Draught Devil

The last few years have brought to light women in brewing (finally and belatedly), the latest being The Devil’s in the Draught Lines: 1000 Years of Women in Britain’s Beer History by Dr Christina Wade.

It is from the publishing arm of CAMRA and is described as a “new groundbreaking book that delves into the history of women in brewing, explaining the real reasons why women brewers became marginalised, while also debunking some tired old myths along the way.”

Since I am a beer history fan, you know I will be ordering this one.

Book Review – Yooper Ale Trail

Time to head East for the U.P. to find some beer on the Yooper Ale Trail.

This handy guide by Jon Stott and Mikel Classen covers the Upper Peninsula in Michigan and the first thing that I thought was smart was how each of the eight trails had no more than four stops listed and many were less than. (There was one with five but one brewery on it had not opened at time of writing). It makes for achievable adventures.

The second smart thing was that for many breweries, the author visited twice and could show the evolution of the brewery from new brewers to new beers. It is something that I haven’t seen employed in guidebooks before and I liked it.

Other fun facts are that blueberry beers are pretty much a required beer menu item. The style can change, though most were wheat beer based. If that berry is your favorite, I would say head up because blueberry ain’t seen much outside muffin pastry beers.

Also, because outdoor activities are the main tourist draw, the beers skew to the lower ABV since folks are hiking and biking and paddling and can’t be downing Quad IPAs.

On the new book cover, the book lists two authors but the book doesn’t really differentiate who wrote what which is fine in fiction but here, I would like to get a bead on who wrote what. I think that Stott wrote the majority and I like his folksy writing style but I can’t know for sure.

Another dent is the fact that after reading the really informative brewery summaries, there is a whole appendix listing contact info, beer lists and whether they had food or not. Format wise, that could have been folded into the main book fairly easily instead. There was also an appendix of beer styles and I would have preferred more about favorite Michigan beer styles.

I would say though, I usually hate the capsule brewing process chapter and I inwardly groaned when I saw it in the book, but it was much better here. It was more like having a friend explaining brewing than a manual.

Overall, a guide should help beer fans find new breweries and Stott and/or Classen do that really well. This book will help.

History Day – Beer Book Review – Over-The-Rhine

Over-the-Rhine or the OTR is probably not known much past the city limits of Cincinnati but for a period of time in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was the Portland or San Diego of its craft beer day.

Michael Morgan starts and ends the book with a bit of archaeology as a street is surreptitiously dug up to find lagering caverns (felsens) that had been used by Cincinnati brewers to keep their beers chilled.  And throughout the rest of the book, Morgan digs up a lot history including the small possibility that lager was a Mid-West invention as much as a German one.

German immigrants being the connector as they arrived in the OTR in a couple of waves that created a bustling brewery, beer garden and saloon trade.  The latter being the example used most often by temperance campaigners as the font of all America’s ailments.

What sets this history apart is that Morgan delves into the thorny issues of anti-immigrants, machine politics and riots with an even tone.  Of course many Cincinnati and Ohio natives do not come off well and Morgan is quick to compare current to past without losing the thread of the narrative.

There is not a lot of brewing talk in the pages, as with many histories the actual brewers and the ingredients and processes used are not brought up as the bulk of it is about the men with their names on the side of the brewery.

After reading this history, I did feel that it would be great to have one for each major brewing city.

Magazine Day – Final Gravity # 03

Previously on Beer Search Party, I reviewed issue # 01 of the beer ‘zine, Final Gravity. That memory made me pass on # 02 but the list of articles intrigued me for # 03 so I ordered it up and here are my thoughts.

Will I be back for # 04? The answer is yes. I found the stories in this issue landed with me better from the opener about Ola Brew and their ingredient buying, to going gluten free or Ayurvedic and especially the Spanish local beer from Cooperativa Cervesera Cadaques were all fun little peeks into locales that made me want to go there. I still don’t understand the art interludes all that much because they don’t tie into beer. A beer comic would fit in my opinion, a lot better. Strangely, the weakest piece was from one of the editors David Nilsen and the most emotional was from the other editor Melinda Guerra.

Magazine Day – Imbibe 75

Keep on reading, as we peek into what Imbibe Magazine has selected for their “ones to watch” in 2024.

Of course my eyes were peeled for beer movers and shakers and by my count ten of the 75 were in that camp. And of those here are ones to keep on the craft beer radar to visit…

  • Heck Brewing – might this be the N/A beer that tastes like beer?
  • Keeping Together – a trip to New Mexico for an Averie Swanson creation is in order
  • Tin Roof Brewing – head brewer Maria Shirts is an MJJ Foundation winner, that is enough vetting for me
  • 7 Clans Brewing – new crop of Asheville craft beer that you should read the backstory on
  • Shmaltz Brewing – will it return better than ever?
  • Borderlands Brewing – America meet Mexico and female brewers
  • Greater Good Imperial Brewing – bug ABV only? Interesting zag in this day

Juke Joints, Jazz Clubs, and Juice

Mixologists are seen, in general, as a white dude.  Even though the history of cocktails is not that limited at all.  Which is why it is great to see much lauded author Toni Tipton-Martin puts the history of Black mixology back where it belongs.

The book is Juke Joints, Jazz Clubs, and Juice and it “spotlights the creativity, hospitality, and excellence of Black drinking culture, with classic and modern recipes inspired by formulas found in two centuries’ worth of Black cookbooks.”  

You can find drinks like the Absinthe Frappe, Clover Leaf Cocktail, Jerk-Spiced Bloody Mary and the Gin and Juice 3.0.  Sounds like a treasure trove of cocktail ideas.


Exciting beer book news as Em Sauter’s newest Pints & Panels book arrives next year in March. Entitled “Pairing Beer with Everything” it is a collection of classic Sauter infographics: “covering food, pop culture, sports, holidays, etc.”

I obviously enjoy pairing books and podcasts with beer so I think this new book will be a fun read that will wonder how you would have paired beers with basketball teams.

Cities & Beer

Every twice in awhile, I will see an academic beer book pop up and even though the writing style can be, to say nicely, a little dry, some interesting factoids can be found.

Such is the case for Craft Breweries and Cities by Julie Wartell and Vince Vasquez.  Here is a bit about the scholarly work….

“This book brings together a diverse collection of case studies, perspectives, and research to explore how craft breweries have interacted with cities and neighborhoods in meaningful ways.

It provides a deeper understanding of the important issues facing neighborhoods, city government, and breweries, such as economic development, race and equity, crime, and sustainability. It demonstrates how craft breweries are meaningful contributors and participants in addressing these critical challenges.”