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.
Turning Passion into Profession: A History of Craft Beer in Italy
Matteo Fastigi received his PhD in economics and social sciences at Università Politecnica delle Marche (Italy), during which he also spent two semesters as visiting scholar at City University of New York. After his PhD he won an Erasmus Mundus postdoctoral fellowship for the University of Novi Sad (Serbia). His current research and interests focus on food quality productions and their implications on local/rural development.
Jillian R. Cavanaugh is Leonard and Claire Tow Research Professor of linguistic and cultural anthropology at CUNY's Brooklyn College and Graduate Center. She studies language and food in Italy, and her current research is with food producers in northern Italy. Her writing has focused on the value of heritage food, language shift and social transformation, the construction of authenticity, language ideologies, materiality, and language and gender.
Matteo Fastigi, Jillian R. Cavanaugh; Turning Passion into Profession: A History of Craft Beer in Italy. Gastronomica 1 May 2017; 17 (2): 39–50. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2017.17.2.39
Download citation file: