A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Stan Hieronymus -

Alan, you make a good point that the book personality driven take on history. That's why, and I mentioned this in passing in the review, I was frustrated that we didn't hear from more late 19th century brewers, particularly those who failed. (In fairness to Ogle, I've never seen anybody else offer those interviews, either.)

According the Beerhistory.com 75 breweries operated in New York City in 1879. Presumably most were small and most made ales. What changed from being a failed small brewer then and a profitable one 100 years later (granted, NYC has hardly been a hotbed of brewpub success)?

Paul Lukacs does a really nice job in "American Vintage," a wine history, of exploring the steps forward and the steps backward artisan winemakers took during the same period. I would have liked to have read something similar in "Ambitious Brew," though I don't know that the information exists.

If it did then we could could better compare, and contrast of course, the earlier success of industrial lager brewers to the more modern success of smaller, dare we say artisanal, brewers.

Alan -

Good points. I think Ogle service that she does for brewing is that she takes the German experience in the US seriously. That I do not like her style does not detract from that goal or her research on that point. And just as US craft beer appreciation is in its early decades, so too is the telling of the whole story of American brewing. For that reason I am quite grateful to Ogle.

Alan -

I came across this interview. Is there anything as dreary as someone cannot look at their own work objectively?<blockquote class="smalltext">I actually found a compelling story, one that nobody had found before.</blockquote><i>Nobody!</i> Wow.