This definitive study uses theory, history, and data to analyze the evolution of the US brewing industry from a fragmented market to an emerging oligopoly. Drawing on a rich and extensive data set and applying the theoretical tools of industrial organization, game theory, and management strategy, the authors provide new quantitative and qualitative perspectives on an industry they characterize as "a veritable market laboratory." The US brewing industry illustrates many of the important topics in industrial organization, economic policy, and business strategy, including industry concentration, technological change, brand proliferation, and mixed pricing strategies.
After giving an overview of the industry, Tremblay and Tremblay discuss basic demand and cost conditions and industry concentration. They describe the evolution of the leading mass-producing brewers and the emergence of both specialty brewers and imports. They analyze the history and the causes of product and brand proliferation (showing how product proliferation leads to firm dominance), discuss price, advertising, merger, and other management strategies, and examine the industry's economic performance. Finally, they discuss public policy, including anti-trust and public health issues. The authors' set of industry, firm, and brand data for the period 1950-2002—the most comprehensive data set of economic variables available for an oligopolistic industry—will be available to purchasers of the book who send an e-mail request. Data sources are listed in an appendix. Robert S. Weinberg, a management strategy scholar and leading consultant to the brewing industry, contributes a foreword. This ambitious, authoritative work, capping the authors' 25-year study of the brewing industry, will be a valuable resource for industry analysts, economists, and students of industrial organization.