Craft Obsession: The Social Rhetorics of Beer

Shelf Talker by | May 2017 | Issue #124

Craft Obsession: The Social Rhetorics of Beer
by Jeff Rice
Southern Illinois University Press | November 2016, $40

It’s not unusual for beer geeks to err on the nerdy side, but Jeff Rice is no software engineer. An academic specializing in rhetoric, Rice couldn’t help but understand his obsession with beer through the lens of communication—specifically, social media. A tweet or a forum comment may be “sharing without grand revelation,” and yet it’s from those virtual exchanges that an entire subculture has formed. In Craft Obsession, Rice parses the language and networks we use every day to help explain how those systems impact the industry. What motivates us to rate beers online? How has the common “revolution” trope shaped the craft brewing narrative? What’s happening when we feel a personal connection to a certain beer or brewery? From shared experiences to identity formation, social media has catalyzed the craft brewing movement. You’ll never snap a photo of a fresh pint the same way again. 

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