seen pub numbers halve over the last century, in the last 5 years 257 micropubs haveopened to “promote conversation. Drawing on interviews with publicans and regulars oflocal micropubs, as well as participant observation, the pilot study offers insights into the micropub as a third place which has the potential to re-engage citizens in civic life
2. Phil Mellows (Independent) The New Drinking Spaces: Micropubs and Tap Rooms
Against the current of pub closures, and against the common perception that pubs need to be food-led to survive in the marketplace, recent years have seen the emergence, and fast growth, of two styles of pub where drinking, specifically drinking beer, dominates: the micropub and the brewery tap room. Both have been driven by objective circumstances: the micropub by the 2003 Licensing Act and the recession; the tap room by the proliferation of microbreweries and the economics and logistics of brewing. Both share some characteristics, too, notably a desire for informal, sociable spaces, an ‘authentic’ experienceand good beer.
They tend, however, to attract very different kinds of customer with very different drinking behaviours. The micropub can be seen as a modern interpretation of the beer houses thatsprang up following the 1830s Beer Act and reflect a nostalgia for a ‘proper pub’, serving mostly ‘real ale’ to mostly middle-aged men. The on-site brewery tap room, however, is a genuinely modern phenomenon that attracts a diverse demographic keen to explorenovelty and an authentic experience that derives not from ‘tradition’ but from a proximityto artisan production and producers. I shall compare and contrast these new drinking spaces, present the latest numbers and trends, ask what lies behind their popularity andwhat it means for changing drinking behaviours and the evolution of ‘the pub’ in Britishsociety.
3. Iain MacRury (Bournemouth): Wetherspoons and Brexit as Branded Content ABSTRACT TO FOLLOW
13.45-14.45 – Roundtable discussion/Future DSN Cluster Activities
(Sam Goodman) Roundtable discussion including local brewers and distillers.
Panel 3: 14.45-16.15.
1. Mario de Benedittis (Università degli Studi di Milano) Practices, Fields And Agents Of Expert Wine Tasting
In sociology, practices of expert wine tasting have been studied almost exclusively focusing on:
- a) dynamics involving sommeliers, analyzing what happens during the courses, the language used, the actions implemented by novices following training courses in wine bars;
- b) the enological critique, facing rarely others technical tastings like those involving, for example, oenologists.
More generally, the reflection is often oriented to aspects linked to perception, cognition, or classification. The technical tasting is instead a set of practices involving different social worlds and professional roles, depending on who is the taster and where and when the tasting happens: selectors for a distribution, wine sellers, agronomists, winemakers, producers, sommeliers, organizers of fairs, judges of a competition, members of a D.O.C.