From Monasteries to Multinationals (and Back): A Historical Review of the Beer Economy

LICOS Discussion Paper No. 294/2011

25 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2012

See all articles by Eline Poelmans

Eline Poelmans

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL). Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE)

Johan F. M. Swinnen

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS); European Commission, DG II

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

This article reviews beer production, consumption and the industrial organization of breweries throughout history. Monasteries were the centers of the beer economy in the early Middle Ages. Innovation and increased demand later induced the growth of commercial breweries. Globalization and scientific discoveries transformed the beer industry and increased competition from the 16th through the 19th century. The 20th century was characterized by dramatic (domestic and international) consolidation, major shifts in consumption patterns, and the re-emergence of small breweries.

Keywords: economic history, history of beer, monasteries, innovation and taxation in brewing, modern brewing, consolidation and globalization

JEL Classification: N30, N40, L23, L66

Suggested Citation

Poelmans, Eline and Swinnen, Johan F.M., From Monasteries to Multinationals (and Back): A Historical Review of the Beer Economy (2011). LICOS Discussion Paper No. 294/2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1995425 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1995425

Eline Poelmans (Contact Author)

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL). Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

Johan F.M. Swinnen

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS) ( email )

Waaistraat 6
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

European Commission, DG II ( email )

Wetstrath 200
Office 15172
1049 Brussels
Belgium
+32-2-2960442 (Phone)
Not available (Fax)

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