The craft beer boom is the biggest thing to hit brewing and drinking for more than a generation. What started off as a small band of idealistic hobby brewers is now a multi-billion-dollar global industry, but even its most passionate fans can’t actually agree what ‘craft beer’ is, with some arguing that it’s simply marketing hype, and others claiming it doesn’t exist at all.
Award-winning beer writer Pete Brown digs into this decades-long argument and in doing so, creates a fascinating, complex and hugely satisfying answer. He dismantles the main attempts to define the term ‘craft beer’ and argues that it is, in fact, undefinable, before shifting emphasis from beer to the broader, older idea of craft in search of answers. He shows that arguments around craft beer have largely forgotten what craft is all about – if they were even aware in the first place. He explores the ever-changing nature of work, the meaning of knowledge, the evolution of language and the ways in which we engage with our immediate environment and the wider world. Arriving back at beer from such an oblique angle, he rediscovers the real reasons why so many people are so passionate about craft beer, and argues that situating beer in a broader understanding of craft shows that the term is rich in meaning, even if it can’t be pinned down to a measurable definition.
Written in Brown’s trademark pub stool conversational style, Craft: An Argument provides a new perspective on the biggest trend in global food and drink, as well as making you long for a beer.