This article investigates the Italian craft brewing revolution, a florescence of small-scale, artisanal beer production that began in the late 1990s. This revolution presents a number of provocative paradoxes, such as the growing importance of beer consumption and production in a country long known for its wine, its economic success at a time of ongoing and severe economic crisis in Italy, and the ways in which a love of drinking beer is driving many to choose to make it. Drawing on extensive survey data among craft brewers, ethnographic research, and interviews with craft brewers and their supporters, we show that Italian craft beer is a valuable case study of productive leisure leading to passionate production, and sketch the regional contours of Italian craft brewing against the contemporary global rise in artisanal beer production and consumption.

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