“Craft beer is both a tool of self-identity and community-making”

Craft beer is both a tool of self-identity and community-making. As breweries continue to open up, they will provide jobs to communities, locations of congregation, and a product that acts as a point of contact between consumers to share, appreciate, and discuss. Craft brewing itself is not the rejection of consumer capitalism, but it does stand against uniform and standardized consumption. As Campbell states, “craft consumption is important because of the opportunity it presents for the manifestation of similar valued human qualities.” The values of Californian culture meshed with an emerging counter-culturally based market segment that grew into a social and economic force that is actively shaping the global brewing industry today. German and English brewers now attempt to emulate the styles pioneered in California; Japanese restaurants now seek brews from Anchor or Stone Brewing. The West Coast style not only moved from coast to coast, but it crossed oceans as well. Of course, the transmission of brewing culture is not a one-directional phenomena, an exchange of ideas took place that allowed the dissemination of new ideas about brewing. The social and business climate of California proved flexible enough to allow that exchange to take place in the Golden State.

Eric Ortega, “The Golden State of Brewing; California’s Economic and Cultural Influence in the American Brewing Industry” (Master’s thesis, California State University, Fullerton, 2015), 107-108.