Article ID: CBB001421083

The Beer Experience: Nineteenth Century Relations between Science and Praxis (2014)


Drinking a glass of beer provides a visceral experience of the relations between forms of knowledge. We, contemporary drinkers, bar-proppers and readers, are well-placed to appreciate the enduring tension between science, theory and experiment on the one hand, and, taste, the senses of purity and authenticity, and association with tradition, on the other. The balance we are willing to accept has changed radically over the decades. At the end of the 1970s, despite the scientific beauty of the process, a close connection to the mathematically elegant interpretation of the chemostat developed over twenty years, and the low price of continuously brewed beers, consumers' enthusiasm for these drinks fell flat (Bishop, 1970 and Gutzke, 2008). Instead, fashions moved in Britain to the Campaign for Real Ale, and in the US, to the microbrewery movement. Even though there was, in fact, significant scientific input even to ways of brewing, and although the microbrewery movement had roots not just in tradition but also in the brewery science and brewery engineering program at UC Davis, the alliance with craft and tacit knowledge proved much more visible (Curtin, 2006). James Sumner's Brewing science, technology and print, concerned as it is with changing attitudes to the relation between the science and the craft of brewing is therefore of interest not just to specialist historians of a single industry but rather, to the wider community of historians who concern themselves with the changing relationships of the categories of science and practice. It is also written self-consciously as a contribution to the literature addressing such broader questions.

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Authors & Contributors
Paul, Harry W.
Greenaway, J. R.
Li, Yaming
Wigelsworth, Jeffrey Robert
Berg, Maxine
Clifford, Helen
Ziran Kexueshi Yanjiu (Studies in the History of Natural Sciences)
Contemporary European History
History of the Human Sciences
Substantia: An International Journal of the History of Chemistry
Palgrave Macmillan
University of North Carolina Press
University of Toronto Press
Manchester University Press
Consumers and consumerism
Science and culture
Public health
Wine and winemaking
Newton, Isaac
Great Britain
United States
19th century
20th century
18th century
17th century
20th century, early
20th century, late

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