About Us

With a global production estimated in nearly two billion hectolitres in 2014, beer represents without doubt 'the' alcoholic beverage of the masses and for the masses. Researches and investigations addressing beer-related themes and issues have traditionally been spread and distributed across a wide range of disciplines and fields, but frequently without a clear focus on the economics and social implications associated with the global brewing industry. The Beeronomics Society started its activities in January 2009 to fill this gap and with the main objective to capture the many diverse issues and challenges associated with the economics of beer, providing an open platform for discussions and debates. The Society is administered and managed by an Executive Committee, formed by high-profile scholars and professionals based in top universities worldwide. Members of the Committee meet on regular basis and make decisions about several aspects of the Society, including the organization of events and future directions in terms of publications and networking.

Executive Committee

Jo Swinnen - Honorary President

Jo is Professor of Economics and Director of the LICOS-Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance at the KU Leuven; Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS); a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Food Security and the Environment (FSE) at Stanford University; and former President of the International Association of Agricultural Economists. He was previously Lead Economist at the World Bank and Economic Advisor at the European Commission. He has published widely on agricultural and food policies, political economy, institutional reform, trade, global value chains, and product standards. He edited “The Economics of Beer” in 2011 with Oxford Univ Press, and his most recent books include “Quality Standards, Value Chains and International Development” (2015, Cambridge Univ Press); “The Economics of Chocolate” (2015, Oxford Univ Press), “Political Power and Economic Policy” (2011 Cambridge Univ Press).

Michael McCullough - Chief Executive Officer

Michael McCullough is a Professor of Agribusiness at California Polytechnic State University. He teaches courses focused on data analysis, research methods, and applied economics. Dr. McCullough received a Ph.D. in Economics and a MS in Statistics from Washington State University. His research interests deal with California production agriculture including the regulatory environment currently faced by producers, as well as the economics and policy of beer and wine. Current research projects span from an assessment of regulatory costs on specialty crops to the effects of climate change and water policy on rural communities. Current beer and wine work spans from analyzing the difference between American Light Lager drinkers and Craft drinkers, to local economy impacts of wine production and water policy, to the impacts of the new US Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act.

Martin Stack - Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Martin Stack, Ph.D., is a long-time professor of management in the Helzberg School of Management dedicated to teaching in three distinct, but related areas about which he is passionate: international business and management, competitive analysis and strategy, as well as healthcare management. As a professor of management, Martin teaches courses such as Business in the Global Environment, International Management, Competitive Analysis, Healthcare Systems and Corporate Social Responsibility. Martin has authored a number of publications regarding U.S. and international brewing industries. Reflecting his professional experience in healthcare, he has also published several articles and book chapters on various dimensions of the market for healthcare. Lately, he has been exploring how data analytics is transforming a range of industries, including agriculture.

David Higgins - Secretary

David Higgins is a Professor in the Accounting & Finance Division, Newcastle University Business School. His primary research interests are the historical protection of intellectual property (especially merchandise and trade marks) and aspects of corporate governance. His latest book, Brands, Geographical Origin and the Global Economy, was published by CUP in 2018.

Ignazio Cabras - Treasurer

Ignazio is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Regional Economic Development and Head of the Accounting and Financial Management Department at Newcastle Business School (NBS), Northumbria University. He is also a Fellow of the York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis (YCCSA), a Fellow of the Regional Studies Association (FeRSA), and acts as Communication Manager of the Society. His research interests are focused on economics and environment, with particular emphasis on regional economic growth and development, innovation and knowledge economies, community cohesion and social capital, and the global beer and brewing industry. Ignazio has led several research projects investigating the significant role pubs and breweries play in the territory, contributing to measure and unveil the positive impact of these businesses on local communities, economies and supply chains. His publication record includes several published works focusing on beer and brewing activities comprising journal articles, books and book chapters, and research reports.

Stephan Gohmann - Publishing Manager

Steve Gohmann has been a faculty member in the Department of Economics in the College of Business at the University of Louisville since 1988. He became the BB&T Distinguished Professor of Free Enterprise in 2009 and Director of the Center for Free Enterprise in 2015. His research focuses on entrepreneurship, health economics, and the economics of regulations and beer. He typically examines the influence of regulations on individual decisions. He has published over 60 academic articles. The results of his work have been quoted in various news outlets and blogs including the Economist, Wall Street Journal, and the Atlanta Constitution Journal.

Eline Poelmans - Communication Officer

Eline Poelmans is an economist and historian. She is Assistant Professor of International Economics at the Faculty of Economics and Business, KU Leuven (Catholic University of Leuven), where she teaches courses related to international economics and international trade. Her research focuses on economic history, food economics and the economic history of food with a special interest in beer. She published multiple articles on the beer industry in highly ranked peer reviewed international academic journals, such as: Business History, Journal of Institutional Economics, Public choice, British Food Journal, Journal of Wine Economics, amongst others. She also published several book chapters on the beer industry in peer reviewed international academic books and she recently (2020) co-authored “Becoming the World’s Biggest Brewer: Artois, Piedboeuf and Interbrew (1880-2000)” with Oxford University Press. She is a board member and trustee of the Economic and Business History Society and Associate Editor of Essays in Economic & Business History.

Christian Garavaglia – Executive Member

Christian Garavaglia is Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics Management and Statistics, University of Milano-Bicocca, and research affiliate at the ICRIOS (The Invernizzi Center for Research on Innovation, Organization, Strategy and Entrepreneurship), Bocconi University and LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (KU Leuven). He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pavia and his MSc. in Economics from the University of York. He also holds a Master in Brewing Technologies from the University of Perugia. He published in international journals in the fields of industrial organization, industrial dynamics, consumer preferences for food, beer and brewing, simulation and evolutionary models, clusters.