Neolocalism and the Branding and Marketing of Place by Canadian Microbreweries

  • Derrek Eberts


From modest beginnings, when every brewery was locally oriented and small in scale, Canada’s brewing industry went through a prolonged period of consolidation through the mid-twentieth century. During this time, the larger, national brewing companies expanded through merger and acquisition, and increasingly standardized the products offered in markets across the country. More recently, a microbrewing renaissance emerged in the mid-1980s, which saw dramatic growth of new, small scale, craft brewers oriented principally to local markets again. The new microbreweries often invoke geography and place in their branding and marketing strategies, to emphasize their connection to their locations. This strategy is known as ‘neolocalism’, and it is evident that microbreweries are much more likely to use this strategy than the national brewing companies. This chapter documents some of the ways in which Canadian microbreweries use neolocalism to connect to place, and through an analysis of brewery and beer brand names, demonstrates the difference in tendency of microbreweries versus national brewing companies to do so. In addition, the response of the national brewing companies to the new competition from microbreweries reveals a new approach to merger and acquisition—one which embraces neolocalism and place-connection.


Marketing Strategy Local Identity Brewing Industry Mill Street Classic Lager 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



There is no single source that lists the names of all breweries and their products in Canada. The inventory of names used here was drawn from numerous sources, including the membership of the Brewers’ Association of Canada and several online blogs. Only those breweries whose existence could be verified were included. For the names of products, an extensive search of the breweries’ own websites was conducted to identify as many individual brands as possible. Many thanks to Mr. Pieter Good for assistance with this job.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyBrandon UniversityBrandonCanada

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