Buy Me, I’m Local

I'm Local - a six-pack of Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale from Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
I’m Local – a six-pack of Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale from Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI

I was in my local Kroger grocery store last week. Those of you who are Facebook friends with me will know it as Scary Kroger (yes people have been shot in the parking lot). I pretty much follow the same pattern winding my way through the aisles every time I go there. The last aisle I usually wander down is the one with beer in it. I do not buy much beer from Kroger but always like to check out what they have to offer. Last time I was there I noticed that a number of beers had the words “I’m Local” next to or incorporated into the price tag. Kroger have been using these “I’m Local” designations for quite some time but I never paid much attention to them before. So noticing them got me thinking – what does it mean for a beer (or any product for that matter) to be identified as a “local”?

As a trained geographer I think of “local” as an inherently geographic concept. When I hear the term “local” a number of adjectives spring immediately to mind – nearby, close, and proximate being just a few.  It is also a relative concept – beer brewed in Toledo is more local than beer brewed in Detroit, MI, which is more local than beer brewed in San Diego, CA. Which, of course, begs the question as to when does beer cease being local and become, well, non-local?

There is no straightforward answer to that question. There are almost as many different definitions of local as there are styles of beer (The Brewers Association recognizes over 150 different styles of beer). According to the 2008 Farm Act passed by the United States Congress local foods are defined as those that are transported less than four hundred miles or come from within the state that they are produced. Many consumers disagree with this definition, considering a four hundred mile radius too generous. A 2015 study by A. T. Kearney found that consumers have a stricter definition of local. Ninety-six percent of consumers surveyed believed that for a product to be local it had to be made or produced within a one hundred mile radius of the point of sale – this was up from 64% in 2013. This suggests that consumers are perhaps rethinking the meaning of local and are redefining it to be even more geographically restrictive.

Not surprisingly different retailers define local differently. Wal-Mart, the country’s largest retailer, defines a food as local if it is grown in the same state as it is sold. From one perspective this is a problematic definition – states are different sizes; Texas, for example, is much larger than Rhode Island (two hundred and twenty times larger in fact). Whole Foods defines any food that is produced within seven hours of one of its stores as local. As for the grocery store where I purchase a lot of my groceries, Kroger, a local food is defined as coming from within a four hundred mile radius. On my last visit to my Kroger I counted beer from nine breweries labeled as local – Bell’s in Kalamazoo, MI;  Brew Kettle in Strongsville, OH; Christian Morlein in Cincinnati, OH; Fat Head’s in Middleburgs Heights, OH; Founders in Grand Rapids, MI; Four String in Columbus, OH; Great Lakes in Cleveland, OH; Maumee Bay in Toledo, OH; and Rhinegeist in Cincinnati, OH. Interestingly beer from Atwater in Detroit, MI was not labeled as local – an oversight perhaps?

The fact that some retailers promote some goods as being local, however defined, suggests that the concept has some currency. And there is no question that demand for local food is increasing. This can be witnessed by the increasing numbers of farmers markets, community gardens, CSAs (community supported agriculture), and yes craft breweries. For example, between 1994 and 2014, the number of farmers’ markets in the United States increased from 1,755 to 8,284. During the same twenty-year period the number of craft breweries increased from 537 to 3,676. The demand for locally-made products is referred to as neolocalism. Neolocalism was defined in a 1996 paper by James Shortridge as the “deliberate seeking out of regional lore and local attachment by residents (new and old) as a delayed reaction to the destruction of modern America of traditional bonds to community and family”. In other words many Americans are seeking out products that have a connection with the local community in which they live. Small scale craft breweries that are independently-owned and operated by people who live a few miles away certainly satisfies this demand for a product, beer, that has its roots firmly embedded in the local community. Yes the yeast, hops, and malted grains that go into the beer may be imported but the water and the creativity of the brewer are very much local. In a 2003 article  Steven Schnell and Joseph Reese (2003, 46) suggest
that craft breweries are partly a response to the “smothering homogeneity of popular, national culture” and the desire on the part of increasing numbers of people to “reestablish connections with local communities, settings, and economies,” while Wes Flack, in 1997 stated that craft breweries represent a “rejection of national, or even regional culture, in favor of something more local.”

Research has shown that consumers prefer local produce for a variety of reasons, with two of the most important being its superior quality and taste. In the case of craft beer its superior quality and taste (compared with macro-beer) is indisputable. And when it is consumed in the taproom of the brewery in which it is brewed there is the added bonus of product freshness, which can be particularly important for some styles of beers such as IPAs. As noted by one beer writer “beer tastes best fresh” and “the best way to get fresh beer is choose beer from local breweries.” Research has also demonstrated that people, particularly younger people, are willing to pay a ten percent premium (in some cases a fifteen percent premium) for locally sourced foods. This seems consistent with what we can observe in the craft beer market where demand appears to be primarily driven by the millennial demographic who are willing to pay a premium for superior tasting craft beer.

So it seems to make good business sense that a retailer like Kroger would stock locally-produced craft beer. Indeed, this article suggests that Kroger customers are looking for local beer when they visit their local Kroger store and the company is responding by stocking beers that are brewed in the local region. And if they are going to stock local beer then it seems a good idea that they should make customers aware of the fact – hence the “I’m Local” signage.

A Miller Lite Billboard in Toledo proclaiming "Proudly Brewed in Ohio"
A Miller Lite Billboard in Toledo proclaiming “Proudly Brewed in Ohio”

Even America’s macro-brewers, Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors, play up the local angle from time to time. Just the other day I was driving through my own city of Toledo, OH and caught sight of a billboard advertising Miller Lite – it proudly proclaimed “Proudly Brewed in Ohio”. And so it is. Miller Lite is brewed at a MillerCoors brewery in Trenton, OH. Trenton is about one hundred and eighty miles southwest of Toledo, so in a geographic sense one can argue that it is local beer. In addition to its Trenton brewery MillerCoors brews beer in seven other cities across the United States. Anheuser-Busch also brews its beer in twelve breweries scattered across the United States, including one located in Columbus, OH. In 2013 Anhueser-Busch released a television commercial that emphasized the fact that it has a dozen breweries all across the country. It opened with the narrator asking the question, “Do you know where your beer is brewed?” and went on to bill itself as “America’s largest local brewery”, while emphasizing the role that proximity to the customer plays in the freshness of its product. Interestingly, despite their Ohio breweries,  my Kroger store does not identify any of the Anheuser-Busch or MillerCoors beers as local.

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“Our Beers Have Less Of A Commute Than You Do!!!”

So back to question as to what constitutes a local beer. There is no clear-cut answer of course.  For me a beer brewed in Toledo is definitely local. The concept of northwest Ohio also resonates with me, so a beer brewed in Sandusky or Napoleon certainly has a localness about it. And I do find myself having a stronger emotional connection with a beer brewed in Ohio than say the neighboring state of Michigan, even though the latter may come from a brewery that is geographically more proximate. So I have a stronger affinity with a beer brewed in Cincinnati, OH (two hundred miles from Toledo) than a beer brewed in Ann Arbor, MI (fifty miles from Toledo). When I travel and go to a bar I always try to drink local beer. Typically, I ask the bartender if the bar has any beer brewed in the town or city I am visiting. In the absence of that I inquire about beer brewed in the state. So last month when I was in Charlotte, NC I sought out Charlotte brews first and North Carolina brews second. And when I travel overseas I prefer beer brewed in the country I am traveling in and increasingly, with the growth of craft breweries in other countries, from the city or region I am visiting. Whether at home or traveling there is no excuse not to drink beer that was brewed nearby. Retail outlets, bars, and restaurants are carrying more and more locally-brewed beer and according to The Brewers Association 75% of Americans who are of legal drinking age live within ten miles of a craft brewery. I was in San Diego, CA last week. While there I had a couple of beers in one of the bars at the Sheraton Hotel. Above the bar was a screen displaying the bar’s draft list. With the exception of Bud Light were San Diego beers. Across the bottom of the screen were the words “Our Beers Have Less Of A Commute Than You Do!!!” Now that’s some really local beer.

Further Reading:

Flack, Wes. 1997. American Microbreweries and Neolocalism: “Ale-ing” for a Sense of Place. Journal of Cultural Geography, Volume 16, numer 1, pages 37-53.

Schnell, Steven M. and Joseph E. Reese. 2003. Microbreweries as tools of local identity.” Journal of Cultural Geography, Volume 21, number 1, pages 45–69.

Shortridge, James. 1996. Keeping tabs on Kansas: reflections on regionally based field study. Journal of Cultural Geography, Volume 16, number 1, pages 5-16.

 

 

No Beer For You

Phil Silvers as Seargent Bilko in The Phil Silvers Show
Phil Silvers as Seargent Bilko in The Phil Silvers Show
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Leonard Rossiter as Reginald Perrin in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin

I am not a huge fan of situational comedies on television but over the years there have been a few that I have really enjoyed. Having lived in both the United Kingdom and the United States my favorite sitcoms represent a mix from both countries. They include The Phil Silvers Show (CBS 1955-1959), The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (BBC 1976-1979), Yes Minister (BBC 1980-1988), Only Fools and Horses (BBC 1981-2003), and Seinfeld (NBC 1989-1998). As with most television series I have my favorite episodes. In the case of Seinfeld an episode that I really enjoyed was the one titled “The Soup Nazi“. If you are a Seinfeld fan you know this episode. Kramer has discovered a new soup carry-out restaurant in the neighborhood and tells Jerry, George, and Elaine about it. However, the owner is somewhat temperamental and has a precise protocol for ordering soup which if not followed will result in refusal of service. Hence he is referred to as “The Soup Nazi”. When George receives his soup he complains about the fact that he did not receive bread with his order. After some back and forth between George and The Soup Nazi the latter grabs the soup from George, refunds his money, and tells him “No Soup for You”. Elaine later suffers the same fate.

Metronidazole (Flagyl) the offending antibiotic
Metronidazole (Flagyl) – the offending antibiotic

Well, I had my own “No Soup for You” experience lately, except that in my case it was “No Beer for You”. You see, last month I was diagnosed with diverticulitis, a bacterial infection of the colon. As part of my treatment I was prescribed a twenty-day course of an antibiotic called Metronidazole (Flagyl). When prescribing it my family doctor told me that I had to abstain from beer while taking this medication. I looked at him incredulously. He knew I liked beer. I thought he was having me on. “Are you serious?” I asked. He nodded and said “Yes I am”. And with that I knew he was. He told me that I would probably experience vomiting if I drank alcohol while taking this medication. Curious, I did my own research on the drug when I got home and found that “drinking alcohol within 24 hours of taking metronidazole increases your risk of side effects. Potential life-threatening side effects from this combination include blood pressure changes, rapid heart rate, and liver damage.” And one of the more common side effects of drinking alcohol was severe nausea and, yes, vomiting. So there it was – twenty days with no beer.

So what was it like to go twenty days without beer? Overall, it was not as difficult as I thought. I did not go to any bars during my beer hiatus, but did go to a number of events where alcohol was served. I attended a couple of high school graduation parties and a 50th birthday celebration. People were drinking beer and it did not particularly bother me. I satisfied myself with water. I am now on a high fiber diet so lots of water is essential.

There were, however, some occasions when I did miss being able to have a beer. One  was coming home from the office and having a couple of beers before dinner. One of my summer time rituals is to come home from work, sit on the front stoop , and enjoy a couple of beers. I do not do this every day; it all depends on what time I get home, what our evening plans are, and of course the weather. But when I do it I really enjoy it. I typically have two beers. It is very much my ‘alone time’. I sit there, often reflecting upon my day, and watch the world go by. Not that much of the world goes by my house. It is mainly cars going up and down our street. But there is the occasional jogger, dog walker, or mom walking her kids. And if one of our neighbors happens to be in their front yard or arriving home from work I get a chance to catch up with them.

The San Lisboa Hotel in Lisbon, Portugal whose hotel bar I enjoyedin the August of 2016
The San Lisboa Hotel in Lisbon, Portugal whose hotel bar I enjoyedin the August of 2016

There was also an out of town trip that I made – a two-day trip to Des Moines, IA to attend a conference. The conference had a couple of evening receptions that I attended where there was an open bar. I drank water and nibbled on the available hours d’oeuvres. However it was at the end of the day when I returned to my hotel that I really missed not being able to have a beer. One of favorite things to do when staying in a hotel is to have a nightcap at the hotel bar. This usually consists of a couple of beers. Part of the enjoyment is knowing that my hotel room is only a short elevator ride away. I also just happen to generally like hotel bars. I am not sure why exactly, but apparently I am not the only person as this piece by Regan Hoffman attests. To me the mix of people who frequent them is always interesting – folks from all different parts of the country (sometimes all different parts of the world) who are in town for a variety of reasons – a conference, a wedding, a vacation etc. I just enjoy sitting at hotel bars people watching and eavesdropping on the occasional conversation here and there. If I stay in a hotel for more than a couple of nights I usually get to know the bartenders. Last August I stayed four nights in the San Lisboa Hotel in Lisbon, Portugal and spent a lot of time chatting with the two young bartenders in the lobby bar. By the second evening they were slipping me complimentary tapas and providing a wealth of information about the city. So yes, those two nights in Des Moines were much less enjoyable that they could have been.

During my twenty day beer hiatus I did see a story in my Facebook feed that caught my eye. It was an article in the British tabloid the Daily Mail and was titled “What alcohol REALLY does to your body – and how quickly you can repair the damage”. Yes the word “really” REALLY was in all caps. On seeing the headline I thought I’d give it a read and see what benefits I might be enjoying from my alcohol-free binge. Sadly, however, most of the real benefits require that I give up alcohol for more than the twenty days that I did. So higher levels of energy and flawless skin are something I will have to live without. And to be honest it was a rather one sided article that said nothing of the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption.

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My first beer after twenty days without

My beer hiatus came to an end on July 3rd and that evening I had my first beer. We had friends over for dinner and they brought some beer with them. So after twenty days without a beer I popped open a can of Goose IPA brewed by the Goose Island Beer Company (yes I know Goose Island is owned by Anheuser-Busch). It tasted wonderful and I intentionally drank it slowly, savoring every sip. It sure tasted good to be back in the saddle.

Craft Beer in the Queen City

My wife and I spent a few days in Charlotte, NC last week. I was there for the annual conference of the Mid-Continent Regional Science Association. And yes, I gave another talk about the American craft beer industry. This time the topic was the intra-urban clustering of craft breweries. This is work that I am doing with Isabelle Nilsson, a faculty member at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte and Matt Lehnert a doctoral student in the Spatially Integrated Social Science Program at The University of Toledo. Isabelle and I shared the presentation. I provided the background and context for our study while Isabelle presented our methodology, analysis, and findings.

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Queen Charlotte

Charlotte was  founded in 1768 and is named after  Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III of Great Britain and Ireland. As a result it is known as The Queen City. Charlotte, like many cities in the United States, has a burgeoning craft brewing industry. According to the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce there are 28 craft breweries in the Charlotte region, with 16 of those being in the city of Charlotte proper. In addition to these establishments there are 11 new breweries slated for opening, 5 of which will be in the city.

During our first evening in town my wife and I went to our hotel bar for a drink. I asked the bartender what beers he had on draft. “It’s all local beers on draft” was his reply. I must admit I was surprised. The hotel – the Charlotte Sheraton – is part of a multinational chain. I had expected the draft selection to include at least a couple of macro-beers. So kudos to the hotel for supporting the local beer scene in this way. And when I say local I mean local. All of the half dozen draft beers were from breweries in Charlotte.

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NoDa Brewing Company on North Tryon Street
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Dinner came from The Improper Pig food truck

The next evening a group of us met up at the NoDa  Brewing Company on North Tryon Street. The brewery is named after the NoDa, Charlotte’s historic arts and entertainment district. NoDa is short for North Davidson, the Main Street that traverses the district. The brewery on North Tryon is actually NoDa’s second brewery in Charlotte. The original (opened in 2011) is just over a mile away on North Davidson. The Tryon Street location opened in October 2015 and was built as demand for NoDa beer exceeded the capacity of the North Davidson Brewery. I was keen to try NoDa’s Hop, Drop, ‘n Roll, an American-style IPA, that had earned the brewery a gold medal at the 2014 World Beer Cup. Our hotel bar had it on draft but there is nothing like tasting a beer at the source. I was not disappointed. The NoDa brewery does not have a kitchen but a different food truck is there most evenings. When we visited The Improper Pig was on site with a variety
of BBQ offerings.

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Zuri, our Charlotte Brews Cruise guide

My conference ended at lunchtime on the Saturday, leaving us with the afternoon free before heading back to Toledo the next day. We decided to fill the afternoon by going in the Charlotte Brews Cruise. The Brews Cruise is the brainchild of Mark and Trish Lyons and originated  in Asheville, NC in 2006. Since then it has expanded to other cities – Charleston, NC, Denver, CO, Atlanta, GA, Nashville, TN, Chicago, IL, and of course Charlotte. The Charlotte Brews Cruise was established in 2013.

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Our Brews Cruise tour guide, Zuri, pouring samples at Birdsong Brewery

For $49 per head you visit three Charlotte breweries. There are seven breweries that the Brews Cruise have a working relationship with so you could theoretically take a second cruise and visit three entirely different breweries. The three that we visited on our cruise were Birdsong Brewing Company, The Unknown Brewing Company, and Heist Brewery. The departure point for our cruise was the Heist Brewery. There we met the other six people who were going on the cruise with us as well as our cruise tour guide, Zuri. We all then jumped into a twelve-seater van and headed off to Birdsong. When we go there our tour guide, Zuri, took us to the production area of the brewery and provided us with a description of the brewing process. As he did so he weaved in information about the brewery and its founders, Chris and Tara Goulet. As Zuri was talking he had a pitcher on hand that contained one of Birdsong’s brews. Sample glasses were 4oz but the pitcher contained enough beer for second servings. At Birdsong we sampled four different brews.

Left to Right (above) – Birdsong, Unknown, and Heist Breweries

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Our tour group at Heist Brewery

After Birdsong we went to The Unknown Brewing Company and, after that, Heist Brewery where we were again provided with generous samples while Zuri regaled us with stories of the breweries and their owners. The Brews Cruise was highly enjoyable. It was well-organized and informative – overall a great way to spend three to four hours on a Saturday afternoon.

Rebels, Renegades, and Revolutionaries

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Huggy Rao

 

I’ve been reading quite a lot of the writings of Huggy Rao recently. Huggy (or Hayagreeva to give him his Sunday name) is the Atholl McBean Professor of Organizational Continue reading Rebels, Renegades, and Revolutionaries

Eight Beer Bottles Sitting On A Sill

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My view of University Hall from my office

I have two windows in my office at The University of Toledo, one of which overlooks the university’s Centennial Mall. From that window I can watch students and faculty crisis-cross the mall as they move from one Continue reading Eight Beer Bottles Sitting On A Sill

The Meaning of Craft?

The terms craft beer and craft brewery are common parlance when talking about the modern-day American beer industry. Yet despite their common use and seemingly universal acceptance the meaning of the term craft is one that is often discussed and debated.  I’d like Continue reading The Meaning of Craft?

The Beer Professor One Year On

In April of 2015 I announced that I was going to start a beer blog under the guise of The Beer Professor. For a couple of years I had been posting daily beer facts on my Facebook page and had also published a couple of articles on the American craft beer industry in Continue reading The Beer Professor One Year On

Back to School at Beer University

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Terra State Community College in Fremont, OH are exploring the possibility of developing a Certificate Program focused on brewing

Back in February I participated in a meeting at Terra State Community College. Terra State is located about forty miles southeast of Toledo, OH just outside the town of Fremont, OH. Terra State are interested in developing a curriculum for a Certificate Program around the topic of beer and brewing. I was invited to attend the meeting by Ellen Wardzala who is Associate Dean of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) at Terra State. In addition to Ellen there were three other Terra State administrators in attendance. Also there was Mike Roder, the Founder of Catawba Island Brewing Company in Port Clinton, OH.

Prior to the meeting I did my homework on what other colleges and universities across the country are providing with respect to education in the area of beer and brewing. It is apparent that an increasing number of community colleges and universities are offering programs with such a focus. The website of The Brewers Association lists fifteen university-affiliated brewing programs in the United States and Canada, although a more extensive search of the Internet suggests that this list is not comprehensive.

Several types of brewing programs are offered by colleges and universities. These range from individual stand-alone courses, to certificate programs, to fully-fledged undergraduate degree programs. Terra State’s interest lies in exploring the possibility of offering a certificate program. Certificate Programs in many different areas of study are increasingly common at American universities and allow students to acquire basic knowledge of and expertise in an area of study. My own department at the University of Toledo offers one in Geographic Information Science and Applied Geographics. They typically require the successful completion of four or five courses. Certificate programs focused on beer and brewing at American colleges and universities appear to focus in one of two areas – the science of brewing or the business side of the industry.

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Central Washinton University’s Craft Brewing Certificate focuses in the scientific side of brewing

The certificate program at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA is a four-course (ten weeks per course) sixteen-credit program that focuses on the science of brewing. The four courses that comprise the certificate are Principles and Biochemistry of Brewing, Topics and Strategy in the Craft Brewing Industry, Brew Process Technology, and Brewing Microbology. The program is designed for current craft brewing professionals who are interested in further developing their skills and individuals working in other professions who may be interested in a career change and entering the world of commercial craft brewing.

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Portland State’s Craft Brewing Certificate program focuses on the business side of the industry

In contrast, Portland State University in Portland, OR offers a certificate program that focuses on the business side of the craft brewing industry. Again, this is a four-course program with students being required to complete courses in Basic Business for Craft Beverage and Craft Beverage Business Management. Students then have to take two of the following three courses – Strategic Craft Beverage Marketing, Finance and Accounting for the Craft Brewery, and Craft Beverage Distribution. All courses are only offered online with each one taking four to five weeks to complete. The target audience are home brewers who might be interested in commercializing their hobby as well as industry professionals who wish to advance their knowledge of the business aspects of the industry. While brewing is emphasized in the courses many of the principles taught can be applied to operating and running distilleries and cideries.

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Getting hands-on experience is a critical part of a brewer’s training.

While knowledge attained in a formal classroom setting can be very useful it is only a piece of the training that someone working in (or hoping to work in) the craft brewing industry may find beneficial. The other piece is hands-on-experience and that can come in a variety of forms including an internship, job shadowing, and on-the-job training. Many of the courses of study offered  by professional brewing-focused organizations are hybrid in nature, combining theoretical knowledge with practical experience. The American Brewers Guild (ABG) is one such organization that offers a variety of brewing-focused courses. These include courses in Brewing Science for the Advanced  Homebrewer, Intensive Brewing Science and Engineering, and Lab Practices for the Small Brewery. Some of these courses of study comprise a combination of formal  instruction and practical training. For example the Guild’s twenty-eight week Craftbrewers’ Apprenticeship Program requires twenty-five weeks of formal instruction (via distance learning), one week at a working brewery, and five weeks of on-site practical training at another working brewery.

But spending five weeks in a brewery is not just about getting practical training. It is also acquiring what is referred to as tacit knowledge. Social scientists who study knowledge often make the distinction between codified and tacit knowledge and to to be a successful brewer both are critical. Codified knowledge is that which can be attained from reading a textbook, referring to an instruction manual, listening to a lecture etc. An example of utilizing codified knowledge would be baking a cake using the recipe in a cookbook. However give two people, a novice and a professional chef, the same recipe and chances are the dish produced by the chef will be superior. The difference in outcomes can be attributed to the chef’s tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge are the skills, ideas, and experiences that the chef has acquired over many years of practicing his or her profession. He or she carries this knowledge in his or her head and because it is experiential in nature it cannot be easily shared with and transferred to another individual. It is knowledge that is  difficult to articulate. In a very informative paper Thomas Thurnell-Reed of Coventry University interviewed craft brewers in England. It is clear from these interviews that tacit knowledge is a critical part of the brewers’ knowledge base. Several brewers spoke of the value of spending time in other breweries and seeing how things are done. As noted by Thurnell-Reed “craft skills often draw on tacit knowledge which is often easier to demonstrate than it is to explain and describe verbally” and “being around a working brewery and seeing how things ‘get done’ thus appeals to a sense of tacit knowledge.”

Being a successful commercial craft brewer requires the command and application of wide range of diverse knowledge. Some of that knowledge can be attained from reading, some via the process of formal instruction, and some through on-the-job experience. This knowledge is both codified and tacit in nature. Universities and community colleges can play an important part in helping commercial craft brewers, both current and aspirational, improve their knowledge base, particularly with respect to the scientific and business sides of the brewing industry. This is an emerging student market for institutions of higher education. As such it has the potential to get saturated as more and more colleges and universities recognize and develop curriculum to meet what is surely to be a growing demand. However those colleges and universities that already have developed, or are in the process of developing, their curriculums can get ahead of the pack. And if they provide a high quality product they can establish their reputations and thereby position themselves to be successful even as the market becomes increasingly crowded. So kudos to Terra State Community College for taking the initiative in northwest Ohio.

With respect to the meeting that was held at Terra State I suggested that a valuable next step might be to bring together some local craft brewers in a focus focus group setting and pick their brains with respect to what type of curriculum (both in terms of content and format) might be useful to the craft brewing industry. I look forward to seeing the outcomes of these focus groups.

Further Reading

Thurnell-Read, Thomas. 2014. Craft, tangibility and affect at work ina microbrewery. Emotion, Space and Society, Volume 13, pages 46-54.

Holy Toledo, I Went To Church In A Brewery

I went to church last Sunday. Nothing unusual in that. I go most Sundays. What was unusual was that I actually went to church twice. The first time was to the church I usually attend – Augsburg Lutheran Church in Toledo, OH. The second time was to a church I Continue reading Holy Toledo, I Went To Church In A Brewery