Chapter

The Geography of Beer

pp 1-5

Date:

Geographies of Beer

  • Mark W. PattersonAffiliated withDepartment of Geography and Anthropology, Kennesaw State University Email author 
  • , Nancy Hoalst-PullenAffiliated withDepartment of Geography and Anthropology, Kennesaw State University

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Abstract

Beer is the third most widely consumed beverage, after water and tea (Nelson, The Barbarian’s beverage: a history of beer in ancient Europe. Abingdon, Routledge, 2005, p. 1). While four basic ingredients that create beer, namely water, grain, hops and yeast, make it seem like a simple beverage, the complexities rival (and perhaps outcompete) that of wine. Beer encompasses different types (e.g. ales and lagers), styles (e.g. amber ale, barley wine, Hefeweizen, IPA, pilsner, stout) and varieties of styles. To date, the Brewers Association has classified more than 140 different styles of beer (Brewers Association, 2012). Even the most discerning palette would be hard pressed to differentiate that many styles and varieties of ales and lagers. So how can such a simple beverage be so complex? In a word—geography.