Geography master's student looking for presentation ideas about beer or the beer industry.

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Weirdwell, Sep 14, 2022.

  1. Weirdwell

    Weirdwell Initiate (60) Apr 3, 2016 Nebraska
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    Hello! Fellow BA member looking for some presentation ideas about beer or the craft beer industry. This presentation will be for my non-thesis graduation requirement for the University at Nebraska at Omaha Masters in Geography. I am trying to figure out a way to relate beer to geography with this presentation. The American Association of Geographer's recently put out a tweet about the wish for craft brewery or beer presentations for their conference in Denver, Co next March. I have thought about doing something like the history and regionalism of IPA styles, but that seems to pedestrian. I also thought about gentrification in relation to inexpensive craft brewery space, but that is pretty messy territory with data. If there is any insight, please let me know!
     
  2. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (3,054) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
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    How about the hops indigenous to the various geographical areas of Europe and how they relate to the development of beer styles common to those areas?

    Just spitballin'...
     
  3. Weirdwell

    Weirdwell Initiate (60) Apr 3, 2016 Nebraska
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    That is the stuff I don't think about! Thanks!
     
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  4. Providence

    Providence Champion (822) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island
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    Your second idea (gentrification) sounds awesome. Messy data be damned. I’m sure you would come up with some interesting discussions. And if what you find is inconclusive, all the better, your work might contribute to a larger discussion (maybe a publication or two). Also, let’s be real, it’s a topic that needs attention. Systemic racism is housing and the overall cost of housing in America are a much more pressing issues than who let their cat piss in the secondary fermenter first.
     
  5. Weirdwell

    Weirdwell Initiate (60) Apr 3, 2016 Nebraska
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    If I could find reliable quantitative data, I would be on it! It's messy what discerns gentrification. It's hard to make assumptions on what causes gentrification, although we should have a good idea of what it is (high property values, and low mixed income neighborhoods).
     
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  6. mvogt

    mvogt Initiate (197) Sep 10, 2021 Massachusetts

    Something about German immigration to the US and the rise of the beer industry? Not to mention Prohibition? ( Link )( I seem to recall that migration is studied as part of human geography.)

    When hops started to be used for brewing in European history, they were or weren't used in specific areas because of taxation. Possibly something there?

    The history of the IPA has significant connections to geography through British colonization as well. The conventional wisdom is that it was brewed with extra hops to survive being shipped to India and/or to survive the tropical climate of the British colonies. This narrative may or may not be accurate - what work is it doing either way?
     
  7. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,751) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    @dcotom already posted on my general thoughts about hops.

    And perhaps expand the discussion beyond just hops of Europe. Brewing in Colonial America was mostly conducted in the home (i.e., homebrewing) and the hops used in brewing would have been wild hops obtained via foraging. How wild American hops would have influenced beer styles is a question since beer styles was mostly an artifact of the 20th Century (e.g., Michael Jackson).

    Cheers!
     
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  8. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,156) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    What about looking at water chemistry and style development?
     
  9. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (3,080) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
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    Historical geographic spread of beer (and mead, other fermented grain-based beverages) over time? Or do we have enough concrete data for something like that?
     
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  10. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,533) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
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    Perhaps show the top beer in the world for each beer style listed on Beer advocate here in 2022 and the geographic location of that particular brewery. It actually will be very easy to do with the selection menu that’s lists them all on a single page. Then perhaps there is data from Beer Advocate from 2002 (20 years ago) for various beer styles but not all in current day, and see how locations of top beer makers may have changed or other correlations and analysis can be done. Just throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks.
     
    #10 bubseymour, Sep 14, 2022
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2022
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  11. AzfromOz

    AzfromOz Crusader (794) Aug 22, 2020 Australia
    Moderator Society Trader

    The impact of the USA's weird beer distribution laws on BA trading activity and beer tourism. A thesis on the geographical impact of not being able to buy what you want. :stuck_out_tongue:

    Cheers!
     
  12. eppCOS

    eppCOS Poo-Bah (2,066) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado
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    @Weirdwell - very cool idea to come to BA for this - I'm also a geographer, teach at Colorado College and encourage you to stick with this. The gentrification question could be addressed through census-level block data, real estate prices, and I think some targeted interviews with particular breweries that are located in high-med-low priced areas of whatever metro area you choose to focus on. I'm almost positive they'd chime in on the relative impacts and real-time changes to overhead real estate, footprint costs, etc.
    Throw in some GIS and you have MA thesis set.
    Good luck!
     
  13. elNopalero

    elNopalero Poo-Bah (4,711) Oct 14, 2009 California
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    Whatever you decided to do, please share it with the rest of us!

    If gentrification is too broad a topic, why not narrow your focus to a specific region or community. My understanding of geography as a field is that it is concerned with the making of space and place. Could there be a way to explore something along the lines of sustainability, or community investment, in a case study of XYZ over [length of time]?

    One more consideration--what do you hope/plan on doing post-graduation. In other words, how might this project lead to further study (academia), or a career (urban planning, brewing industry, etc)?
     
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  14. Weirdwell

    Weirdwell Initiate (60) Apr 3, 2016 Nebraska
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    Its been done before. The textbook Geography of Beer goes through it. I do like the idea of the mobility of beer though!
     
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  15. Weirdwell

    Weirdwell Initiate (60) Apr 3, 2016 Nebraska
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    Thanks for the tips! The GIS part is what I am most concerned about. I am studying human geography and GIS is not strong suit!
     
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  16. Weirdwell

    Weirdwell Initiate (60) Apr 3, 2016 Nebraska
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    Any idea is helpful! Thanks!
     
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  17. Weirdwell

    Weirdwell Initiate (60) Apr 3, 2016 Nebraska
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    You just jostled something from my brain! The mobility of beer during Covid 19. As social distancing started how did beer get to people. Tavour, breweries able to ship out of state legally, trades on BA and FB. Breweries delivering. Proxies. Anything else I'm missing?
     
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  18. ATL6245

    ATL6245 Meyvn (1,081) Aug 16, 2018 Georgia
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    How about state alcohol laws & distribution systems and how the effect craft beer industry growth? Some states have some goofy laws that if changed, can spur growth. Example, up until 2017, in Georgia you had to buy a brewery tour ticket in order to "sample" beer at a tap room and take home a very limited amount of beer. The laws changed in 2017 and we've had a major explosion of craft beer breweries in the state since.
     
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  19. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (3,080) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
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    That’s why I never got my master’s
     
  20. Weirdwell

    Weirdwell Initiate (60) Apr 3, 2016 Nebraska
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    Hey! So I can pretty much do anything as long as it novel to geography. So, anything culturally, economically, socially, mobile, physical, statistical, and environmental. There has been studies in specific cities that have delved into sustainability and community investment, and what it means to be a local brewery. No papers like those were published about Omaha, where I live, so those might be options!

    As for a career.... . I don't even want to think about it yet. Not ready for corporate life again. Teaching maybe? Although, after seeing how teachers have been treated this last few years I might pass. Urban/Transportation/Enironmental Planning is what I will probably aim for. May get a doctorate?
     
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  21. AlfromPA

    AlfromPA Initiate (75) Dec 9, 2021 Pennsylvania

    Perhaps this is too "historical," but the economic/social/architectural geography of Philadelphia's Brewerytown is really fascinating. It was a single neighborhood with good access to water, rail lines, and support services (barrel and machinery manufacturers, etc.). This MA thesis from the Architectural Preservation program at UPenn is worth a read. It focuses on the old Poth brewery, which is currently being redeveloped (and was the site of a pioneering microbrewery, Red Bell, in the 1990s).

    https://repository.upenn.edu/hp_theses/582/

    There were nine breweries packed in one next to the other in Brewerytown back in the 19th century. Today craft breweries/brewpubs (eg., the ominously named "Crime and Punishment" brewery) are starting to come back to the area. In another part of town (Kensington) a craft brewery (Philadelphia Brewing Company) operates in the shell of a defunct 19th century brewery. Perhaps this intersection of new craft breweries with the locale/buildings of long closed breweries would be an interesting thing to study. I know this is going on in Cincinnati, perhaps other cities too.
     
  22. Weirdwell

    Weirdwell Initiate (60) Apr 3, 2016 Nebraska
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    Thanks for the advice! Will look into what data I can work with for these suggestions!
     
  23. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Poo-Bah (2,083) Jul 2, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    I'm not smart enough to know what you are talking about but please if it's relevant include yuengling and German influence in the mid Atlantic
     
  24. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (4,197) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    It wouldn’t be that difficult to use census data to track shifts in income and racial demographics by zip code over a given time period and come up with your own standard for “gentrification,” but I’ve got to imagine there are dozens of papers and reports out there that you could simply lift from. If Google doesn’t uncover them, a professor, TA or librarian might be able to point you in the right direction.

    Depending on your level of ambition, you can then try to find if there’s a correlation between gentrification and brewery creation for the whole country, a given state, metro area, some sort of “top 25 most gentrified zip codes” list or whatever.

    I suspect the hardest part would be finding a reliable list of breweries, their locations, and years of operation. Some states may have more easily searchable licensing databases than others, but if you’re not going too broad with the zip codes you’re researching, Google, state brewery associations and/or this website may be enough.
     
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  25. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (3,678) May 30, 2005 Michigan
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    Besides shipping, a lot of smaller breweries started canning and selling at the curb or distributing because of COVID so that they could keep brewing and keep income flowing in.
     
  26. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (3,678) May 30, 2005 Michigan
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    OP, if you pursue this German-related topic, you can access the German beer/food places spreadsheet that I've created. German enclaves are likely located close-by. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vvgzuuhF7JA9Q2TWIIM0WVK-pX2YG7LHR-uGu8NkA5U/edit?usp=sharing

    Here's a link to the thread that sourced all of the places:
    https://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/best-german-style-beer-food-venues-in-the-u-s.632830/
     
  27. Providence

    Providence Champion (822) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island
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    Bars and restaurants being able to sell beer to-go.
     
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  28. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Poo-Bah (2,083) Jul 2, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    Every bar in PA seems to have take home beer. Also seagram or 211 slushies to go which is insane to me that it's a thing around here
     
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  29. BillAfromSoCal

    BillAfromSoCal Zealot (572) Aug 24, 2020 California

    Perhaps I have a pedestrian interpretation of geography but a lot of these suggestions seem more oriented toward political science (example: anything related to Covid-originated regulations on beer business). I like the suggestions related to water/climate/soils on what beer styles thrive or, equally broadly, where beer business has prospered v. struggled.
     
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  30. tolar111

    tolar111 Champion (808) Aug 17, 2008 New York
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    So craft brewers are buying up properties in low-income areas and using them to brew beer instead of providing affordable housing. They also set up breweries that use inordinate amounts of water (brewing, cleaning etc...) in areas that are already facing a scarcity of water due to climate change. Craft breweries also stress water supplies from underground sources, often under land owned by indigenous people. This all seems so unsustainable, when will it end?
     
  31. seakayak

    seakayak Crusader (759) May 20, 2007 Massachusetts
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    I've always loved maps showing differences in beer consumption and concentration of different brands, like these: https://vividmaps.com/us-geography-of-beer/

    Twitter allows academic researchers free access to the complete archive of historical public tweets, so perhaps you could use that data to create some cool maps of tweet concentrations about craft beer vs. macro beer, and maybe show change over time. I'd love to see those maps.
     
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  32. bcm119

    bcm119 Champion (831) Feb 17, 2001 California
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    This is a great post, op. I'm also a geographer, I think there are quite a few on BA. I like the idea of exploring a correlation between gentrification and breweries. The socioeconomic data all exists in census blocks, you'd just need brewery location data. Another idea might be exploring correlations between hop growing regions and the birth of various beer styles. Does beer have 'terroir' like wine? Maybe build a model predicting hop growing areas using climate and land use data? Sorry, lots of GIS heavy ideas, but if you can conceptualize what you want to do, I imagine the staff at your school's GIS lab can help. Good luck!
     
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  33. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Meyvn (1,393) May 3, 2016 Illinois
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    I would love to see some maps showing how the pandemic spread throughout breweries in this country…and by pandemic I mean NEIPAs.


    To build off alfrompa’a suggestion, it would be cool to see where new breweries have sprung up in places like Milwaukee or Chicago in relation to where they or their tied houses were located pre prohibition.

    It would also be interesting to see where the brewing capital of the world by volume produced were throughout history starting with Pangea.
     
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  34. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,533) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
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    . This would be interesting and pretty easy to pull together. I like this one.
     
  35. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Poo-Bah (2,083) Jul 2, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    It ends when we die
     
  36. thebeeremptor

    thebeeremptor Disciple (345) Aug 12, 2018 California
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    @Weirdwell I'd say take this a step further and say explore Humulus lupulus v. neomexicanus. It's one of the native North American hop varieties that, prior to Sabro, Talus, etc. was more or less untouched by cross breeding with Asian/Euro humulus lupulus variants and also seems to be more adapted to the climate (southwestern US) than more traditional American grown hops (PNW). That's just based on very surface level investigation I did for a video.
     
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  37. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,997) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
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    How geography effects the manufacturing, distribution, and sales of beer as per transportation. The barley gets grown some where, and has to be shipped somewhere else for malting. Then transported to a brewery. Then loaded on trucks or trains to distributors.

    How much more/less fuel is used in those trucks and trains somewhere flat (Nebraska) than mountainous areas (Rockies/cascades)? What is the wear and tear on infrastructure during these process, especially urban vs rural areas?
     
  38. moodenba

    moodenba Defender (614) Feb 2, 2015 New York

    One suggestion might be to expand beyond beer to all grain beverages, as opposed to fruit wines. Indigenous grain beers probably were earliest in North Africa. Other early adapters were Mesopotamia, China. Kvass was (and is) popular in Russia and Ukraine. Sake is a Japanese brew. Early American civilizations probably made grain brews. You could speculate about climate and cultural influences on the development of barley malt beverages as opposed to other grains, or possibly fruit wines. Why are barley malt beverages so widespread? Specific to culture, it is more complicated to coax an alcoholic beverage from grain than from many fruits.
     
  39. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Meyvn (1,393) May 3, 2016 Illinois
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    Not a thesis, but it would be cool to have a map where you plug in your city and see what the farthest brewery in the world from your city is.
     
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  40. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (3,678) May 30, 2005 Michigan
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    Nunavut Brewing Company is the answer to your curiosity. It's got to be the farthest from anywhere in the world.
    https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/55571/

    @dcotom
     
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