Around the nation, big beer producers contribute to the campaigns of politicians who will support policies that discourage competition from local upstarts—for example, taxes on breweries and laws that prevent breweries from selling their kegs directly to consumers (instead of through a distributor). But what's unique about the South is that there's a voting bloc—the Baptists—whose moral stance against alcohol happens to align with large producers' desires to keep new competitors from getting started in the business. The support of Baptists provides Southern politicians with a reason to hinder brewers that politicians in other regions don't have. As a result, the states with the most Baptists tend to have the fewest breweries.Ja, doch, there's even a term of art, bootleggers and Baptists, for the synergy of interest groups with supposedly conflicting interests. But as the Atlantic reference to the research paper (which is stuck behind a paywall) notes, the author has found a correlation. But parse this: there are more breweries in Wisconsin or Minnesota or Iowa than there are in California, all places where Baptists are relatively few. And only in Wisconsin can you legally buy Spotted Cow.
Compare and contrast the brewery frequency map with this map based on the 1890 census.
Wo Deutscher kommen, Gemütlichkeit folgen! Noch ein Bier, bitte.