowling from Circle Up. The second state with just about half of California at 225 is Colorado (Dowling). With all these breweries in each state the next phase in the brewery movement is the neighborhood brewery (Dowling). Theses breweries serve directly to their clients with out even bottling the beer, directly from the tap (Dowling). With all the different breweries, the communities are greatly affected.

The brewery movement has had a great impact on the community. Small breweries encourage other businesses to open shop and help communities grow (Sisson). Breweries are centers for gathering, beer drinking, and community interaction (Sisson). Not only do they bring communities together but they help with economic development in many small towns (Sisson). The craft beer industry has contributed 55.7 billion to the United States economy (Sisson). With all this contribution many breweries set up there businesses in small rural town and industrial areas helping revive the town (Sisson). Great Job opportunities come from breweries being open because it takes special skills and craft to develop beer (Sisson).  As stated by CC Hutten, “Not just a foamy and fermented local attraction, small brewers are increasingly creating job opportunities due to the fact that they need more people at the lower production level.” Coming from a background in the liquid food and beverage industry when there is companies that start to mass produce items they will need workers to make that happen. There is production, distribution, and sales. All of this requires workers. So Breweries are a great opportunity for people to get jobs at. The beer industry provides more than 424,400 jobs with wages that are above the normal (Hutten).

Breweries in small towns or cities bring in a lot of tourist and are a great travel destination.  Many Americans will travel more than 2 hours from their home to visit new breweries (Thares). Breweries host special events such as game night, shows, and bands which bring many people to their establishment (Thares). Who wouldn’t want to go to a brewery, they are a great gathering place that are fun to be at. Many breweries are holding annual festivals that bring a lot of money (Thares). Oregon Brewers festival generated 32.6 million for portland’s economy (Thares). Breweries are learning to co-exist with the community and help it expand as they are expanding.

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With the expansion of breweries there are many possibilities for the future. At the moment craft beer is not loosing its momentum because as the demand for local breweries expand, new players enter the market that will change how the industry is perceived (Delventhal). Many breweries are competing with each other trying to be the top beer and food place in their neighborhood (Delventhal). All this competition is creating new ways on how breweries interact with their communities and try to expand. There are still many towns and cities that do not have breweries. There are over 1000 cities that do not have breweries, which are good places for new breweries to pop up (Delventhal).

The future for breweries holds many challenges that might cause the movement to slow down. With the rise of breweries in neighborhood there is a rise in competition, that is causing breweries to have difficulty to differentiate themselves (Delventhal). All this competition is causing breweries to mock each other to gain the upper hand (Delventhal). A good example would be when Budweiser mocked the craft brewery scene at the 2015 super bowl (Delventhal). This incident cause many small breweries to retaliate by creating videos that would mock the incident (Delventhal). Even though there was mocking being down it creates publicity for all parties involved.

There are many other aspects that are causing the future of breweries to decrease. As stated by Rachel Siegel, “In 2017 there were nearly 1,000 new brewery openings nationwide and 165 closures — a closing rate of 2.6 percent.” The  closing rate is increasing every year because some speculate that many of the new craft brewers set out to buy breweries without enough experience and end up making bad tasting beer (Siegel). The total beer market went down 1% in volume, about 2.4 million less barrels were being made in 2017 (Siegel). There is a slow decline in the market and it will take a long time before the industry is in full saturation (Siegel). At the same time that all these breweries are being opened there is an increase of breweries that are closing (Fowle). In some areas there is too many breweries being open at the same time, that cause a slow growth in the industry (Fowle). There has to be a consistent production rate for companies to stay alive and some are not able to meet that criteria and have to close their breweries (Fowle). On the hand there is some areas that small breweries have to much demand for beer that their small production facilities can not meet (Fowles.)  With out being able to expand because they do not have enough capital the business dies down (Fowle). There are many factors that can play to why a brewery will close and it is different for every brewery.

In conclusion craft breweries have had a unique history that is still young and can change in the future. There has been a positive and negative impact on communities. From economic benefits to growth of cities because of new breweries being opened.  There will be many more breweries that will open and the way people market beer will continue to grow as well. The craft brewery movement will keep on progressing even if it is at a slow pace.

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