On the Existence of Belgian Craft Breweries: Explorative Research at the Microlevel

  • Eline PoelmansEmail author
  • Thomas P. G. Ostyn


Regardless of lacking a craft brewery organization, historical beer country Belgium has a reasonably strong, very vivid and growing craft brewery movement. This paper assesses the Belgian craft brewery “movement” from a bottom-up perspective. More specifically, through interviews, it tries to create an understanding of the Belgian microbreweries. We compare our findings against the framework by Kleban and Nickerson (J Int Acad Case Stud 18(3):59–81, 2012) who analyzed the craft brewery movement in the US. The comparison focuses on business strategies, branding, (social media) marketing, and CSR. Our results differ substantially from those by Kleban and Nickerson. Furthermore, we investigated whether geography played a role in the interviewed breweries day-to-day activities and whether this did or did not lead to different results. Although the interviewed Belgian microbreweries behaved more or less alike, no matter where they were located in Belgium, geography—in the sense of location of establishment or historical and folkloristic events linked to that location—seem to have played a role in the microbreweries’ branding practices.


Belgian craft breweries Business strategies Branding Marketing CSR Tied houses Geography Neolocalism 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and BusinessResearch Centre for Economics (ECON)City of BrusselsBelgium

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