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“Our Beer”: Ethnographic Brands in Postsocialist Georgia

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Abstract

Although Georgia is known for its wines, industrial production of beer far outstrips industrial wine production for local markets: wine consumption occurs in ritual contexts in which new wine, typically purchased from peasant producers, is preferred; bottled, aged wines are primarily for exports. Beer, therefore, is a key area in which industrial production for indigenous consumers has been elaborated. Such goods are packaged and presented as being both ecologically “pure” and following “traditional” methods, often referencing “ethnographic” materials about traditional life in brand images, even as they proclaim their reliance on Western technologies.

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