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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Alan -

I am about half way through now and find the structure of the book very interesting. Every second chapter is about the travel down the Mississippi and is a road book with bar room conversations interspersed with local history. The alternate chapters are sidebars into beer's history, a meeting of beer wholesalers and conversations with the guy behind Dogfish Head beer. Still liking it and recommend it more highly. Somewhile back, beer writer Martyn Cornell did me the honour of explaining some of the background issues that go into writing a beer book and I am thinking that <i>Travels With Barley</i> is succeeding with me in the same way - it is not only a book about beer but a book about a particular experience in relation to beer. In Martyn's book it was pure history, whereas <i>Travels With Barley</i> is something of an examination of the personal relationship thought the medium of travel.

dranktank -

I ran across your blog looking for reviews of this book. I've ordered it and expect to get it this week. Looks like a good one.

Alan -

I am about 30 pages from the end. I think this book through its structure provides an enertaining and interesting way of entering many aspects of the culture of beer in America. Hopefully you will enjoy it, too, DT - drop a note when you are reading it.

Donavan Hall -

Alan- I've been attempting this book for a couple of months, but it's only just now grabbed me. The opening two chapters just didn't capture my attention and I put the book down and kept finding other books I wanted to read more, but over the long holiday weekend I settled onto the couch and pushed through about a hundred and eighty pages. Now I can't wait to get back to it and finish it. What is remarkable about Wells's perspective is that he writes like an anthropologist examining all of beer culture in America. As a craft beer guy, I am so steeped in the craft beer culture, I know very little about the larger beer culture out there that genuinely loves American Light Lager. I admit that the places that Wells seeks out would not be high on my list of beer joints because for me the quality of the beer is everything; but I find myself now questioning my prejudices. All of the more interesting and colorful episodes in my beer travels involve people---what they say, what they do---, not beer. I'll write up a Long Island beer culture piece ala Wells and see how you and the other Good Beer Blog regulars like it.

Alan -

The odd thing for me, Donavan, is that beer plays a huge part in the economy and culture of North America and this is the only book I have come across like, as you say, an anthropologist's view. I was quite pleased with it once I got into it, too.

That is a good idea - you share your own findings as well and I will see what I can come across.