Date of Award

Spring 2013

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Liberal Studies


Nancy Decker, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Patricia Lancaster, Ph.D.


Abstract Every corner of the earth is either currently influenced by or has been influenced by the beer and brewing industry. The significance of this product throughout human history is extensive and one would think the study of it would reflect this. However, until recently the study of beer and brewing was mostly historical and archeological in nature. The social, personal lives and economic impact of those who either consume or produce beer were largely overlooked. This look into how beer and brewing changed cultures and the life of everyone from the king to the peasant is of great importance in understanding the evolution of its role as a driver in the growth of human society. It is the primary contention of this paper that the relegation of beer to a common man’s drink has been purposely exaggerated by certain groups and the impact of the social bias of some on this industry can be seen best through the resulting temperance and prohibition movements in America. This was the result of the clear misunderstanding of how essential beer and brewing are to the human populace if not to its current survival as a clear marker of how human societies came to be what they are today. However, to understand this one would need to both possess a time machine and travel to each period. Since this is clearly not a viable option currently this paper will attempt through the collaboration of historical evidence combined with first person experience to paint a picture of the role that brewing and consuming beer played in the life of these people.

Rights Holder

Matthew Bougher

Included in

History Commons