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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Maureen Ogle -

Excellent book. (Read it when it came out when I was trying to decide whether to include the colonial period in the book I was writing).

Another you might like is David Conroy's IN PUBLIC HOUSES, which looks at the role of taverns/ drinking in the construction of political culture in colonial America.

James McWilliams's great (and relatively new book) on the history of colonial foodways, A REVOLUTION IN EATING, has a great chapter on alcohol in the colonial era.

Couple of other good books that I'm not sure general audiences are aware of:

Richard Unger's BEER IN THE MIDDLE AGES AND RENAISSANCE, which examines the emergence of a commercial brewing industry in the Netherlands. Excellent history of the subject.

Also, THE WORLD OF THE TAVERN, a collection edited by Beat Kumin and Ann Tlusty, as well as Tlusty's BACCHUS AND CIVIC ORDER, which looks at drinking and tavern culture in early modern Germany.

Probably more than you wanted to know.....

Alan -

Excellent - thanks Maureen. There can't be too much information! I have reviewed Unger's two beer books (he even put in a kind word to get me a review copy of his 900-1900 text after I saw the price) but the others are new to me and now worth the chase.

Adam -

Does 'Dutch Oven' go somewhere in that group?

Ethan -

But, is it available anywhere else besides the gift shop? Rome's not really high on my list of places to go right now.

Alan -

Rome is to be savoured, for sure, so if you don't have the time it can seem tragic - but I am sure it's on amazon, etc.

Maureen Ogle -

Alan, thanks for that link to the review at Common-place. Crowley is a good historian, so no surprise about the thoughtful quality of his review of Salinger's book.

All the books Crowley mentions in his review are terrific, especially Peter Clark's history of the English alehouse. I think it's probably out of print, but I'm sure copies are floating around somewhere. Definitely worth reading if you've not already.

If you want to keep up with *current* scholarship in the field, tune in to the "Daily Digest" at the Alcohol and Drug History website. It's
(Sorry -- I have no idea how to make that a live link.)

David Fahey does an amazing job tracking all the new research.
Salinger's book is definitely in print and available from any bookdealer or at Amazon.

Alan -

You are link-a-fied!

Alan -

Interesting going. The section on colonial restrictions on trade with tribal groups didn't mention the fairly common provision and use of the drink (along with other provisions like herds of steer) during long important treaty discussion sessions like those operated by William Johnson, the Royal representative in all northern dealings before his death in 1774. But its reference to specific colonial laws is very usefully authoritative.

Maureen Ogle -

Alan, I meant to get back to your last comment. Have you read Peter Mancall's book DEADLY MEDICINE? I bet you'd enjoy it.

Also, speaking of "herds of steer," check out Virginia De John Anderson's CREATURES OF EMPIRE. First-rate scholarship and a fascinating study of one of those topics that's so obvious you wonder why no one thought of it before. (I'm writing a book about meat in "modern" America, so her book has been incredibly helpful.)

Alan -

Interesting. The book on Johnson I was reading was "Mohawk Baronet" published by Syracuse University Press - it has a number of passages describing feasting as well as Johnson's understanding of the need to have the capacity to feast which you may find interesting.

dfdfsfdsfsf -

I like the phrase "dutch courage".