Head West, 1965: “The Audacity of Hops” review (part 1)

Audacity of hops

Tom Acitelli’s “The Audacity of Hops: The History of America’s Craft Beer Revolution” (Chicago Review Press Inc., 2013) contains such a thorough look at craft beer that I thought it deserved a review of several chapters. Here’s one of them:

Chapter 1: The Last Shall Be First, San Francisco 1965

Following a breezy introduction, which signals to the reader that this history was not going to be a dry tutorial but a story framed around the birth and adolescence of craft beer, Acitelli goes to what he believes to be the center of the modern age of independent brewing. He focuses on Anchor Steam Brewing, regarded among the drinkeratti as the link between the wild west of pre-Prohibition and Samuel Adams prominence.

He writes like a novelist, which appeals to me. Like a novelist, Acitelli develops characters the best he can. In this case, the lead character is Fritz Maytag, the grandson of the dishwasher magnate who turned his enjoyment of a pint of beer into a craft brewing legend. Continue reading “Head West, 1965: “The Audacity of Hops” review (part 1)”

Books, bars, and beer

(The following column was originally published in the Waterbury (Conn.) Republican-American on February 13, 2013.)

Cover of Christine Sismondo's "America Walks into a Bar"
Cover of Christine Sismondo’s “America Walks into a Bar”

After years of pining, I got myself an e-reader, or as it should be known: instant literary gratification machine.

One of the benefits of the e-reader is that you can download writing that you didn’t know existed, at the exact moment you want to read it. In the interest of the column, I recently went on a tear reading about beer and bars.

Continue reading “Books, bars, and beer”