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How Beer Explains the World

Johan Swinnen Devin Briski



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Oxford University Press
12 September 2017
From prompting a transition from hunter-gatherer, to an agrarian lifestyle in ancient Mesopotamia, to bankrolling Britain's imperialist conquests, strategic taxation and the regulation of beer has played a pivotal role throughout history. Beeronomics: How Beer Explains the World tells these stories, and many others, whilst also exploring the key innovations that propelled the industrialization and consolidation of the beer market.

At the same time when mega-mergers in the brewing industry are creating huge transnationals selling their beer across the globe, the craft beer movement in America and Europe has brought the rich history of ancient brewing techniques to the forefront in recent years. But less talked about is the economic influence of this beverage on the world and the myriad ways it has shaped the course of history. Beeronomics covers world history through the lens of beer, exploring the common role that beer taxation has played throughout and providing context for recognizable brands and consumer trends and tastes.

Beeronomics examines key developments that have moved the brewing industry forward. Its most ubiquitous ingredient, hops, was used by the Hanseatic League to establish the export dominance of Hamburg and Bremen in the sixteenth century. During the late nineteenth century, bottom-fermentation led to the spread of industrial lager beer. Industrial innovations in bottling, refrigeration, and TV advertising paved the way for the consolidation and market dominance of major macrobreweries like Anheuser Busch in America and Artois Brewery in Belgium during the twentieth century.

We're now in the era of global integration - one multinational AB InBev, claims 46% of all beer profits - but there's a counterrevolution afoot of small, independent craft breweries in America, Belgium and around the world. Beeronomics surveys these trends, giving context to why you see which brands and styles on shelves at your local supermarket or on tap at the nearby pub.
By:   Johan Swinnen , Devin Briski
Imprint:   Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 223mm,  Width: 143mm,  Spine: 24mm
Weight:   338g
ISBN:   9780198808305
ISBN 10:   0198808305
Pages:   208
Publication Date:   12 September 2017
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Johan Swinnen is Professor of Economics and Director of the LICOS-Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance at the KU Leuven, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Food Security and the Environment (FSE) at Stanford University. He is a Fellow of the AAEA and the EAAE, was President of the International Association of Agricultural Economists (2012-2015) and is President of The Beeronomics Society. He was previously Lead Economist at the World Bank (2003-04) and Economic Advisor at the European Commission (1998-2001), and has been advisor to many international organizations and governments. He holds a Ph.D from Cornell University, and has published widely on agricultural and food policies, political economy, institutional reform, trade, global value chains, and standards. Devin Briski is a journalist focusing on food, ideas, technology, and entrepreneurship. She spent her early career in Silicon Valley, where she worked on the publishing and marketing team of Stanford Social Innovation Review, and co-founded the online magazine The Ventured Life. She served as managing editor of weekly campus arts and features tabloid The Eye, in addition to interning at Eater and Details magazine. Devin also worked for several summers as a content development intern for the Rural Education Action Project at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

Reviews for Beeronomics: How Beer Explains the World

Beeronomics provides an excellent addition to the literature. It addresses and explores multiple aspects and issues related to beer and brewing worldwide, using several interesting approaches to highlight new trajectories and trends in the field. Definitely worth a read! * Professor Ignazio Cabras, Chair in Entrepreneurship and Regional Economic Development and Faculty Director (International Development), Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University * This is a fascinating book on beer, history, and economics by the leading beer economists from the world's beer capital. In fifteen chapters, Swinnen and Briski tell the story of how the world has shaped beer and how beer has shaped the world. * Karl Storchmann, New York University, Managing Editor of the Journal of Wine Economics * For several years now, Jo Swinnen has been devoting serious scholarly attention to a neglected topic, and uncovering intriguing stories along the way. Finally, these insights are made available to a broader public in this refreshing read. * Koen Deconinck, Former Management Consultant at Bain & Company; Economist at Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development * Beeronomics: How Beer Explains the World is a significant book. It covers diverse aspects of the economics of beer in world history, providing fascinating reading for beer enthusiasts and others alike. Each chapter is a revelation. Drawing it all together leaves us with a much changed view of this wonderful, historically important beverage. * Julian M. Alston, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Robert Mondavi Institute Center for Wine Economics, UC Davis, and author of The Effects of Farm and Food Policies on Obesity in the United States * For much of human history beer was central a safe source of fluids, calories that fed the work force, and tax revenues that reshaped the political world. Monks, generals, scientists, kings, and robber barons are all part of the books journey that ends with craft beer. A must on all business schools list of case studies and your holiday gift list! * Professor Harry de Gorter, Cornell University * This impressive, all-encompassing, and accessible book is a tour de force and must-read for anybody interested in history, economics, and obviously beer. Cheers! * Bart Minten, Senior research fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute *

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