Once considered a niche market, craft beers have become a common choice for many alcohol enthusiasts. Around the 1980s, craft breweries began to disrupt a market historically dominated by major breweries1. In a similar fashion, craft distilleries are beginning to emerge and achieve a greater foothold in the spirits industry.
Each new spirit label produced in the United States must be approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). This produces a collection of accessible records revealing the type and amount of new liquors being introduced to a multibillion dollar industry. Despite the availability of data on new liquor labels, manually collecting this information for analysis is an immensely time consuming and error-prone task.
Go Get It
Using Atlas, Intuli's web harvesting tool, a single developer tackled the problem of harvesting label data from the TTB. Intuli’s technology automated the process of navigating through thousands of government web pages and eliminated the need to copy and paste the information. Data gathered from this harvest included producer name, location, and label specifications. In under three days, the developer was able to gather over five years of TTB data.
Representing the variety of alcohols across the United States
This includes unique government ID, producer name, producer location, and bottle specifications
Once a harvest is initiated, the extraction process occurs in the background allowing the developer to work on other tasks
From this data, the developer was able to give analysts the information they needed to grasp an in-depth view of the spirits industry. The figures shown above are an example of how the analysts broke out the top seven categories of labels produced in the past five years. Out of all the alcohols recorded, whiskey came out as the most produced alcohol in the past five years. Intrigued by this statistic, the analysts went further to find out the top five states where whiskey labels have been produced. The data acquired in the harvest revealed that most of the whiskey labels in the United states are produced in California.
This example showed just one possible utilization of data collected from the TTB website. With the critical eye of subject matter experts, there are multiple insights which can be found by analyzing this data.
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1 Brewers Association - https://www.brewersassociation.org/brewers-association/history/history-of-craft-brewing/