- 11,99 €
From the author of Bourbon, “the definitive history” (Sacramento Bee), comes the rollicking and revealing story of beer in America, in the spirit of Salt or Cod.
In The United States of Beer, Dane Huckelbridge, the author of Bourbon: A History of the American Spirit—a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance bestseller—charts the surprisingly fascinating history of Americans’ relationship with their most popular alcoholic beverage. Huckelbridge shows how beer has evolved along with the country—from a local and regional product (once upon a time every American city has its own brewery and iconic beer brand) to the rise of global mega-brands like Budweiser and Miller that are synonymous with U.S. capitalism.
We learn of George Washington’s failed attempt to brew beer at Mount Vernon with molasses instead of barley, of the 19th century “Beer Barons” like Captain Frederick Pabst, Adolphus Busch, and Joseph Schlitz who revolutionized commercial brewing and built lucrative empires—and the American immigrant experience—and of the advances in brewing and bottling technology that allowed beer to flow in the saloons of the Wild West. Throughout, Huckelbridge draws connections between seemingly remote fragments of the American past, and shares his reports from the frontlines of today’s craft-brewing revolution.
Huckelbridge (Bourbon: A History of the American Spirit) switches his focus to "the ubiquity across the length and breadth of American civilization" of beer, of which Americans consume six billion gallons on a yearly basis. As in his earlier work, Huckelbridge delivers a fascinating look at American history, arguing that the local production of beer "beginning with the earliest American settlers, and continuing on up to the craft brews of the present day" reveals how local beers "actually helped to shape the distinctive regional cultures that would cohere and combine to build a nation." Displaying an enormous understanding of American history as well as a fine wit, Huckelbridge starts with the beer shortage that was a "source of stress" for all aboard the Mayflower, and notes that drinking beer was "as much a part of office life in New England" as Excel charts today. He engagingly analyzes the Dutch influence on beer-making in New York, explains the role of local corn production as an influence on the beer made in the South, details how the German migration to Midwest America in 1848 led to the darker lagers that of breweries such as Busch and Schlitz, explores how Prohibition led to the production of the "sweeter, more watery, and less flavorful" beers that still dominate the market, and looks at the "unexpected innovations" of West Coast companies such as Anchor Brewing that led to the birth of microbrewing.