Craft Beer and the Birth of a Local Scene
Published by: NYU Press
336 pages, 152.00 x 228.00 x 0.00 mm
- ISBN: 9781479879618
- Published: November 2019
An inside look at how craft beer makers and IPA devotees come together to brew, taste, and enjoy fine ale while also building a sense of community in Las Vegas
Equally reviled and revered as Sin City, Las Vegas is both exceptional and emblematic of contemporary American cultural practices and tastes. Michael Ian Borer takes us inside the burgeoning Las Vegas craft beer scene to witness how its adherents use beer to create and foster not just a local culture but a locals’ culture. Through compelling, detailed first-hand accounts and interviews, Vegas Brews provides an unprecedented look into the ways that brewers, distributors, bartenders, and drinkers fight against the perceived and preconceived norm about what “happens in Vegas” and lay claim to a part of their city that is too often overshadowed by the bright lights of tourist sites. Borer shows how our interactions with the things we care about—and the ways that we care about how they’re made, treated, and consumed—can lead to new senses of belonging and connections with and to others and the places where we live.
In a world where people and things move around at an extraordinary pace, the folks Borer spent time talking (and drinking) with remind us to slow down and learn how to taste the “good life,” or at least a semblance of it, even in a city where style is often valued over substance.
Borer makes a crucial contribution by drawing attention to the ways people still make places as well, in their day-to-day lives through symbolic engagement with place reputations and their consequences. ~American Journal of Sociology
Vegas Brews captures the stories of the emergence of craft brewers within the unique sociology of Las Vegas, cultivating an oasis in the desert for beer drinkers in Nevada. ~Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association
Is there a place for authenticity in a world of artifice and consumerism? Focusing on the microbrewery scene in Las Vegas, Michael Ian Borer answers this question by showing us in detail how collaboration, craftsmanship, skill, honor, and place-making coexist side by side. Rich in ethnographic detail, Vegas Brews is a great contribution to the study of how culture can shape the city landscape, and how cities, in turn, can shape culture. ~Claudio E. Benzecry, author of The Opera Fanatic: Ethnography of an Obsession
This is a commendable text that will be indispensable to anyone researching urban redevelopment, consumption, brewing, or the role of community and scene in cultural production and innovation. It should also be on every ethnographic research methods reading list. ~Symbolic Interaction