Craft beer is becoming the wine of New England by redefining 'terroir'
Posted by admin on 12th January 2018

The U.S. craft beer industry is exploding. Although two companies – Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors – have produced more than 75 percent of all beer consumed in the United States for decades, America now has more craft breweries than at any time in recorded history.

Private investment firms are pouring money into small breweries as though they were Silicon Valley startups. Towns looking to revitalize are offering economic incentives for people willing to start up craft breweries in their areas.

To our collective detriment, there is little sociology research on the subject of craft beer, even though this industry is built on the kinds of social connections that we and our colleagues have long studied in other contexts. So we decided to do a bit of our own research.

After analyzing in-depth interviews with 18 New England craft brewers, we have found that they are creating a regional industry here with the kind of local roots that many people associate more readily with wine than beer. By fostering social, economic and historic connections, craft brewers are thriving in a region that produces little hops or barley.