Supply Chain

Brewing Industry

Field Study

The Supply Chain Craft Brewery Field Study is a winter term program designed specifically for Supply Chain Management students interested in the Supply Chain processes associated with the rapidly evolving U.S. brewing industry. The program, developed and led by Prof. Rocky Newman, explores industry leaders and suppliers in three major US brewery centers: the rocky mountain area (Denver, Golden, and Fort Collins CO), the northwest (Portland and Bend OR, Seattle WA.) and the growing eastern corridor (Ashville NC).

The focus of the field study starts with classroom instruction on the history and basic brewing of beer, beer styles, and

geographic influences on those styles. Students are also prepped on the business of brewing and the industry wide supply chain that encompasses it. Prior to leaving for the experiential aspect of the field study, students self-select into teams exploring more specific aspects of the brewing supply chain.

During the program students will visit more than 25 craft breweries, several larger breweries, can and bottle manufacturing plants, spend a day and a half with the students and faculty of the Brewing Sciences

program at Oregon State University, and even visit a cheese factory! (You essentially make cheese the same way you make beer and being able to take concepts observed in the beer industry and see them in action in a different context is a primary component of the Miami University Plan for Liberal Education!)

Drawing from each stop along the way, students from each team delve into (1) sourcing of raw materials within the supply chain, (2) brewing capacities and economies of scale across all sizes of breweries, (3) distribution channels for the finished product, (4) market and sourcing analysis used to determine brewery location, and finally (5) the sustainability and social responsibility aspects that along with profitability make up the “Triple Bottom Line” of contemporary business analysis. At the end of the program, student teams present the results of their analysis. Individually, students then turn in a synthesis of what they observed in all the team presentations.