Producing and Consuming the Craft Beer Movement  book cover
1st Edition

Producing and Consuming the Craft Beer Movement

  • Available for pre-order on March 10, 2023. Item will ship after March 31, 2023
ISBN 9780367625597
March 31, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
200 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $160.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Producing and Consuming the Craft Beer Movement is an ethnographic analysis of the craft beer movement and its rapid development as an industry that articulated a different set of values: celebrating, quality, community, and good taste.  

This book will provide an excellent foundation for considering craft beer and an entrepreneurial practice that produces other forms of value beyond monetary value. The craft beer movement has been an important movement for thinking about contemporary consumer culture, and how that consumer culture might develop a very different set of values and priorities from those of the dominant consumer culture that is created by large-scale industries focused on the instrumental values of profit and efficiency. Located in one site, the ethnography is situated within the larger context of the rise of digital media, the evolution of cities, and the latest stage of the capitalist marketplace. The book is distinctive as it is ethnographic in its methodology. It is focused on one locale, the metropolitan area around Philadelphia. Philadelphia, along with Boston, Denver, San Diego and a few other cities, was a central location for the early development of the craft beer industry. With its interdisciplinary approach, individuals with interests in digital and social media, consumer culture, political economy, ethnography, and contemporary cultural theory will find this an interesting case study of an important industry that developed from the homebrewing movement to become an important craft industry that is now a global phenomenon.

This book is directed to a broad range of readers interested in new media, consumer culture, craft and contemporary capitalist culture. The book embeds the local in the larger historical and political economic context. Readers would include faculty members in communication, media studies, cultural studies, sociology, and anthropology. Students at a graduate and upper level undergraduate level would be interested as well.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – Introduction: The Craft Community


What is Craft?

Central Themes

Chapters in the Book

Chapter 2 – Brewing and Doing Ethnography




Positivist Science

Counter Narratives and Trends

Theoretical Practice


Chapter 3 – History of Craft Beer





Brewing in the United States

Early Beer History

Post War Mass Culture and Mass Culture Beer

Craft Beer Begins in the U.S.


Craft Brewing in Philadelphia

Chapter 4 – Political Economy and Craft Beer


From Welfare Capitalism to Neoliberalism

Globalization and the Political Economy of Consumer Capitalism

The Information Revolution

Spatial Transformations

Transformations in Consumer Culture (Taste Revolution)

Craft Beer in Britain: A Comparison


Chapter 5 – Knowledge Production and Social Reproduction


Invisible College

Communities of Practice and Affinity Spaces




Chapter 6 – Digital Media and The Possibility of Craft

Opening Story

Digital Media and Space



Chapter 7 – Values and Value Production

Opening Story


Authenticity Again

Value and Values

Beer Labels

From Being to Becoming


Chapter 8 – Blurring the Edges: Craft Beer’s Limitations


Craft Beer and Alcoholism

White Male Culture of Homebrewing and Craft Brewing

Craft Beer and Race

Craft Beer and Gender


Chapter 9 – Conclusion

Quality over Mass Consumption

Community and Authenticity


Digital Media

Current Tensions

Final Thoughts


View More



Wesley Shumar is a Professor in the Department of Communication at Drexel University. His research is focused on the commodification of culture, the cultural production of value, the transformation of space, time, and communicative interaction through digital technologies, and the social and interactive processes of learning. His work on higher education focuses on the cultural and spatial transformation of American universities within an increasingly consumerist economy. His work on learning focuses on the ways the internet and digital technologies can enhance learning interactions. He is currently exploring the craft economy and the production of value. He is author of College for Sale: A Critique of the Commodification of Higher Education, and Inside Analysis of an Online Mathematics Education Community. He is co-editor of Structure and Agency in the Neoliberal University, and Building Virtual Communities: Learning and Change in Cyberspace.

Tyson Mitman is a senior lecturer in Sociology and Criminology at York St John University. His research examines space and culture. Specifically, how culture and space intersect and interact with each other, how we make our lives through the cultural groups and practices we value, and how we position and debate power, identity, and representation though how we construct differing cultural groups and how those groups are differently allowed to use public and private spaces. Much of his research has been about public aesthetics, and graffiti culture. It has focused on how individuals who write graffiti construct their identity within their subculture, how their interaction with public space produces a type of political discourse, and how graffiti affects spaces and those who use those spaces. He is the author of The Art of Defiance: Graffiti, Politics, and the Reimagined City in Philadelphia. He cares deeply about craft beer and respects the producers who are driven by a desire to produce the best product they can, not merely the most profitable one. He believes, at its best, craft beer (and most craft production) helps make caring and informed communities who are capable of resisting the corporate mediocrity mass production so often tries to heap onto all of us.