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The Economics of Beer$
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Johan F.M. Swinnen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199693801

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693801.001.0001

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A Brief Economic History of Beer

A Brief Economic History of Beer

(p.3) 1 A Brief Economic History of Beer
The Economics of Beer

Eline Poelmans

Johan F. M. Swinnen

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a brief economy history of the evolution of beer production and consumption and the industrial organization of breweries. It discusses first the discovery and use of beer in ancient history, and the functioning of monasteries as centres of the beer economy in the early Middle Ages. It then presents an analysis of the innovation and taxation in brewing in the Middle Ages which triggered the decline of monasteries and growth of commercial breweries in Early Modern Times. It analyzes the globalization and new competition for beer in the Early Modern Times, as well as the scientific discoveries and the development of modern brewing in the 18th and 19th centuries. Finally, the growth and decline of different types of beer and the consolidation and globalization of breweries in the last two centuries are discussed.

Keywords:   economic history, beer, brewing, innovation, taxation, monasteries, commercial breweries, competition, consolidation, globalization

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