Panel 03 Regional Evolution: Changing Cultural Landscapes in the Midwest

Event Title

The Art of Craft and the Culture of Brewing: A Rhetorical Analysis of Indiana's Emerging Craft Beer Industries

Start Date

13-2-2015 3:00 PM

End Date

13-2-2015 4:20 PM

Panel

Regional Evolution: Changing Cultural Landscapes in the Midwest

Paper/Panel Track (if known)

Financescapes

Abstract

Over the last decade, the state of Indiana has gradually peeled back prohibition-era regulations regarding the production and sale of alcohol, legislative acts ultimately contributing to the booming popularity of the craft beer industry in the Midwest. Since the movement to liberalize alcohol laws in Indiana came from a wide-range of local voices associated with home brew clubs, microbrewery startups, and craft brewery interests, participation in craft beer culture has been stalwart and fast growing. Hence, the small towns and big cities of Indiana support a craft beer culture that, on the one hand, mirrors and competes with national trends and, on the other hand, departs in ways that are unique to the Heartland state. In order to better understand this phenomenon, I engage in a rhetorical analysis of Tin Man Brewing, an award winning craft brewery in Evansville, Indiana. I argue that the Tin Man maintains a post-industrial aesthetic, privileging environmentalism, localism, and the imaginative/artistic reappropriation of equipment left behind by the changing economic realities of the rust belt city. Such aesthetic fragments, I argue, function rhetorically, creating a consumer identification that reflects the hybridized culture of craft beer in Indiana and contributes rhetorics that are simultaneously challenging and conciliatory.

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Feb 13th, 3:00 PM Feb 13th, 4:20 PM

The Art of Craft and the Culture of Brewing: A Rhetorical Analysis of Indiana's Emerging Craft Beer Industries

Over the last decade, the state of Indiana has gradually peeled back prohibition-era regulations regarding the production and sale of alcohol, legislative acts ultimately contributing to the booming popularity of the craft beer industry in the Midwest. Since the movement to liberalize alcohol laws in Indiana came from a wide-range of local voices associated with home brew clubs, microbrewery startups, and craft brewery interests, participation in craft beer culture has been stalwart and fast growing. Hence, the small towns and big cities of Indiana support a craft beer culture that, on the one hand, mirrors and competes with national trends and, on the other hand, departs in ways that are unique to the Heartland state. In order to better understand this phenomenon, I engage in a rhetorical analysis of Tin Man Brewing, an award winning craft brewery in Evansville, Indiana. I argue that the Tin Man maintains a post-industrial aesthetic, privileging environmentalism, localism, and the imaginative/artistic reappropriation of equipment left behind by the changing economic realities of the rust belt city. Such aesthetic fragments, I argue, function rhetorically, creating a consumer identification that reflects the hybridized culture of craft beer in Indiana and contributes rhetorics that are simultaneously challenging and conciliatory.