Craft breweries and tourism best practices across the life cycle
Dunn, AM and Wickham, MD, Craft breweries and tourism best practices across the life cycle, Case Studies in the Beer Sector, Elsevier, Capitello, R & Maejle, N (ed), UK, pp. 49-61. ISBN 978-0-12-817735-8 (2021) [Research Book Chapter]
Between the 1950s and mid-1980s, the global beer market experienced a prolonged period of consolidation, culminating in 50% of world beer production being con trolled by five conglomerates: Anheuser-Busch InBev, SABMille,r the Carlsberg Group, Heineken NV, and China Resources Enterprise (Roach, 2016). The number of independent breweries decreased significantly in the major western beer-producing markets of the United States (Bastian et al., 1999), the United Kingdom (Monaghan, 2017), and Australia (Wynne and Bromley, 2015) during this period. This decline has arrested somewhat since the mid-1980s with the emergence of the (increasingly vibrant) craft brewing industry sector (Carroll and Swaminathan, 2000). As would be expected, newly formed businesses in the emerging craft brewing industry sector faced considerable competitive barriers to entry created by the conglomerates (Warner, 2010). Anheuser-Busch InBev, for example, implemented strategies to dom inate national and international distribution networks and retail shelf space, and engaged in multimillion-dollar mass advertising campaigns to crowd out their compe tition. The very nature of the conglomeration process meant that each of the five major players (and most major breweries with slack financial resources) implemented merger and acquisition strategies to lower their average production costs, and to absorb industry innovations into their business, thereby minimizing the threat of com petition (Burnett, 2019). In comparison, emerging craft breweries operate on a micro scale, with few resources to devote to distribution and/or promotion efforts. Successful craft brewers circumvented these competitive barriers by opening up their operations to consumers (e.g., through the use of cellar doors-now commonly referred to as "tastingbars") that allowedvisitors to view the brewing process, sample their range of products, and make purchases directly from the manufacturer. Over time, successful craft brewers adopted a range of tourism practices originally pio neered by the wine industry (Fraser and Alonso, 2006); they supplemented tours and tasting bars with participation in craft beer festivals and events, which permitted craft brewers access to consumers without the need to breach tightly controlled distribution networks and retail shelf space(Dunnand Wickham, 2017).