Contract Brewing – Production-Oriented Cooperation in Craft Brewing Industry

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The objective of the paper is to analyze the cooperation in craft beer manufacturing in Poland and to identify the specificity of this phenomenon from the perspective of enterprise management. The sales of craft beers in Poland are growing rapidly. Craft beers have about a 0.5% share in the total beer sales value in Poland. The popular practice in the industry is contract brewing. It is an interesting phenomenon in the field of cooperation of enterprises which can be classified and analyzed as a form of: economic cooperation (generally), production cooperation, outsourcing, network and virtual organization and also coopetition. It is a specific business model. Contract brewing is a complex problem the specificity of which emerges on several levels. Firstly, there is a special way to emerge in the market of craft beers, even while not possessing significant funds by the entrepreneur. Secondly, it is a form of cooperation in the field of production which unites efforts on the side of both the customer and the contractor since it is not limited to normal outsourcing of production to an external entity but involves physical production capacity of the contractor and technological know-how of both cooperation parties. Thirdly, it is firmly embedded in human relationships. Fourthly, it can generate coopetitive relations since the brewery accepting the order may conduct its own activity related to production and sales of beer under its own brand.

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