Breweriana

One of my pet interests is finding examples that counter the popular belief that mass markets dominate the modern world. What could be a better example than beer?

Source: Rob Carlson, Micro-Brewing the Bioeconomy: Beer as an Example of Distributed Biological Manufacturing, March 3, 2010.

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About J@m3z Aitch

J@m3z Aitch is a two-bit college professor who'd rather be canoeing.
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7 Responses to Breweriana

  1. Michael Heath says:

    James stated:

    One of my pet interests is finding examples that counter the popular belief that mass markets dominate the modern world.

    But examples wouldn’t counter that belief; it would merely validate outliers exist which everyone should previously assume exist.

    BTW, I don’t think mass markets dominate the modern world. I don’t think the opposite, I merely haven’t thought or read about it.

    I do see new types of fragmenting markets where the best illustration is the increase in car models and declining expectations of volume regarding model sales. However I also see some industries consolidating as we expect to occur organically and seeking to stave off competing industries. One observation of consolidation I’ve noticed is in newspapers and radio in the area of Northern Michigan where I live. The net result is declining quality of the newspapers’ Internet sites, which amazes me given the infancy of on-line media.

  2. James Hanley says:

    But examples wouldn’t counter that belief; it would merely validate outliers exist which everyone should previously assume exist.

    a) Examples don’t effectively counter “belief” because people with strong beliefs treat all counter-examples as outliers, even if they don’t previously assume that such outliers exist.

    b) If we shift from “belief” to empirical reality, then a sufficient number of examples will invalidate the hypothesis of mass market dominance.

    c) But that’s all irrelevant to what I didn’t express well at the beginning, which is a belief I run into frequently that says that entrepreneurialism may have been all well and good once upon a time, but it’s impossible for anyone to succeed that way nowadays. Not that I can speak for you, but I would guess that you would agree with me in disagreeing with that claim.

  3. AMW says:

    I’d be more convinced if the y-axis measured barrels brewed or market share rather than number of breweries.

  4. James Hanley says:

    AMW,

    True, if we’re talking about mass-market dominance. So let me shift ground a little bit–since the real purpose of an economy is to satisfy consumer interests, I think the real question is whether consumers can avoid the mass market products with relative ease. I think in the case of breweries they can. If the mass of consumers prefer not to, and are actually satisfied with Budweiser, it’s no skin off my nose as long as Leinenkugels is available.

  5. Lance says:

    When I used to google your name to find your blog one of the search returns was,

    James Hanley Brewing Co
    35 Jackson Street
    Providence, RI

    Pre-Prohibition
    Years of Operation: 1835 to 1920
    Total Years Pre-1920: 86

    Post-Prohibition
    Years of Operation: 1933 to 1957
    Total Years Post-1933: 25

    Years since closed/sold: 54

    You could take up the mantle and restore the Hanley name to brewing glory.

  6. Lance says:

    Oh, and I haven’t decided to cyber-stalk you. The reason for so many posts lately is that my wife is still in Ethiopia.

    Sorry if I’m sucking up bandwidth.

  7. James Hanley says:

    Lance,

    I’m a small-time collector of James Hanley brewery memorabilia. Unfortunately it seems to be in fairly high demand, so it gets a bit pricey.

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