Towner Fellows’ Lounge
“Teaching London how to Drink: How the Excise Created London’s Favorite Beer”
John Krenzke, Loyola University Chicago
The focus of Change is Brewing: The Industrialization of the London Beer-Brewing Trade, 1400-1750 is to answer fundamental questions about migration, ethnicity, gender, and class in early modern London. Each of those questions are viewed from the lens of the brewing trade as it changed from a household business dominated by women in the medieval period, to a trade dominated by foreign artisans in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, to an industry dominated by wealthy men native to London in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.The focus of my current research is an examination of the role that government interference, in the form of excise taxation, played within London’s brewing trade. I have sought to revise Peter Mathias’s work on the London brewing industry of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by arguing that the English government’s taxation of beer and malt, rather than the shaping of the trade by captains of industry, was the dominant force in determining the path of London’s brewing trade in the eighteenth century.
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