Rural Tourism And The Craft Beer Experience: Factors Influencing Brand Loyalty In Rural North Carolina, USA

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Carol Kline PhD, Associate Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: Craft or “boutique” breweries are increasing in numbers in the USA, and in other parts of the developed world. Many are located in rural areas, and have become new rural tourism visitor experiences, related to wine tourism and linked to the growth in culinary tourism. This study offers a clearer understanding of what factors most influence brand loyalty to craft beer, and craft breweries, and sheds light on methodologies for assessing loyalty to other rural tourism, and culinary tourism, experiences. It is based on a survey of patrons visiting and purchasing from two micro-breweries in rural North Carolina, USA, examining concepts used in brand loyalty research including access, environmental consumption, connections with the community, satisfaction, and desire for unique consumer products. Results show that connection with the community, desire for unique consumer products, and satisfaction are the three factors that most align themselves with brand loyalty to rural brewery visits. Connection with the community was the most important factor in influencing brand loyalty especially among those born in the study region, and/or resident there, as well as among tourists. The paper notes implications for rural breweries, for destination management organizations and for marketing and development strategies.

Additional Information

Alison Murray & Carol Kline (2015). Rural tourism and the craft beer experience: factors influencing brand loyalty in rural North Carolina, USA, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 23:8-9, 1198-1216, DOI: 10.1080/09669582.2014.987146. Publisher version of record available at:
Language: English
Date: 2015
brand loyalty, craft brewery, beer tourism, community connection

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