: How many species had a hand in making that glass of beer? From the perspective of environmental history, human artefacts like beer result from more-than-human collaboration across time. Barley plants, hop vines, single-cell organisms, and a multiplicity of humans work together to bring beer into existence, and react to changes in the meteorological and economic climates. Taking these interactions seriously allows us to better understand the history of American brewing, and its implications for the future of business in an era of climate change.
Environmental historian Cody Patton, PhD candidate at Ohio State University, is uncovering this history in his dissertation project. Using multiple Hagley Library collections, including our unrivaled collection of trade journals and an oral history of craft brewing, Patton traces the many connections between environmental and economic factors in American history, as mediated by the brewing and consumption of beer. Scientific knowledge, industrial practice, professionalization, standardization, and cultural evolution entangled with and informed the story of American beer from the mid-nineteenth to the early twenty-first centuries.
The audio-only version of this program is available on our podcast. Interview available at https://www.hagley.org/research/history-hangout-cody-patton
Recorded on Zoom and available anywhere once they are released, our History Hangouts include interviews with authors of books and other researchers who have use of our collections, and members of Hagley staff with their special knowledge of what we have in our stacks. We began the History Hangouts earlier this summer and now are releasing programs every two weeks on alternate Mondays. Our series is part of the Hagley from Home initiative by the Hagley Museum and Library. The schedule for upcoming episodes, as well as those already released, is available at https://www.hagley.org/hagley-history-hangout.
Carol Ressler Lockman