Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis



First Advisor

Jennifer Reynolds


This ethnography examines a locally owned craft beer store in South Carolina, where craft beer connoisseurs and enthusiasts come together to elevate their beer drinking experience. Many members of this microcommunity use ‘beer talk’, a technical register of speech (Agha 2007; Manning 2008; Silverstein 2006, 2016), to point to, or index, a part of their beer connoisseur identity. The ‘beer talk’ register used to describe craft beer is enacted at various scales of speech (Carr and Lempert 2016), ranging from Cicerone Certification and mobile applications, to online forums, beer festivals, beer magazines, brewery visits, and face-to-face interaction. The CofP model (Lave and Wegner 1991; Eckert and McConnell-Ginet 1992) was used to identify recurrent activities of ‘beer talk’, including beer tastings, beverage distribution sales meetings, and keyed frames of cultivating beer knowledge. For an eight month period, these activities were video and audio recorded; ethnographic interviews were then conducted with core members to analyze member conceptions of ‘beer talk’. CA (Sacks, et al. 1974; Goodwin and Goodwin 1992) and Goffman’s frame analysis (1955, 1966, 1974) are used to analyze interactions to contribute to a better understanding of how larger scales of speech influence the keyed frames of ‘beer talk’ and qualia analyses reflective of connoisseur membership identity (Bucholtz & Hall 2004).


© 2017, Anna Hamer