Exploring the Impact of Legislation on the Development of Craft Beer

  • Williams A
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The purpose of this paper is to discuss the ways in which federal and state legislation has impacted the growth of the US craft beer industry. In order to achieve this purpose, the city of Charlotte in North Carolina (N.C.) will be used as a case study. The research is conceptual in nature, a preferred choice as it allows a researcher to break down the issue into its constituent parts in order to gain a broader understanding. The research demonstrates that the legal framework in place for the production and distribution of alcoholic beverages in the U.S.A., which is a legacy of the Prohibition movement of the last century, continues to have a significant impact on the development of the craft beer industry. The growth in the number of breweries across the U.S.A. has been driven by the craft brewing industry and has provided consumers with a vastly increased array of choices (Burgdorf, 2016). The growth in the craft beer industry has not been proportional across all states, however. While many factors influence the growth of craft breweries (Carroll and Swaminathan, 2000), regulations such as those that restrict how brewers can distribute and retail beer have inhibited growth in many states, limiting consumer choice. The research demonstrates that change can be effected, as it has in N.C., through consumer pressure at the grassroots level. This paper provides an original perspective to the consideration of the growth of this important industry, arguing that future growth in the sector will continue to be impacted by the legislative frameworks in place. This in turn impacts on the ability of entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, and on aspects of consumer choice.




Williams, A. (2017). Exploring the Impact of Legislation on the Development of Craft Beer. Beverages, 3(4), 18. https://doi.org/10.3390/beverages3020018

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