New Opportunities for Work Integration in Rural Areas: The 'Social Flavour' of Craft Beer in Italy

Jacopo Sforzi, Laura A. Colombo
2020 Sustainability  
The last decade has seen a flourishing of social agriculture cooperatives and the exponential growth of the craft beer sector in Italy. Social microbreweries (social cooperatives that operate in the craft beer sector) have started emerging but have not yet been a focus of research. This paper explores the relationship between social agriculture and microbreweries in Italy, bridging the gap between social agricultural cooperation and craft beer production. It deploys a qualitative multiple case
more » ... tive multiple case study methodology, based on the in-depth analysis of three case studies: Vecchia Orsa, one of the oldest social microbreweries in Italy; Pintalpina, which operates in a unique alpine setting; Articioc, established by a group of friends with a love of craft beer. This research suggests that the craft beer sector provides important opportunities for social innovation in social cooperatives, with a particular focus on the work integration of vulnerable people. In addition, this paper highlights different pathways for scaling social microbreweries, including focusing on organisational growth (growing the size of the business), scaling out (impacting greater numbers) and scaling deep (impacting cultural roots). Different scaling approaches are united by a common scaling strategy: network and partnership building. This emerges as an essential action to increase the impact of social microbreweries.
doi:10.3390/su12166351 fatcat:gfulzborhbgg7fuooqzcgfzeya