Spinoff of male Silicon Valley tech culture. Tech geeks created a new kind of cool male (the most alpha of which is obvious). But not every geek wants to code. Yeah, comic books big time and Star Wars and stuff. But -- something more fun than creating code. Or: less snootily, creating code wasn't quite what a guy had in mind. But make beer? Sure. That's like code. Sort of. Certainly it's equally creative. Physically harder, for damn sure. Brewing = physical work. No sitting at a desk. Or not much.
So. Sure. c. 2000 or thereabouts. First big wave of millennials hitting the shore of adulthood, etc. Big numbers, by the way. I had not fully appreciated the size of the demographic. I thought it was almost as big as the baby boom. Wrong! Bigger. By more than a bit.
That changed my perspective. So now, working on this project, my historian's lens has shifted perspective a bit. Obviously much of the same as before (eg baby boomers, 1950s affluence, etc.) But equally obviously, one HUGE difference --- the digital.
But for culture? For economics. Entrepreneurship. That's a biggie. People keep looking at the "slackers," or whatever the term is now. But seems to me that there's a shitload of doing goin' on out there in the 20-30 age bracket. Just not where you think of it: Not apps and tech (STOP USING THAT WORD FOR ANYTHING DIGITAL!!!) and California and iPads and stuff. This is more --- in the gorund, so to speak. More tangible. Like I said: It's physical. A thing pops out at the end of the process. (Don't take me literally.) The bottling line produces its own version of a potential widget.
Plus, boy do I agree about this whole vocational training thing. Man oh man we need that now. Badly.
anyway. Geeks. Male culture. American male early twentieth century culture. After all, historians have already come up with descriptions of/research in same in early 19th, late 19th, early 20th centuries. Old news if you're a historian.
Geek. In 2007, being a geek was touted, expertly, I might add, as a crucial component of beer culture. Not necessarily male, although it was/is overwhelmingly so. But that's signficiant. yeah, okay, the BA has made damn sure to be "inclusive," although does sucky job with outreach. Sucky. But needs $$. Even so, and despite Pink Boots, it's a largley male white culture. And happesns to be a historically exceptional inclusive male culture. It's almost okay to be female. Certainly many of the men I've met in the biz are pelvicly affliated with tough, smart female partners; indeed, near as I can tell, in some cases, she's the one with her eye on the road and her foot on the pedal.
So. Male culture. Geek culture. Tech. Silicon Valley. Demographics. Beer. Beer as thing. Physicallity and inclusiveness. Male culture. Beer. Geeks. Culture. Definitions. Culture shapes trajectory. Maybe.
Hilarious update some six, seven minutes after I read this. Above prompted by reading the first two pieces in the March 2007 issue of Beer Advocate, which was devoted to teh topic of beer geeks. I've got it here; physical copy. I read the first two pieces, short op-eds. Came to computer. Wrote the above. Returned to magazine to read more. Flipped a few pages. Found an essay about one Anton Schwarz, 19th c. beer guy. 19th c. geek. For which: I was interviewed. I have almost no recollection of that interivew; indeed, none at all until I started reading the essay. Translation: Uh oh! My own work is gonna get into my historical research.