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Collegiality, Resilience, Obstacles in Regional Economies: The Case of Handcraft Breweries on Gotland, Sweden.

Authors: Richard Ek*, Lund University, Nicklas Guldåker, Lund University, Ulf Silbersky, Independent scholar and consultant
Topics: Regional Geography, Marketing Geography, Economic Geography
Keywords: handcraft brewery, beer geography, regional economy, time-geography
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Handcraft breweries is by now established as important small- and medium sized enterprises and entrepreneurs in local and regional economies, including the tourism and hospitality industry. But still, in Sweden, there are several obstacles and unused possibilities when it comes to these handcraft breweries, particularly outside the main cities. This is important from a regional-political perspective as urbanization is still an on-going process in Sweden, with inflow of people from the countryside to the cities. At the same time, it can be said that signs give cause for some optimism in the rural countryside, particularly in a tourism context. Rural brewpubs thrive, and people often drop-in to have a look at what is going on in the local handcraft brewery.

This paper presents an exploratory case study taking place on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, in which this topic has been investigated further. In order to conceptualize and be able to address future questions, a time-geographic terminology was applied, but without relying on time-geography methodology or methods. We have chosen this way to proceed as it is an approach that makes it possible to i) discuss the economic geography of handcraft breweries through a spatially comprehensive cartography, and ii) discuss the unrealized trajectories of the economic geography of handcraft breweries. The aim is to develop an exploratory model for discussing the development of handcraft breweries through a methodological synthesis of the case study research design and time-geography.

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