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Local and Regional Breweries in America's Brewing Industry, 1865 to 1920

Martin Stack
The Business History Review
Vol. 74, No. 3 (Autumn, 2000), pp. 435-463
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3116434
Page Count: 29
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Local and Regional Breweries in America's Brewing Industry, 1865 to 1920
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Abstract

Between the end of the Civil War and the enactment of national Prohibition in 1920, America's brewing industry grew to become one of the nation's leading manufacturing industries. During the first thirty years of this period, the industry's growth was propelled by the emergence of a small group of nationally oriented breweries. These firms pioneered a series of important technological, scientific, and organizational innovations, which allowed them to increase annual sales. Yet, after several decades of spectacular growth, they began to see their relative position in the industry decline. From the mid-1890s until Prohibition, hundreds of regional and local breweries reasserted themselves in the market for beer. These firms often were able to provide less expensive beer and to sell it in saloons that they owned or controlled. Together, these two factors enabled regional and local breweries to present a competitive challenge to national firms in the years leading up to Prohibition.

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