April 16, 2013
Past/Present/Future: Alcohol Innovation

Innovate thinking can inspire a wide-range of improvements. Alcohol-induced innovate thinking is usually dismissed at a bar as drunken ramblings, but the people who make alcohol have changed the world we live in.


Some academics tout the beer civilization theory, or the theory that beer inspired people to transition from hunter/gather societies to the sedentary lifestyle of farmers sparking the birth of civilization. The innovation of humans at this point of transition is astounding whether it was bread or beer that caused people to selectively grow certain plants for processing and consumption.

Have you ever considered the creators of your alcohol as great innovators?


“Almost all innovation in the spirits world is coming from the craft players,” noted a master distiller at Maker’s Mark.  The current wave of micro breweries and micro distilleries have inspired many innovative individuals to craft their own alcohol. The beer, vodka, whiskey and other products they are churning out have larger alcohol makers concerned and working to compete with these individuals and small companies as these small companies are competing for a piece of the market.

 Does innovation drive competition, or does competition drive innovation?


Indiana’s House and Senate passed a bill that will allow micro distilleries to sell alcohol onsite in Indiana. 

How could Hoosier craft liquor affect our state’s competitiveness?

To experience an innovative idea I had while consuming alcohol, save the date for the Indiana Humanities Pub Crawl on May 30th in Indianapolis. Details coming soon!


In April and May, Indiana Humanities is exploring the topic of “innovation,” as part of its Spirit of Competition theme. This post was written by Jenny Kalvaitis, an intern for Indiana Humanities and a Master’s candidate in Public History at IUPUI.

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