Stockton Professors Study Growth of Beverage Tourism
GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. - In 2012 there were just 12 craft breweries in New Jersey.
Today there are 74, plus 12 brewpubs and 16 distilleries.
“It’s a growing industry,” said Jason Carty, executive director of the New Jersey Brewers Association, or NJBA. The group puts the economic impact of craft beer alone in New Jersey at $1.2 billion.
Two Stockton University Hospitality and Tourism faculty members are tracking and studying that growth, and have contributed to a two-volume textbook: Craft Beverages and Tourism in the United States.
Volume 1 addresses the rise of breweries and distilleries in the United States. Volume 2, which was just released, discusses the environmental, social and marketing implications.
“Distilleries in New Jersey are contributing to a sense of place in New Jersey,” said Christina T. Cavaliere, who was a co-editor of the books and authored several chapters. She said the national trend contributes to other industries, including hospitality and agriculture.
“We look at how they can be forces for economic development,” said Cavaliere, an assistant professor of hospitality and tourism management at Stockton.
A 2013 New Jersey licensing law made it easier for small craft breweries to get established. Other trends include an interest in food and beverages that are made locally, using local ingredients.
“A purchase is a political act,” Cavaliere said. “People are looking to taste the place they are in.”
Cavaliere and associate professor Donna Albano, who co-wrote a chapter on N.J. Craft Distilleries, recently held a seminar at Little Water Distillery in Atlantic City where they shared their research. The distillery, which opened last year, is the first in Atlantic City.
Albano said there are concerns about competition with more traditional bars, and they want to use their research to show how the different groups can work together in the spirit of cooperation versus competition. Their research addresses the sociological, political and ecological impact of beverage tourism.
“We want to network and build bridges,” she said. She noted that many craft distilleries use the history of their location in their marketing, which contributes to the tourism connection.
Cavaliere and Albano are incorporating their research into the Hospitality and Tourism Studies curriculum at Stockton.
Carty said they want to partner with Albano and Cavaliere to help promote the academic program by providing internships and guest speakers to classes. He said he hopes the research can also contribute to the growth of the industry and tourism by providing factual information and resources.
(Christina Cavaliere and Donna Albano are available for interviews.)
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Galloway, N.J. 08205