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Title: Storytelling and Market Formation: An Exploration of Microbrewers in the UK
Authors: Maguire, Jennifer Smith
Bain, Jessica
Davies, Andrea
Touri, Maria
First Published: 2015
Publisher: West Virginia University Press
Citation: Davies, AJ;Maguire, JS;Bain, J;Touri, , Storytelling and Market Formation: An Exploration of Microbrewers in the UK, ed. Chapman, N;Lellock, JS;Lippard, C, 'Untapped: Exploring the Cultural Dimensions of the Craft Beer Revolution', West Virginia University Press
Abstract: The chapter examines the British microbrew beer market. Brewing in the UK extends back to the middle ages. More recently, thanks to regulatory change and inspired by the American craft beer boom, UK microbreweries have rapidly increased in number, with nearly 200 opening each year. However, the British beer market remains dominated by ‘big brands’, and many consumers are unsure what the term ‘craft beer’ means. It is in this context that our research examines how microbrewers are actively constructing a nascent niche market. We ask: what role do stories play in making that alternative market possible? We employ a ‘performative’ approach to studying markets and the significance of discursive devices—specifically, stories—in the shaping and reshaping of markets. Based on interviews with a small sample of microbrewers in the East Midlands region, we examine how a microbrew beer market is performed through the stories that producers tell. Our analysis disentangles three genres of stories (stories that producers tell about themselves, their customers and about their peers in the marketplace) and highlights the ways in which such stories operate as devices that enable the microbrewers to enact their market roles in ways well suited to craft markets and within notions of a ‘new spirit of capitalism’ (Boltanski and Chiapello 2005). We offer a rich, interpretive account of craft brewing from the understudied perspective of producer subjectivities and narratives.
Embargo on file until: 1-Jan-10000
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Chapter
Appears in Collections:Books & Book Chapters, School of Management

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