Title: The Microbrewing World
Speaker: Kyle Haugsness, University of Oklahoma public-speaking student
Specific Purpose: To inform my audience of the history and direction of the microbrewing
Thesis Statement: Although the history of microbrewing in the United States has been less
than ideal, its recent exponential growth has enabled local microbreweries to thrive, giving
you a chance to become a part of this growth.
1. Attention-getter: Imagine, if you will, that you are sitting in your favorite chair this
weekend, watching the NCAA basketball championships. You have pizza, potato chips,
remote control, but you are missing something—a beer.
2. Establishment of ethos: The market for microbrewed beer in this country has grown
into a $2-billion-a-year industry. The increasing population of beer drinkers has brought
about a resurgence in the practice of microbrewing. In my hometown of Houston, I had
the opportunity to brew a batch of my very own beer in a local brewery. It was an
3. Preview (each main point): First I would like to give a brief history of beer brewing,
followed by a look at the explosion of the microbrewing industry and how you can
(Transition: Now, I will describe the history of microbrewed beer.)
I. The microbrewing industry has had a unique history that has hurt its growth at times,
but it is now experiencing a surge in popularity.
A. The absence of spirits aboard the Mayflower may have led to its docking, as one
passenger’s journal states: “We could not now take time for further search or
consideration, our victuals being much spent, especially our beer” (Johnson, 1996).
1. According to an article titled “A Short History of Brewing in America” (Johnson,
1996), several of our forefathers took the liberty of cultivating the hemp plant, and
many of them enjoyed a cold beer on occasion. William Penn, Samuel Adams,
Thomas Jefferson, and even George Washington often drank their own
B. The number of microbreweries steadily declined until the era of Prohibition. With the
repeal of Prohibition, the number of breweries grew until they were forced out by
competition and the nationalization of larger firms.
(Internal summary: In effect, the microbrewing industry has been down a rocky
road, but in recent years it has regained popularity.)
(Transition: While the history of microbrewing has been dismal, the future looks
II. Bronikowski (1996) notes that in 1995 the craft of microbrewing grew to a $2-billion
industry that increased 51 percent from the previous year.
A. According to David Edgar (1995), who is the director of the Institute for Beer Studies,
microbrew drinkers tend to have a slightly higher education and median income.
B. Not only have sales figures been a testament to the industry’s growth, but
advertising budgets also paint a vivid picture. For example, Pete’s Brewing
Company became the first specialty brewer to advertise nationally (Edgar, 1995).
C. The demand for fresh, new variety in the beer industry has given the small breweries
a niche in the market that continues to grow. Currently, there seems to be no
indication that this trend will stop or slow down in the near future.
(Internal summary: The die-hard beer drinkers of the nation are speaking out and
demanding more microbreweries.)
(Transition: The result of this incredible growth is that microbrewing has found a
place in states like Oklahoma as well.)
III. Establishments such as the Bricktown Brewery, the Interurban Grille, and the Norman
Brewing Company are local businesses with a profitable stake in the craft.
A. The lure of these restaurants’ beer often stems from their descriptive and curious
B. Although many microbreweries use various special ingredients, the primary
components of beer are malt, hops, yeast, and water.
C. Changing each of the ingredients slightly gives each beer its own weight, flavor,
color, and smell. With so many possibilities, it’s easy to see why the microbrewing
industry is still growing.
D. Do-it-yourself kits that enable you to brew your own beer are now available for
around $60. All you need are the appropriate ingredients, an instruction book, and
the imagination to brew your very own award-winning beer!
(Internal summary: So, with the availability of local microbreweries and do-ityourself
kits, an original handcrafted beer is within your reach.)