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Good Beer Hunting

Jun 24, 2023

Over the last decade, one of the aspects of beer and brewing I've admired the most has been an increased attention from the world of academics. Wine has long been a centerpiece for research, but it feels like college faculty are now catching up thanks to a better understanding of the social, cultural, and community side of beer. There is a ton to be learned beyond the science of making beer and in this conversation, we'll get insight on how space and place inspire one professor. It may be summer, but we're heading back to campus with Josh Merced.

Josh is a geographer by education, with a Ph.D from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and teaching experience at Florida State University, UNC-Greensboro, Middle Tennessee State University, and come this fall, he'll be newly appointed at Northern Arizona University. At each stop, his research has had important crossover with craft beer, most recently teaching the class “Geographies of Craft Beer and Breweries” in Tennessee. If you’ve ever sat in a brewery or thought about how cities and landscapes impact who drinks craft beer and why, Josh will clue you in on valuable findings throughout our chat. From locations to music to our own lived experiences, it may come as no surprise that these all impact the way we come to interact with beer—or not at all. Josh will explain why this is particularly important for us to understand and change.

You don’t need to have a stack of highlighters or visit a bookstore to benefit from this educational opportunity. I hope that getting to know Josh and his work puts him on your map as someone to follow that will help you form deeper understandings and new questions about what craft beer offers and how we can consider what might change to offer more to more people.