This paper reports on an exploratory two-stage study of microbreweries in the UK. The first stage comprises an analysis of data from the Small Independent Breweries Association to offer an aggregate picture of the sector. The second stage reports on a qualitative study of the experiences of 14 microbreweries. The findings from the fieldwork show that the UK microbrewing sector is growing, that competitiveness within the brewing establishment is based on artisan manufacture, provenance and diversity rather than price, and that the sector is contestable but operates as a competitive fringe within the greater industry. The study illustrates that microbreweries can contribute to local economies and that, because of the innovation, diversity and growth in the sector, entrepreneurship is in evidence. While saturation seems a threat, the evidence presented here suggests that UK microbrewing is a healthy sector, with the prospect of ongoing growth and contribution.
|The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
|Published - 1 May 2015