Monday, November 14, 2011

About beer

Beer has been an important part of human well-being, and this for thousands of years. While the economic literature has dealt rather little with it, many great papers have significantly evolved at the pub. Still, I have previously reported on a conference on the Economics of beer, and open source beer.

Now, let us talk about the economic history of beer, thanks to Eline Poelmans and Johan Swinnen. Brewing in the middle ages was he realm of monasteries, with rather small output and a lot of product diversity. With technological advances and reduction in transportation costs, commercial breweries took over and especially over the last hundred years they lead a remarkable trend towards consolidation. After all those mergers and acquisitions, product diversity was considerably reduced. This is all changing now, and tastes have become more sophisticated and local micro-breweries are on the upswing. In some ways, beer has become more like wine.

1 comment:

Thijs Vandemoortele said...

Following up on your current post on beer, and your previous report on the Beeronomics conference:

By now we've had two conferences and several workshops on Beeronomics - The economics of beer and brewing, and we are receiving several expressions of interest for hosting future conferences and workshops.

To coordinate these Beeronomics events, we launched The Beeronomics Society, an international non-profit association of scholars and professionals analyzing the economics of beer and brewing.

People can join for free: all the information is on the website.