Microbreweries and finance in the rural north of Sweden — a case study of funding and bootstrapping in the craft beer sector
This paper explores the growth of the craft beer sector in a northern Swedish rural setting, with a particular focus on how small-scale brewers manage to fund their activities and ventures. It connects craft brewing with the concept of bootstrapping, a theoretical foundation into understanding alternative paths of funding business operations. This study has used qualitative measures in order to reach a deeper understanding of the research field. More specifically, a case study has been performed in the peripheral, northern Swedish region of Jämtland. It is a comprehensive case study, including interviews with all of the 14 craft brewers in the region, as well as observations of brewing sites. The study established that most of the brewers have funded their business activities with alternative funding and bootstrapping methods. Also, the brewers try to keep external financing to a minimum, but it is an inevitable necessity for most of them to use some type of external funding in the start-up process. Contributing to the findings is also the frequency whereby the brewers use the regions other brewers as a resource network, thus elevating the social bootstrapping dimension to a highly important survival technique.
Keywords: bootstrapping, craft beer, finance, micro- and small business