Craft and Artisanal

Craft and Artisanal

Co-ordinators: Braden N., Nadine W. and Robert C. 

The ‘Craft and Artisanal’ cluster is focused on the production, consumption and representation of artisanal drinks, such as microbrew beer, biodynamic wine, craft cider and small-batch spirits. Such goods are commonly associated with small-scale production, traditional techniques, skilled craftwork and discerning consumer palates. As such, they purport to offer experiences and qualities that differ markedly from the mass-produced, industrial-scale drinks to which they are frequently diametrically opposed. Craft and artisanal drinks, then, are often embedded in discourses relating to authenticity, provenance and locality, from the scale of the individual (in pursuit of a ‘real’ cider or ale) to that of the region or nation (for which territorially-linked craft goods generate value).

Research within the cluster is likely to focus on:

  • Identity, taste, and ethics—for producers, intermediaries, consumers
  • Authenticity and its commodification
  • The experience of artisanal labour
  • Regulation and representation of terroir and provenance
  • Sustainability, the environment, and ecologies
  • The mobilisation of heritage, material culture and ‘the past’
  • Economic value and the creation of markets
  • The production and mediation of craft and artisanal knowledge


This cluster exists to connect scholars who are interested in exploring various aspects of Craft & Artisanal. We encourage scholars who are looking to collaborate, who have published or recently presented their scholarship, or otherwise are engaged in this field to connect with us. We intend to post funding opportunities, call for papers/chapters, and other conference presentation and publishing opportunities. 

Co-ordinator’s introduction

Hello, my name is Braden Neihart ( I am an independent historian in Denver, Colorado. My research broadly examines beer and brewing history in the Rocky Mountain West. In particular, it looks at how beer is a medium through which people communicate values, meanings, politics, economics, and a host of other messages. I have published on beer as a social, political, and cultural tool and lens in Colorado, through the 1968 Colorado State University Beer-In. My current book project maps terroir onto beer and brewing history in the Rocky Mountains

Hi my name is Nadine Waehning ( I am a lecturer in Marketing at the University of York, UK. My research is rooted in consumer behaviour. I have published a book chapter with some friends/colleagues on “‘Craft’ as a Contested Term”, I have looked into consumer motives to purchase regional produce and currently I am working on an interdisciplinary project to assess consumers pub visiting behaviour by applying foraging theory. Additional interests of mine lie within the NoLow consumer behaviour/decision making but also more general topics such as the economic impact of beer festivals and how COVID impacted the brewing industry. If any of the above sounds of interest to you, get in touch, I am always looking forward to working with other craft and artisanal enthusiasts.

Hi – I’m Robert Cole ( and my training is in Communication Studies, with a concentration in Philosophy and Rhetoric. As a Professor of Communication Studies at Roger Williams University, in Bristol, Rhode Island (USA), I teach and write about qualitative research methods, social movements, food & drink studies, peace studies, and faculty-led study abroad. I also regularly take students to Germany/Belgium/England to study beer culture. To learn more about that, please see  In addition, I am the Area Chair for the Beer Culture Division of the Popular Culture Association ( Cheers!