Author Topic: More craft breweries now than in 1890  (Read 5635 times)

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
« Reply #30 on: August 09, 2012, 08:22:24 AM »
One of the things I recall reading, though I don't have a reference for it, was that one of the Milwaukee breweries began shipping beer in cooled/chilled box cars and that this helped them to dominate as they could deliver a superior product.

I wish I could recall the book.  I don't think it was this one: http://www.amazon.com/The-History-Beer-Brewing-Chicago/dp/1880654164 but it could be, as that's certainly on my shelf at home.
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Offline nateo

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Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
« Reply #31 on: August 09, 2012, 08:28:21 AM »
No other goods or services have been prohibited in the past, and consolidation has been widespread anyway. I don't think prohibition had anything to do with it.

Between 1930 and 1980, draft sales decreased linearly from 70% to 12%. If everyone started buying beer in cans or bottles, companies with the most capital would be best positioned to dominate the market, through better margins, better QC, bigger distribution networks, and more volume. Selling beer in-house, on draft, is more profitable for small breweries, but selling beer in cans in huge volume is more profitable for big breweries.

I blame refrigerators for destroying the craft beer industry in the first place.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
« Reply #32 on: August 09, 2012, 10:14:22 AM »
One of the things I recall reading, though I don't have a reference for it, was that one of the Milwaukee breweries began shipping beer in cooled/chilled box cars and that this helped them to dominate as they could deliver a superior product.

I wish I could recall the book.  I don't think it was this one: http://www.amazon.com/The-History-Beer-Brewing-Chicago/dp/1880654164 but it could be, as that's certainly on my shelf at home.

Ambitious Brew by Maureen Ogle
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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
« Reply #33 on: August 10, 2012, 10:02:18 AM »
One of the things I recall reading, though I don't have a reference for it, was that one of the Milwaukee breweries began shipping beer in cooled/chilled box cars and that this helped them to dominate as they could deliver a superior product.

I wish I could recall the book.  I don't think it was this one: http://www.amazon.com/The-History-Beer-Brewing-Chicago/dp/1880654164 but it could be, as that's certainly on my shelf at home.

Ambitious Brew by Maureen Ogle

That's it- interesting book.
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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
« Reply #34 on: August 10, 2012, 10:07:50 AM »
My take from Ambitious Brew was that prohibition made it possible to put in a lot of new restrictions on alcohol, since most players would accept anything to get it repealed. The 3-tier system, taxes, etc then went on to encourage consolidation after prohibition ended because the largest players could deal with the restrictions more efficiently.
 
Good point though, that all markets had undergone similar consolidation. And brewery consolidation has taken place in European countries as well.
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Offline Delo

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Re: More craft breweries now than in 1890
« Reply #35 on: August 10, 2012, 11:55:38 AM »
Also breweries were consolidating before prohibition as breweries failed due to the public's change in taste for beer.    Prohibition eliminated (or severely damaged) the breweries that could not survive off investments or ones that could not sell other products like near beer, yeast, malt extracts, soda, etc.  Bigger breweries had a better chance to adapt to survive, and the ones that did had a huge advantage when prohibition ended.

Before prohibition, most breweries distributed their beer locally or through saloons. Saloons became one of the main targets of prohibition. Anheuser-Busch was the company that specially designed refrigerated box cars to transport their beer all over the country.    The big brewers were able to take advantage of improved packaging(better bottles and canned beer) and refrigerated box cars to dominate the beer industry. You can really blame prohibition and refrigeration/improved packaging equally for destroying the number of small breweries.

Ambitious Brew was a pretty good book, but a little too pro big-brewers. 
Mark