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Beer Research Guide: Scholar Interviews


undefinedAlison Orton is an American and European historian who researches the impact of immigration and labor on the brewing industry in the 19th and early 20th centuries, specifically how national conflicts in Europe were reflected in beer culture in the United States. Orton talked to Tiah Edmunson-Morton on Zoom on May 28, 2020 about how the availability of sources impacted her dissertation topic; how she uses secondary sources to focus her research question; the importance of talking with peers, professors, and archivists; strategies for learning about national conflicts and individual people (e.g. police records, demographic data, sales records, union organization archives); experiences researching in Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic; advice for planning international research trips; and the importance of being open to outcomes you didn't expect. 


undefinedDr. Bart Watson is the Chief Economist for the Brewers Association. Watson talked to Tiah Edmunson-Morton on Zoom on May 8, 2020 about his doctoral research in Political Economics, ways he uses government and trade associations research to inform his work, how he thinks about competing markets (cannabis, wine, hard alcohol) and trends, the importance of context for research and data, and sources he still consults in physical formats. 


undefinedDr. Brian Alberts, an historian and beer scholar, talked to Tiah Edmunson-Morton on April 8, 2020 via Zoom about how he does his research. In this interview, he talks about how he selects a topic, thinks about historical empathy and context, writes for different audiences, and keeps track of his research. He also talks about the importance of verifying historical facts and his dissertation research on 19th century German brewers in Cincinnati and Chicago. 


undefinedDr. Christina Wade is the founder of, a research blog that shares information on the contributions of women to beer and brewing history, as well as author of many articles on gender, Ireland, Vikings, and brewing. She is also the founder of the Ladies Craft Beer Society of Ireland. Dr. Wade talked to Tiah Edmunson-Morton on April 17, 2020 about the challenges and lessons learned in her research of women, how language and geographic location impacts research, how she plans and keeps track of her research, ways she writes for different audiences, and how her research findings have impacted and changed her understanding of accepted narratives around women and brewing. 


undefinedDoug Hoverson, Minnesota-based beer historian, talked to Tiah Edmunson-Morton on April 10, 2020 via Zoom about how he does his research. In this interview, Hoverson talks about the importance of project planning and doing preliminary work before visiting an archives, adjustment in topic based on sources, tracking and prioritizing sources, using breweriana to learn about the industry, and how his research has changed with more materials online. He also gives tips on tracking people, ingredients, and businesses, as well as some of his top resources for each. Hoverson is the author of the books Land of Amber Waters: The History of Brewing in Minnesota (2007) and The Drink That Made Wisconsin Famous: Beer and Brewing in the Badger State (2019), as well as the associate editor of American Breweriana Journal and author of articles on beer and beer history. When he's not writing or researching beer, Hoverson is a high school social studies teacher and debate coach.


undefinedErin Lawrimore is the University Archivist and an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Special Collections and University Archives. She is also one of the co-founders of Well Crafted NCan industry and community documentation project. Lawrimore talked to Tiah Edmunson-Morton on April 24, 2020 about her process for learning about the North Carolina brewing industry, how her skills as an archivist translated to being a researcher, her strategies for finding archival sources, how she deals with archival silence in collections, and how technology has influenced and impacted archival collecting. 


undefinedDr. Jennifer Jordan, author of the forthcoming book Before Craft Beer: The Lost Landscapes of Forgotten Hops and 2015 book Edible Memory: The Lure of Heirloom Tomatoes and Other Forgotten Foods, talked to Tiah Edmunson-Morton on April 15, 2020 via Zoom about how she does her research. In her interview, Jordan talks about selecting a topic, the importance of a literature review, using primary sources, dealing with archival silences, and how her research process and methods have changed with the increase in online archival material. She also talks in detail about how she has done work to research hops in Wisconsin, her experiences using the agricultural census and population census, and how her book project has changed based on the sources she has found. Jordan is a professor and department chair in Sociology and Urban Studies and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 


undefinedJudith Bennett is an historian who writes and teaches about medieval Europe, focusing on gender and work. She is the author of the 1996 book Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England: Women's Work in a Changing World, 1300-1600. Bennett talked to Tiah Edmunson-Morton on Zoom on April 28, 2020 about her with documentary and cultural sources, the types of records she uses for her research, and how technology has changed her work and access to different types of records. She also reflects on the "change / not change" of women's work, pay equity, and structure to support present-day women brewers. 


undefinedKen Dudley is the owner of owner and brewer at Laxton Hollow Brewing Works in Lexington, Ohio. Dudley talked to Tiah Edmunson-Morton on Zoom on April 28, 2020 about why he opened a cask ale brewery; the dearth of information on early American English brewing records; strategies for learning about traditional styles, recipes, and ingredients; managing expectations for customers and historic styles; the relevance of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) in England; and the importance of people as research resources. 


Dr. Maureen Ogle, author of the 2006 book Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer (and 2019 second edition), talked to Tiah Edmunson-Morton on March 31, 2020 via Zoom about how she does her research. In her interview, Ogle talks about how she selects a topic, learns about the historical context, plans her research, and tracks her sources. She also talks about how research methods have changed since her 1996 book All the Modern Conveniences: American Household Plumbing, 1840-1890 and offers advice more specifically on conducting beer research.


undefinedMegan Ockerman is an historian and the author of the 2017 thesis "'It's the water': A history of the Olympia Brewing Company." Ockerman talked to Tiah Edmunson-Morton on April 21, 2020 about how she chose Olympia Brewery as the topic for her thesis topic, places she found relevant secondary sources, her work in the Olympia Brewing archives, and tips she has for finding local history sources. 


undefinedMichael Stein and Peter Jones run Lost Lagers, a historic beer recipe research firm in Washington, D.C. Stein and Jones talked to Tiah Edmunson-Morton on April 17, 2020 about the importance of critical thinking and questioning dominant narratives, their "go to" sources, how digitization and online sources has impacted their research, how they think about historic recipes and their ingredients, and how important personal connections or experience can be for research projects.  


Stan Hieronymus is the author of Brewing Local (2016), For the Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness and the Culture of Hops (2012), Brewing with Wheat (2010) and Brew like a Monk (2005). Hieronymus talked to Tiah Edmunson-Morton on April 3, 2020 via Zoom about how he does his research. Hieronymus is a professional journalist and amateur brewer. In this interview, Hieronymus talks about how topic selection; learning about historical context; conducting research on styles, ingredients, and people; making sense of contradictory evidence in sources; keeping track of research; and visiting the Michael Jackson archive in Oxford, England. 


undefinedDr. Theresa McCulla is a historian of the 19th and 20th centuries in the United States. She is also the curator of the American Brewing History Initiative at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. McCulla talked to Tiah Edmunson-Morton on Zoom on May 14, 2020 about her research on food in New Orleans and beer history in the U.S. McCulla shared her strategies for starting, conducting, and tracking research (talk to librarians and archivists, be a careful note taker, ask for writing feedback); thoughts on material culture and oral histories as sources; thoughts on collecting contemporary history; and emerging research opportunities as a result of recent digitization projects. 


undefined​Tiah Edmunson-Morton is the curator of the Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives (and author of this guide). Rachel Lilley and Anna Dvorak interviewed Edmunson-Morton on Zoom on April 20, 2020; she talked about how she got interested in beer history, how she plans and tracks her research, her favorite sources and noteworthy research experiences, and her work researching women in brewing. 


undefinedTravis Rupp teaches in the Department of Classics at the University of Colorado Boulder, is the Innovation & Wood Cellar Manager for Avery Brewing Company, and is a Beer Archeologist. Rupp talked to Tiah Edmunson-Morton on Zoom on May 12, 2020 about why he started studying beer, his work at Avery Brewing and research/design of beers for their Ales of Antiquity program, his recent research on Colonial era brewing, the growth of beer history scholarship since 2012, the ways he works to bridge the gap between academics studying beer and practitioners brewing, his research process, sources he values in doing ancient history work (e.g. art), the importance of on-site archival work, valuable print and online sources for his research, and how he keeps track.