Project Title

Beer Tourism: Kentucky Craft Brewery Visitor Profile and Motivations

Award

2016 Society of Foundation Professors Graduate Poster Award winner

Major

Master of Science Degree in Recreation and Park Administration

Department

Recreation and Park Administration

Degree

Graduate

Mentor

Michael J. Bradley

Mentor Department

Recreation and Park Administration

Abstract

The influx of breweries in America has contributed to increased participation in beer tourism. Plummer, Telfer, Hashimoto, and Summers (2005) define beer tourism as “visitation to breweries, beer festivals and beer shows for which beer tasting and experiencing the attributes of a beer region are the prime motivating factors for visitors” (p. 449). This study aims to explore the people who visit Kentucky craft breweries in order to create a brewery visitor profile and identify motivations. Researchers administered an on-site questionnaire to brewery visitors to gather common demographic data, and participants were asked to rate their level of agreement, ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree, with Likert-style statements on motivation and experience preferences. There were 302 surveys completed, and results suggest Kentucky brewery visitors are primarily male, white, well-educated, having a high yearly income, and an average age of 34 years. Visitors report motivations to visit breweries are: to try new beer, to experience Kentucky beer, to buy beer, and to be with friends and family. Further, participants plan on sampling beer and purchasing beer beyond sampling while at a brewery. Breweries need to offer several avenues for social interaction. Results indicate breweries have room to expand or increase visitation or increase visitor diversity by marketing to women and minorities. As the craft brewery industry considers the future, visitor profiles and motivations will help guide brewery management to target marketing efforts in ways that position the industry for growth and community impact.

Presentation format

Poster

Poster Number

019

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Beer Tourism: Kentucky Craft Brewery Visitor Profile and Motivations

The influx of breweries in America has contributed to increased participation in beer tourism. Plummer, Telfer, Hashimoto, and Summers (2005) define beer tourism as “visitation to breweries, beer festivals and beer shows for which beer tasting and experiencing the attributes of a beer region are the prime motivating factors for visitors” (p. 449). This study aims to explore the people who visit Kentucky craft breweries in order to create a brewery visitor profile and identify motivations. Researchers administered an on-site questionnaire to brewery visitors to gather common demographic data, and participants were asked to rate their level of agreement, ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree, with Likert-style statements on motivation and experience preferences. There were 302 surveys completed, and results suggest Kentucky brewery visitors are primarily male, white, well-educated, having a high yearly income, and an average age of 34 years. Visitors report motivations to visit breweries are: to try new beer, to experience Kentucky beer, to buy beer, and to be with friends and family. Further, participants plan on sampling beer and purchasing beer beyond sampling while at a brewery. Breweries need to offer several avenues for social interaction. Results indicate breweries have room to expand or increase visitation or increase visitor diversity by marketing to women and minorities. As the craft brewery industry considers the future, visitor profiles and motivations will help guide brewery management to target marketing efforts in ways that position the industry for growth and community impact.