Saturday, July 10, 2010

The History of Beer in America, by Bill Yenne

The History of Beer in America, by Bill Yenne

I love beer. Apparently, so does Yenne! He does a good job of capturing the general history of brewing in America, concentrating on the larger companies. The story was interesting, but the writing felt oddly amateurish or rushed. Paragraphs ramble a bit, especially when describing the many, many mergers the industry experienced. Fun anecdotes are started, but not entirely finished; for instance, the mystery surrounding the meaning of the “33” found on Rolling Rock labels is mentioned, but not the resolution. The physical dimensions of the book were a bit annoying as well; over 13" wide (and only 8" tall!) made it close to a yard wide when opened, which was clumsy to hold and read. The large area was, however, excellent for displaying the fantastic collection of photos of breweries, taverns, labels, and memorabilia through the years. The pictures alone are well worth your time, and more than made up for the other, minor imperfections. So crack open a cold Shiner Bock, Dead Guy Ale, Arrogant Bastard, or Palo Santo Marron and spend an afternoon exploring an important facet of our history.

First Sentence:
Americans have been brewing and enjoying beer for centuries.

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