Why Are There So Few Breweries in the South?
Posted: 15 Mar 2014
Date Written: March 13, 2014
The number of breweries in the U.S. states in 2012 varied from 3 in Mississippi to 363 in California. Relative to the population, Vermont has 1 brewery for every 25,040 people and Mississippi has one brewery for every 994,975 people. Most southern states have fewer breweries per population than the rest of the country. This paper examines why this is the case. The main outcome is that in the south the number of breweries is negatively associated with higher campaign contributions from big breweries, the number of beer distributors per capita and the Southern Baptist adherence rate. In the north, these associations are insignificant or positive. This outcome depends on institutions and in the south the limited number of breweries can be described by the idea of bootleggers and Baptists with the Baptists being represented by, well, Baptists and the bootleggers being large breweries through campaign contributions and beer distributors. Various state beer laws and taxes influence the number of breweries per population. In general, higher beer taxes are associated with fewer breweries. States that allow for self-distribution of beer tend to have more breweries.
Keywords: Beer, Breweries, Bootleggers, Policy, Prohibition
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