Whiteness and settler colonial logics in the Pacific Northwest hops and craft beer industries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rapidly expanding Pacific Northwest (PNW) craft beer industry and the heralding of Seattle as an epicenter of “hoppy beer” has benefited from geographic proximity to the Yakima Valley, revered by many as the “hops capital of world.” In this article, I center theory from Black studies, Native studies, and critical whiteness studies to examine the intersectional violences of settler colonialism and whiteness as structuring logics of the PNW hops and craft beer industries. Based on ethnographic fieldwork carried out between 2012 and 2019, I argue that the settler colonial history of PNW hops cultivation and present-day culture of exclusion that extends outward into relationships with craft brewers, sustain a hegemonic whiteness. Moreover, I suggest that craft beer culture in the United States, as a site of settler colonialism and racial capitalism, has benefitted from ongoing dispossession through gentrification and cultural appropriation. By way of conclusion, I discuss the possibilities and limitations of existing attempts to dismantle whiteness within the US craft beer industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1032-1055
Number of pages24
JournalFood, Culture and Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2023


  • Craft beer
  • United States
  • dispossession
  • hops
  • settler colonialism
  • whiteness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies


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