Graduation Year

Fall 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Manfred Keil

Reader 2

Serkan Ozbeklik

Rights Information

© 2013 David Link


This thesis studies the development of the “macro” and “craft” sectors of the brewing industry. After a comprehensive understanding of the history of beer, the focus segues into the economic development of the industry – including macro and microbrewery concentration, strategy analysis, and the recent emergence of craft breweries. Finally, two data sets are analyzed. The first examines overall industry trends against factors of horizontal differentiation, while the second observes how certain characteristics of an individual beer drinker indicate the degree to which their taste in / preference for beer has changed over the last five years.

Results show that with the diminishment of homogeneity (via quality of ingredients and cultural shifts), craft breweries emerged. Furthermore, traits such as the quality of a beer drunk and the number of beers drunk a week are strong indicators that an individual beer drinker’s taste for beer has changed in the last five years. These findings, supported by earlier industry observations, suggest that craft breweries will continue to acquire a larger share of the American brewing industry.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.