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Beer Research Guide: Places/Eras



Each research paper is unique -- so every research process will vary. Like the other tabs on this guide, this tab will give you some suggested readings, but also suggestions that can spark your research process. 

Remember that beer is made throughout the world, not just in America and European countries. You can research specific countries like Russia and South Africa or countries in regions such as Asia (e.g. Japan, China, India, South Korea), the Middle East (e.g. Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan), Latin America (Mexico, Central America, South America)​​​​​, and Scandinavia. 


Examples of things to think about when researching places:


European Brewing

You can search more generally for "Europe brewing" or "Europe brewing history," or search by individual country (e.g. Belgium, France, Italy). The European Business History Association's mission is facilitate sharing the business history in Europe.


For researching Germany and brewing, you can search more broadly for "Germany" or "germanic," but also for regions (e.g. Bavaria, Cologne, Leipzig, Hessen, Bamberg). A valuable asset for German research is the German Historical Institute, which includes Reference and Research GuidesGerman History in Documents and Images (GHDI), and Collaborative Research Projects in four broad areas: transnational and comparative history, global history, American history, and German history.



United Kingdom

Search for United Kingdom, England, Scotland, Ireland, Celtic. Adding the word "history" to a Google Scholar search (e.g. united kingdom brewing and united kingdom brewing history) gives different results.


In Europe, the Middle Ages or Medieval Period lasted from the 5th to the 15th century and the Renaissance is generally described as taking place from the 14th century to the 17th century. 

The Society for Creative Anachronism's Medieval/Renaissance Brewing Homepage includes a list of SCA brewery guilds and a short bibliography of Medieval/Renaissance Brewing, which is annotated bibliography of books and other materials useful for historical brewing. 

Recommended publications


There are significant regional differences in the United States in terms of style, ingredients, and taste. Try searching for phrases like "American South brewing history," "America West Coast brewing," "American Midwest beer history," or "East Coast beer." 

There are also distinct periods of settlement and industrial development, including the Colonial Era and Civil War period. 

The era after Prohibition saw a dramatic consolidation of the industry and the closing of many of the breweries that were able to weather Prohibition by making soft drinks or juices. In addition to searching for individual breweries, people, or events during this period, you can also search for categories such as "industrial," "macro," or "post-Prohibition."  

Recommended publications

Recommended publications for beer in Oregon

There are two articles on the Brewstorian blog about Oregon beer history.


The Prehistoric Period, when there was human life before records documented human activity, roughly dates from 2.5 million years ago to 1200 BC. 

Google Scholar: links to search results pages

Below is an example of related searches in Google Scholar. You can use these suggestions to search directly in Google Scholar or the OSU Library catalog, but they may also give you new ideas for topics.


Ancient history covers all continents inhabited by humans in the period 3000 BC to AD 500. While much ancient era brewing research focuses on Mesopotamia, Sumeria, or Egypt, remember that people in China, Mesoamerica, Northern Europe, Greece, and Rome also brewed. 

Recommended publications


The Viking Age in Scandinavian history is the period from the earliest recorded raids by Norsemen in 793 until the Norman conquest of England in 1066. 

There are different search terms and places to look for information about beer produced during the Viking Age. For example,

Also remember to look for specific countries of origin (e.g. the area that became modern-day Denmark, Sweden, and Norway) or places they settled (e.g. England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Iceland, Greenland, North America, and parts of the European mainland).

Recommended publications

Other recommended sources for Norse beer history