Local to National and Back Again: Beer, Wisconsin & Scale

  • Andrew Shears


Brewing has been an important part industrialized in the latter portions of Wisconsin’s culture and economy since the first settlers arrived in the early 1800s. Like much of the country, Wisconsin brewers experienced a spatial shift in accordance with the industry’s technology. Starting with many brewers each serving local markets, developments in beer preservation, packaging and transport allowed certain Wisconsin brewers to seize opportunities for expanded market areas. The enlarged economies of scale achieved by these larger brewers provided a competitive advantage that slowly put smaller operations out of business. By the mid-twentieth century, brewing had largely become a national enterprise with fewer local or regional players. Though its market share remained limited, the craft brewing movement represented a reversal of this trend, both nationally and in Wisconsin. Like the early brewers who had settled the state, these new Wisconsin breweries were focused on achieving an economy of scale by developing a local market of consumers.


Brewing Industry National Distribution Brewing Process Beer Production German Immigrant 
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.


  1. Acitelli T (2013) The audacity of hops: the history of America’s craft brew revolution. Chicago Review Press, Chicago, p 400Google Scholar
  2. Apps J (2005) Breweries of Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, p 306Google Scholar
  3. Baron S (1962) Brewed in America: the history of beer and ale in the United States. Little, Brown and Company, Boston, p 424Google Scholar
  4. Brewers Association (2012) Brewers Association Releases Top 50 Brewers of 2012. Brewers Association: A Passionate Voice for Craft Brewers (online). Accessed July 30 2013
  5. Cochran TC, Collins GR (1948) The Pabst Brewing Company: history of an American Business, 2011 reprint. Whitefish, Literary Licensing, LLC, p 476Google Scholar
  6. Ganey T, Hernon P (2012) Under the Influence: the New Edition of the Unauthorized Story of the Anheuser-Busch Dynasty. Columbia, MO: Terry Ganey (Self-Published). Amazon Kindle version, Accessed April 24 2013Google Scholar
  7. Hintz M (2011) A Spirited History of Milwaukee Brews and Booze. Charleston: History Press. Amazon Kindle digital version, Accessed April 13 2013Google Scholar
  8. Janik E (2010) A short history of Wisconsin. Wisconsin Historical Society Press, Madison, p 251Google Scholar
  9. Knoedelseder W (2012) Bitter brew: the rise and fall of Anheuser-Busch and America’s kings of beer. New York: HarperBusiness. Amazon Kindle digital version, Accessed April 13 2013Google Scholar
  10. Kroll WL (1976) Wisconsin breweries past & present. Jefferson: Wayne L. Kroll, p 142Google Scholar
  11. Ogle M (2006) Ambitious brew: the story of American beer. New York: Harcourt, Inc. Amazon Kindle digital version, Accessed April 13 2013Google Scholar
  12. Pabst M (2012) “Pabst Family History.” Pabst Mansion (online). Accessed April 24 2013
  13. Revolinski K (2010) Wisconsin’s best beer guide: a travel companion. Thunder Bay Press, Holt, p 254Google Scholar
  14. Shepherd R (2001) Wisconsin’s best breweries and brewpubs: searching for the perfect pint. The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, p 300Google Scholar
  15. Smith G (1998) Beer in America, The Early Years 1587–1840: beer’s role in the settling of America and the birth of a nation. Brewers Publications, Boulder, p 300Google Scholar
  16. Van Munching P (1997) Beer blast: the inside story of the brewing industry’s bizarre battles for your money. Random House, New York, p 310Google Scholar
  17. Yue L (2013) “How Goose Island held on to its craft cred.” Crain’s Chicago Business (online). Accessed July 30 2013

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and GeologyMansfield UniversityMansfieldUSA

Personalised recommendations