Jeppson’s Malört. A spirit that only a few people have heard of but has an outsize reputation. Personally, have not had it and being honest, I will probably read Josh Noel’s book about it before I do. Noel has written extensively about beer and penned the book on Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout so I know his style will probably work well here too. Only downside? We have to wait until 2024.
Do you know who the owner of the first black owned brewery was? I didn’t. But if you read Clint Lanier’s book about Ted Mack and Peoples Brewing like I plan to, then we will both learn some beer history.
Here is a teaser of the story:
“Born a sharecropper in rural Alabama in 1930, Theodore A. (Ted) Mack, Sr., fought in the Korean War and then played football at Ohio State while earning a college degree. Brewing and selling beer, he believed, would be just another peak to attain. After all, it couldn’t be more challenging than his experience in organizing buses to the March on Washington or picketing segregated schools in Milwaukee. This is the story of Mack’s purchase of Peoples Brewing Company in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Though he had carefully planned for the historic acquisition, he underestimated the subtle bigotry of Middle America, the corruption of the beer industry, and the failures of the federal government that plagued his ownership. Mack’s ownership of Peoples Brewing is an inspirational story of Black entrepreneurship, innovation and pride at a time when America was at an important racial justice crossroads.”
Strangely, this book is in paperback at a first edition hard cover price, so Kindle may be the way to go. But I would suggest plumping for the actual book at a smaller local bookstore if you can.
Daddy Likes Beer
When I was younger, I did my share of babysitting and that was more than enough for me. So I don’t fit the group that Mike Lukaszewicz is writing for in his children’s book, Daddy Likes Beer.
Maybe he will write a sequel about Uncles.
Beer Palate / Cider Palate
Beer is my main beverage but I dabble in gin and bourbon and also cider. Coming this fall is a new book that reaches over the gap between beer and cider from Beth Demmon.
Demmon should be on your list of beer scribes to follow. You can get a taster of her cider writing style HERE.
Guinness Day – Dark and Light
Right up front, if you want a story about the beer of Guinness, go elsewhere. This is a biblical style survey of a LOT of the Guinness family from the first Arthur all the way to Guinness being family free under Diageo. You learn very little of St. James Gate.
This is also not a quick or fun read. This is slow and in tiny print with a cavalcade of names being thrown at you. There are helpful family trees sprinkled throughout the book but even with those guideposts, it is hard to keep track especially when titles started getting added and Edwards become Lords of this or that.
A third thing that made this hard was the money being spent. Every Guinness it seemed had more than enough money to buy house after estate after castle. Maybe in 2023, I am too aware of the 1% lording over the rest of us that reading about it happening back then just left me a little bitter.
Those three issues aside, Wilson introduces us to so many people who are worthy of books just about them. Granted some of these Guinnesses would need to be looked at with a very critical eye but interesting politicians, sailors, bankers and writers nonetheless. And the financial kerfuffle of the Guinness purchase of DCL Distillers is more than likely already a book about how not to run a merger and / or acquisition.
But if you have a Guinness in the fringe and a hankering for Irish history through the prism of one extended family, you will find some interesting stories.
A Book & A Beer – How to Be Eaten by Maria Adelmann
Faux celebrity and fifteen minutes of fame is the underlying theme of How to Be Eaten by Maria Adelmann and the author goes to some dark and stark places to bring a new perspective to popularity and its side effects.
Here is the GoodReads synopsis, it’s a doozy, “In present-day New York City, five women meet in a basement support group to process their traumas. Bernice grapples with the fallout of dating a psychopathic, blue-bearded billionaire. Ruby, once devoured by a wolf, now wears him as a coat. Gretel questions her memory of being held captive in a house made of candy. Ashlee, the winner of a Bachelor-esque dating show, wonders if she really got her promised fairy tale ending. And Raina’s love story will shock them all.”
This was a wild book. Just weirdness on every page. The fairy tale aspects didn’t work for me as much as the more reality show aspects. But it sure wasn’t a dull read at all. And I will certainly be on the lookout for future work when wandering in a bookstore.
On to the beer choices, I would try to find beers for each of the women in the group. Maybe something with rose hips or hibiscus for Ashlee. A dark Czech lager for Ruby. A pastry stout for Gretel. A black IPA for Bernice. And for Raina, maybe a beer with the label removed so you don’t know and have to guess.
Readers of the blog know that I am a voracious reader so when I saw this….
…my book sense went into overdrive. Kudos to Ambitious Ales for not only supporting another local business but also keeping books and beers together.
Imbibing for Introverts
I am certainly and firmly in the introvert category. If a brewery opens at noon, that is when I will show up to avoid the crowds at night, so when I saw this book title, I nodded in agreement…
Imbibing for Introverts seems like a fun and possibly helpful book. Us introverts have a lot of tricks but I bet that author Jeff Cioletti has more tips to help make the drinking experience more fun.
Book Review – The Anchor Steam Story
With many brewery histories, you know the story in broad strokes already because most breweries have only been around since the 1980’s. (please do not call that ancient history)
But after you read the glorious coffee table book, The Anchor Brewing Story by David Burkhart, you will have been taken on a tour of beer in San Francisco that will be brand new to you.
That is because Anchor Brewing has been around since 1896 but its DNA goes even further back. Burkhart takes you to 1848 and the gold rush and to 1856 and Gottlieb Brekle and his Golden City Brewery which then became part of the Co-Operative Brewery before raising Anchor in 1896. This brewery went through earthquakes and owners and moved around San Francisco so much that you need a map app to orient yourself.
The book picks up steam when Fritz Maytag enters the picture. His drive for quality and “Wholicity” rescued Anchor from obscurity. His arrival finally brought stability to the brewery and innovation and curiosity as well.
Maytag was there at practically every important milestone in California craft brewing history. He was also there for distilling which was really not a thing when he dipped his toe in. Wine, he did that too.
A good history book takes you back in time and then whisks you through major events. The balance and tone of the writing is balanced and fun. Burkhart does that in the coffee book format which doesn’t provide as much word space. For that he is to be commended and the book purchased.
The Truth about Lambic
Do you think you know everything about Lambic beers? You might want to read Lambic by Raf Meert. You will probably have some myths busted.
Don’t let the plain blue cover fool you, this book covers, “The historic origin of lambic had already been lost by the middle of the 19th century. This gave rise to patriotically inspired legends, and recently also marketing-driven stories.
This book aims to deconstruct those fictions, and offers an overview of the historical origin and evolution of lambic beers through painstaking and meticulous research done in various historical archives and documents.
For the first time, the origins of lambic are linked to historical events and their contexts. It provides surprising new insights into where, when and why lambic came into being, North-America’s role in it, and the most original faro, lambic and gueuze and their etymology. This book is a must-read for the lambic enthusiast who is genuinely interested in this unique and world-renowned beer.”