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Review: The United States of Beer

July 26, 2016

The United States of Beer

Americans have loved beer from the very beginning.  As a matter of fact, “a brewhouse was among the Pilgrims’ very first projects.”  Beer has taken quite a journey since then, from local breweries, to Prohibition, to large, national breweries, and finally to a resurgence of local brewers creating craft beers.

Dane Huckelbridge traces the history of the “all-American drink” in The United States of Beer.  He divides the country into regions and delves into each region separately in this well researched book.  Beers in each region were influenced by the people who settled there as well as the ingredients that were available to them, giving them distinctive styles and flavors.  Breweries thrived until Prohibition, which only a handful managed to survive.  The shortages of World War II caused those breweries to look for alternatives to the necessary ingredients and they turned to things like rice and corn, creating adjunct lagers which took over the beer market for years.  Thankfully, pioneers like Fritz Maytag and Ken Grossman took a chance and started the first craft breweries, and the industry hasn’t looked back since.

I’m not sure The United States of Beer will have broad appeal but, since my family is in the beer business, I found it thoroughly fascinating, even though I already knew the basic history of beer in the US.  Huckelbridge dug deep and shares a detailed history, starting in Europe.  I never realized beer was so important in the history of this country.  There are great illustrations throughout the book as well as a bibliography and index in the back.  If you or someone you know enjoys history and/or beer, you’ll want to pick this book up!

Review copy provided by Harper Collins.   I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. July 26, 2016 5:45 am

    I definitely want to read this one!

  2. July 26, 2016 10:22 am

    We don’t drink anymore, and truthfully this wouldn’t be on my radar anyway, but this looks like it would make a great gift for someone who either likes to choose a good quality craft beer instead of what’s on tap, or just a fun birthday or holiday gift!

  3. July 26, 2016 10:22 am

    This review goes to show you that a book blogger isn’t worth anything unless she/he is willing to read outside the typical genres. Very interesting review about a very interesting topic.
    P.S. Can you tell us readers how your family is involved in the beer business?

  4. July 26, 2016 10:25 am

    I’m curious about any mention of the Milwaukee beer barons. They pretty much built the city. Sounds like an interesting book.

  5. July 26, 2016 11:17 am

    My eldest son would love this one…he is a beer aficionado. LOL. Thanks for sharing.

  6. July 26, 2016 4:23 pm

    I do not like beer, nope

  7. Beth F permalink
    July 27, 2016 8:00 am

    Beer — here since the Mayflower! I bet I’d really like this book.

  8. July 27, 2016 10:53 am

    This would make a good gift for some people I know!

  9. July 27, 2016 2:16 pm

    This sounds like this is up your alley!

  10. bookingmama permalink
    August 2, 2016 7:50 am

    Sounds really interesting… especially for you!

  11. September 4, 2016 10:10 am

    Sounds good. Have you read anything by Pete Brown? Great beer writer.

  12. November 28, 2016 1:56 am

    I must read

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