Miguel Schweitzer |Descargar PDF|
This article discusses the budding opportunity for the beer industry, namely craft beer, to serve as a major public diplomacy tool, much in the same way “wine diplomacy” is used in nations such as Chile, Argentina, and France to connect with foreign audiences.
The article assesses states, cities, and regions’ potential for using the beer industry as a catalyst for tourism and international image. The existence of exchanges in the craft beer industry is also assessed as a public diplomacy tool to foster mutual understanding between people from different nations. The article also addresses examples of beer being used to explicitly engage in cultural diplomacy, such as the example of the Palestinian breweries that export to Israel, in an attempt to change perceptions. The article then analyzes the value of themed national pubs for public diplomacy, serving a similar role as pavilions in World Expos, as is the case with Irish pubs around the world. National pubs can create a national image abroad, but can also foster stereotypes and prejudices if not done authentically. At the same time, because of the flexible nature of beer, especially craft beer, the possibility of utilizing local and traditional ingredients allows for the construction of national beers that can be used to create symbols in the international community. Additionally, this article briefly discusses the relationship between beer and politics, namely the phenomenon in American politics in which beer is used to connect with constituents, as demonstrated by the Obama administration, and used in the debate of divisive issues. Finally, the article addresses the growth of the industry and how it offers numerous opportunities to engage with foreign audiences. This becomes especially relevant if we consider the global reach of beer and its presence in many consumers’ everyday lives.
Beer diplomacy, gastro diplomacy, public diplomacy, beer tourism