Brewpubs and Microbreweries: A Midwestern Geography of Local Craft Beer Markets by Firm Type

  • Charles Yeager
  • Jay D. GatrellEmail author


Microbreweries and brewpubs are distinct components of a growing craft beer industry that includes four broad segments: brewpubs, microbreweries, regional brewers, and large producers which often have a partial ownership connection to macro-brewers, such as Heineken, Pabst, or AB InBev. This research aims to identify the factors that influence the locations of smaller production sites, specifically microbreweries and brewpubs, in a seven-state region—the American Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin). Using map analysis and statistical analysis, this research differentiates between microbreweries and brewpubs to understand the specific nature of the target markets for each type of business. This research demonstrates that the sociodemographic characteristics at the county scale vary between firm types and that location co-varies with diversity, workforce participation rates, wealth, and urbanization. Additionally, the research underscores the importance of the Millennial cohort and the proportion of residents employed in advanced professions. The data also indicate that the markets for brewpubs versus microbreweries are unique insofar as higher proportions of brewpubs, particularly firms with three or more locations in the study area, tend to be located in less urban areas including suburbs and college towns. In contrast, microbreweries are located in larger urban centers, tend to be single locations, and are more localized compared to brewpubs.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northwest Vista CollegeSan AntonioUSA
  2. 2.Eastern Illinois UniversityCharlestonUSA

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