This industry-level case study focuses on the growth cycles of craft brewing, a niche industry. The research case is defined as the craft beer industry evolution including the surrounding institutional and consumer environments. The research goal is to provide insight for niche agriculturalists by examining the case of the successful niche craft beer industry. First, the environment surrounding craft beer reemergence is analyzed. We examine the current state of the craft beer industry with a focus on competitive and logistical forces. We then highlight critical success factors of the craft beer industry and suggests how these factors can be applied to niche agriculture. Conclusions regarding the craft beer industry are drawn from both published documents and craft beer industry discussions. The primary craft beer industry “success” factors deemed transferable to niche agriculture include: 1) indentifying a consumer-driven niche opportunity; 2) engaging in marketing strategies leveraging consumer “hobby consumption” within the niche; 3) leveraging established industry logistics; and 4) participating in unified advocacy regarding both marketing and regulatory lobbies.


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