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CAPSTONE RESEARCH (Undergraduate Thesis)

Craft Breweries and Gentrification 

Students: Jessica Hays
Mentor: Dr. Azza Kamal
Research: Craft Breweries and Gentrification 

Semester/Year: Spring 2022

Dissemination: 2022 Annual Conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, Toronto, Canada, November 3-6

The craft beer industry has experienced tremendous growth in recent years. However,
their tendency to locate in and aestheticize post-industrial and economically depressed areas
raises concerns over their potential to accelerate gentrification and displacement (Matthews &
Picton, 2014). Current research indicates a connection between the presence of craft breweries
and the occurrence of gentrification, but it is unclear whether craft breweries tend to catalyze or
follow urban change.


This paper uses a two-pronged mixed methods approach to inform and
contextualize neighborhood change as it relates to craft breweries. This research used ArcGIS
Pro to perform a longitudinal analysis of demographic and economic changes that are considered relevant indicators of gentrification. Selected indicators were tracked and mapped in
Jacksonville, Florida, between the years 2012 and 2019. Block-group level changes were then
compared to regional trends to understand which areas experienced the greatest amount of
change. This research also used expert interviews to provide more insight to the role of craft
breweries and perceptions of gentrification. An analysis of the interviews showed that craft
breweries often locate in areas where gentrification is occurring but are not the main driving
factor in its onset. This was supported through the spatial analysis, which showed that block
groups containing or directly adjacent to craft breweries tended to experience higher rates of
change indicating gentrification. Many areas experienced the most significant changes prior to
the opening of a craft brewery.

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