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Beer Research Guide: Past Paper Topics

Introduction

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.

ADVERTISING

History of early television advertising for the American brewing industry, specifically the impact on smaller and local breweries
Changes in beer advertising in American media in ___ time frame.
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
Methods for advertising beer in Japan 

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

BUSINESS
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 
Business biography of the main beer producers in Japan
History of the Meteor Brewery in Alsace 

CHURCH
The correlation between beer, brewing, and Catholic Saints
Brewing traditions in Trappist monasteries
Monastic influence on beer and brewing
Relationship of religion and the history of beer
The intersection of medieval guilds, economics, and the Catholic Church

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

CULTURE
How beer impacted language development in Europe -- or beer and its influence on language 
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 
History of baseball and beer
Beer production and consumption during a pandemic
Beer and baseball
History of indigenous brewing in Mexico
Study of race or class in brewing industry

ERA
The impact of Anheuser-Busch on the beer industry during ___ era. 
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
The growth of Anheuser-Busch after WWII (1945-1980)

FOOD
Beer and food pairings 

HEALTH
Fermentation and health effects
Health preventative properties of hops or beer
Alcohol consumption and alcoholism in college

HOMEBREWING
Examples of historical brewing processes used in modern homebrewing

HOPS
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

IMMIGRATION
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)

INDUSTRY
Impact of the Industrial Revolution on brewing in ___ place
History and evolution of the beer can
Major scientific achievements and beer industry in ___ era or ___ place

INGREDIENTS
History of yeast in alcoholic beverages
Anton Schwartz, Henry Weinhard, and the use of adjunct grains

OREGON
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

PLACE
Beer and brewing in Brazil, e.g. cultivation of barley and hops, event Brazilian Carnival, economic impact 
History of brewing in Russia
How brewing in the Colonial era changed the cultural, social, and economic landscape of Pennsylvania
History of beer-making in Scandinavia
History of brewing in Japan
Growth in the Japanese brewing industry after WWII
History of beer and brewing in Scotland
History of beer and brewing in Malaya and Singapore
Impact of brewing industry on regional identities in Bohemia and Germany
Role of brewing, beer, and ale-trade in founding the colonial United States
Study of craft brewing on the West Coast (looking at 2-4 companies or cities)
Beer in Asheville, North Carolina
Origins of Soma rasa and impact on India’s history, religion, and society 
History of beer and brewing in South Korea

PROHIBITION
Key characteristics of businesses that thrived during the Prohibition era
Prohibition and the Women's Christian Temperance Union 
History of near beer
Bootlegging during Prohibition 
History of Pabst Brewing during Prohibition
Examples of breweries in New York and how they adapted to Prohibition
History of prohibition efforts outside the United States

STYLE
Hard seltzers and impact on market for beer production
The history of porter and early industrial brewing in Britain
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) 
History of stout
History of Irish stouts
Czech brewing styles in America
History of gluten free beer in __ place or __ era 

SUSTAINABILITY
Strategies for brewers utilizing geothermal energy and other renewable resources 
Link between sustainability efforts and marketing in brewing industry (looking at 2-4 companies or cities) 

TECHNOLOGY
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
Carlsberg Laboratory and its impact on scientific brewing

WAR
History of beer production or distribution during American wars

WOMEN
History of organizations to support women in brewing industry
Advertising of brewsters as witches resulting in the iconography of witches held today
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