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Beer Research Guide: Past Paper Topics


Students in past HST 417: History of Beer and Brewing classes have worked on a variety of topics. Some examples on this page are broad and in need of focus, but give you an idea of what has been researched and written about in the past.

NOTE: these are topics, not thesis statements. 

Changes in beer advertising in American media in ___ time frame
History of early television advertising for the American brewing industry, specifically the impact on smaller and local breweries
Media coverage and perception of healthy alcohol consumption and alcoholism
Sex in advertising
Beer advertising strategies in the years following Prohibition
Methods and strategies for advertising speakeasies during Prohibition
Government regulations and beer advertising during 1940s and 1950s
The King of Beers: history of Budweiser advertising
The post-Prohibition [and/or] post-WWII "Americanization" of beer in media and its impact on the perception of health risks (e.g., alcoholism)
Alcohol advertising and adolescent drinking
Music in 1950 and 1960s beer commercials
History of logos, branding, and trademarking of early beer brands
Methods for advertising beer in Japan

Biography of homebrewer and author Fred Eckhardt
Joseph Owades and the creation of light beer
History of Joseph Schlitz and his brewing company
History of the Anheuser-Busch family
Carrie Nation and her work during Prohibition

History of Guinness Beer
History of the Heineken Brewing Company
History of Lucky Lager
History of the Pabst Brewing Company
History of the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
History of Rainier Brewing 
History of the Kona Brewing Company
Business biography of the main beer producers in Japan
History of the Meteor Brewery in Alsace
Kidnapping and murder of Adolf Coors and the effect on the Coors company
History of the Coors Brewing Company (esp. LGBTQ rights, labor disputes, unions, consumer boycotts)

The correlation between beer, brewing, and Catholic Saints
Brewing traditions in Trappist monasteries
History of the last six Belgian Trappist breweries
History of Grimbergen Abby and beer
Monastic influence on beer and brewing
Relationship of religion and the history of beer
Prohibition and anti-Catholic sentiment
The intersection of medieval guilds, economics, and the Catholic Church

History of Cider making in Oregon
Cider making in Oregon between 2000-2020
History of cider production in America (or England, or Europe)
History of orchard planting and management for cider apples

How beer impacted language development in Europe -- or beer and its influence on language
History and influence of pubs in England
Saloons in American culture during the 19th and early 20th century
History of the relationship between music and beer
Examples of intersection for beer and politics
History of indigenous brewing in America
Cultural and economic significance of beer for Vikings
Oktoberfest: comparing festivals in North America to Germany
History of Japanese drinking rituals
How the Roman occupation of Gaul shaped beer culture 
Frontier alcohol culture: beer in the mining towns of the Alaska-Yukon Territory
History of baseball and beer
Beer production and consumption during a pandemic
Effects of beer and brewing on Ancient Egyptian culture
History of indigenous brewing in Mexico
Friendship and drinking patterns in Iceland
Chinese brewing and drinking culture
Study of race or class in brewing industry

Alcohol consumption and alcoholism in college
Impact of beer in a collegiate setting on GPA

The impact of Anheuser-Busch on the beer industry during ___ era
Polish brewing during the Communist Occupation, 1945-1989
Effects of societal change in 14th and 15th centuries on the brewing industry, e.g. impact of the Black Death, religious reform, increasing trade, commercialization of brewing, standardization, and new technologies

Use of beer in cooking in the U.S. in the 20th and 21st century
Beer and food pairings 

History of organizations to support women in brewing industry
Participation and public opinion of women in beer and brewing
Advertising of brewsters as witches resulting in the iconography of witches held today 
How the addition of hops to beer contributed to the rise of the archetypical witch
Women and brewing in the United States, e.g women’s role in the early Temperance movements, Prohibition, Suffrage, post-Prohibition, women’s liberation movement, modern 3rd wave feminism, women in modern craft beer
Social, cultural, economic impacts of displacement of women in brewing brewing industry (exclusion from guilds, limited trading ability, sexualized or sexist depictions)
Women's responsibility for beer production in ___ country or ___ era
Women's responsibility for beer production in ancient eras (Mesopotamia, Jaihu, China, Egypt)
Women of color in United States brewing (slavery, misogyny, economic inequity)
Polish women brewers
Women, beer, witches
History of the Pink Boots Society
Representation of women in beer advertising in the 1950s
History of Japanese women and sake
Ale-wives, brewing, and sex
Why is beer associated with masculinity?

Fermentation and health effects
Hangover cures
Health preventative properties of hops or beer

Home brewing in colonial America
Homebrewing in the middle ages in England, with a focus on the history of gruit
Examples of historical brewing processes used in modern homebrewing

Willamette Valley as a primary hop growing region and the link to early growth of craft beer in Oregon
History of hop research in Corvallis, Oregon (OSU, USDA)
History of hop research in England in ___ era
Study of how monks used hops in beer
Hops and their effect on the brewing process (chemistry of beer with hops, function as beer preservative, different hopping techniques like dry hopping or fresh hops)
Impact of the Cascade Hop on the popularity of India Pale Ale
Insect ecology as it relates to hops 
History of Chinese hop growers in the Pacific Northwest
Study of the demographics of hop pickers on the West Coast between 1860 and 1920.
Strategies for pest management in hops in ___ era

Impact of German and Austrian immigrants on Mexico's brewing history
Comparative regional study into the differences of beer culture in Sweden, Germany, and the Pacific Northwest
Characteristics of immigrant beer makers (Adolphus Busch, Adolph Kohrs, Jacob Best, Henry Weinhard)

Impact of the Industrial Revolution on brewing in ___ place
Major scientific achievements and beer industry in ___ era or ___ place
Worker responses to the industrialization of beer and brewing in London
History and evolution of the beer can
Similarities between brewing and distilling, with a focus on 12th century to 15th century technologies Impact of the three-tier system on microbreweries

History of yeast in alcoholic beverages
Flavored bitters in beer: the history of the French company Picon
Ingredients used in brewing in colonial American era Psychotropics and beer Anton Schwartz, Henry Weinhard, and the use of adjunct grains

Change in local media coverage of the beer in Oregon between the 1980s and the present
History of the establishment and growth of breweries in Southern Oregon and Central Oregon
History of brewing industry in Bend, Oregon (including pre-Prohibition)
History of Deschutes Brewing Company 
History of brewing and saloons in Junction City, Oregon
History of Rogue Ales
History of Henry Weinhard and his brewing company
Characteristics between German and Swiss immigrant brewers in Portland in 19th century
Impact of breweries on Bend's local economy
Comparison of Deschutes and Widmer Brewing Co.
History of JV Northwest beer equipment manufacturing company in Oregon

Beer and brewing in Brazil, e.g. cultivation of barley and hops, event Brazilian Carnival, economic impact 
Origins of Soma rasa and impact on India's history, religion, and society
How brewing in the Colonial era changed the cultural, social, and economic landscape of Pennsylvania
Impact of brewing industry on regional identities in Bohemia and Germany
Role of brewing, beer, and ale-trade in founding the colonial United States
San Miguel Beer: brewed in the Philippines
Study of craft brewing on the West Coast (looking at 2-4 companies or cities)
Beer and the revitalization of small towns in the Pacific Northwest
History of brewing in Russia
History of beer-making in Scandinavia
History of brewing in Japan
History of brewing in Ireland
History of beer and brewing in Scotland
History of beer and brewing in Malaya and Singapore
Beer in Asheville, North Carolina
Dutch influence on Japanese beer in the mid 19th century.
Prohibition of beer in Iceland
History of beer production in Kyoto
How the Alaska Brewing Company and Yukon Brewing Company revolutionized craft beer in Alaska in Northwest Canada
Local beer industry in post-apartheid South Africa
German brewing industry in the 21st-century
Impact of craft beer on North Carolina tourism
Spanish influence on the Filipino brewing market
History of beer and brewing in South Korea

Key characteristics of businesses that thrived during the Prohibition era
Impact of Prohibition on the American car industry
Impact of Prohibition on the American beer consumption
Prohibition and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union
History of near beer and/or needle beer
Bootlegging during Prohibition
History of Pabst Brewing during Prohibition
Examples of breweries in New York and how they adapted to Prohibition
Prohibition and organized crime in Chicago
History of prohibition efforts outside the United States

Hard seltzers and impact on market for beer production
The history of porter and early industrial brewing in Britain
The decline of a Mesoamerican alcoholic beverage: a history of Pulque in Mexico
Chicha: maize beers in the South American Andes
History of Sake in Japan in ___ era
History of Marzen beers
Development of the taxonomy of beer styles 
IPA styles in Oregon: standard bitter IPA, aromatic IPA, Hazy IPA (New England IPA)
West Coast IPAs and hazy New England IPA History of stout
History of Irish stouts
Origins and modern interpretations of Czech Pilsner
Czech brewing styles in America
History of gluten free beer in __ place or __ era

Strategies for brewers utilizing geothermal energy and other renewable resources
The influence and impact of sustainability practices at of Hopworks Urban Brewery
Using waste water to brew beer
Link between sustainability efforts and marketing in brewing industry (looking at 2-4 companies or cities)

Evolution of equipment technologies for beer production
Evolution of modern material technologies for use in beer containers
Development of technologies to store and transport beer 
History of carbonation in beer
Bottle and can technology
Artificial refrigeration and American beer in the late 19th Century
Impact of refrigeration on the production of lagers
Carlsberg Laboratory and its impact on scientific brewing

The US army and lager beer History of beer production or distribution during American wars
Growth in the Japanese brewing industry after WWII
Guns, bombs, and beer: a comparison of beer in WWII and the Vietnam Conflict
Canned beer and the Vietnam war Impact of WWII advertising campaigns by breweries and the addition of beer in American soldier’s rations on perception and consumption
Brewing in Germany in World War I and World War II
The growth of Anheuser-Busch after WWII (1945-1980)