In similar fashion to the craft brewing industry, craft distilled spirits are beginning to establish themselves as a player in the distilled spirits industry. For decades the distilled spirits industry has been dominated by large corporations with enormous advertising budgets. Propagating the dominance of large firms is the three-tier system put in place post-prohibition to thwart vertical integration in the alcoholic beverage industry. As a craft producer of distilled spirits the three-tier system often serves as a hindrance towards establishing a firm on the national and/or regional level. To address how craft producers should approach the established industry, this thesis enlists the frameworks of Michael Porter. In combination with Porter’s literature, case studies are conducted on four craft producers who have either successfully established, or are in the process of establishing themselves in the market. Small legal victories are beginning to take place and must be exploited along with a heavy focus towards differentiation for small producers to gain entrance into the highly competitive distilled spirits market.
Bachelor of Arts
Includes bibliographical references.