Friday, October 16, 2009

A Clarification

I am not a 'beer economist.' I am not sure what that would be, but I know a whole lot less about the beer industry than other members of the economics department at OSU, for example.
What I am is an economist and the point of the beeronomics posts is not that I am an expert on the economics of beer (whatever that would be), but that economics can be understood through all sorts of real world industries, markets and phenomenon. The point of beeronomics then is to have fun learning about and thinking about economics in less-conventional ways.

I happen to like brewing, consuming and learning about craft beer. And I happen to really like, without exception, everyone involved in craft beer that I have ever had the good fortune to meet. Oregon also happens to be the epicenter of the craft beer renaissance in America. So it seemed to me to be a natural and fun industry to use to explain and discuss economic theories. I can also go off and write purely self-indulgent posts about beer that have little or nothing to do with economics (as long as my editor doesn't notice).

The main motivation behind the creation of this blog was to try to create a place, outside of the classroom, where I could connect with students and others interested in economics. I think economics is interesting and enlightening and that it can also be a lot of fun. The beeronomics posts started as an attempt to demonstrate both aspects.

I say all this because I have been told a few times recently that I have garnered a reputation for being the 'beer economist' and that what I know about is mostly beer. Both assertions are false: I know very little about the beer industry (except the little I have learned through this blog)and I know a lot about many other things. I do, on occasion, refer to my academic research (which has nothing to do with beer) in this blog, but talking about it incessantly would get boring fast.

First and foremost I am a well-trained economist that is curious about many things, interested in the intersection of economics and policy, and someone who enjoys teaching and is excited about his discipline and what it has to offer the neophyte. Oh, and I also enjoy the occasional beer.

With that said, here are some recommendations from recent ventures to the beer store/pub:

Full Sail Vesuvius - beware this is a deceptively big beer, find someone to share the 22oz-er with. An economist would describe a big beer as one that has fairly large diminishing marginal returns.

Bridgeport Stumptown Tart - also surprisingly big and the cherry can become cloying if you drink too much so, again, find a partner for the big bottle.

By the way, I bought a bottle of Sam Adams Cherry Wheat on a lark - big mistake. Yuck. You are so much better off springing for and savoring the Stumptown Tart

Dry-Hopped Mirror Pond on cask at the Deschutes Portland Pub - probably long gone, but man oh man, this uber-classic is stunningly radiant on cask. No diminishing marginal returns here, it was hard to stop drinking.

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