Small brewers show how craft principles could reshape the economy – but they’re under threat

Our economy currently relies heavily on unsustainable industrial principles of mass scale, never-ending growth and throwaway consumerism. The transition to a sustainable economy, then, requires a shift in how we think about production.

Our economy currently relies heavily on unsustainable industrial principles of mass scale, never-ending growth and throwaway consumerism. The transition to a sustainable economy, then, requires a shift in how we think about production.

In contrast to industrial production, craft production prioritises local production, human skill and excellence. Although craft principles were cast aside as industries were modernised, a revival is taking place. Examples of craft revival are visible in many sectors, ranging from butchering to textile production, but one of the most illustrative examples comes from the booming craft beer sector.

In the Netherlands, about 1,000 breweries existed at the beginning of the 19th century. Following the industrial revolution, there was a dramatic switch to the mass production of one beer style: pilsner. Only 13 breweries, all now using industrial principles of production, remained by 1980 and 90% of the market was controlled by the four largest players. But since then, a revival of craft production has fuelled a dramatic resurgence of the brewery population. Today, there are well over 300 breweries again.

continue:https://theconversation.com/small-brewers-show-how-craft-principles-could-reshape-the-economy-but-theyre-under-threat-112897



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