Big beer producers caught on the hop

Offered a choice between the products of the grape and the hop, Peter Swann admits that he would go for wine every time. But in his capacity as professor of industrial economics at Nottingham University, he has become fascinated by the workings of the brewing industry, and the phenomenal spread of microbreweries in particular, helped in no small measure by tax breaks from Gordon Brown when he was chancellor. The result is a new paper called The Fall and Rise of the Local Brew – a heartening tale, he believes, with implications for other sectors of the economy.


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