A few days after starting the OCBeerCommentary wiki, Garrett Oliver - editor, brewer and ambassador for good beer - emailed me and asked if I would like to have a question and answer session for my blog. The result is the response which you will find below under the extended text link. It includes five questions from me as well as other observations. I was going to say something about the experience of reading through what he wrote. But then I picked up a copy of a brand new self-published book called The Breweries of Kingston and The St. Lawrence Valley by Steve Gates. Steve can be found in the comments around our Ontario history posts. Like Garrett, I have never met Steve - even though Steve lives in my town - but I hope to meet both of them someday soon. Steve put himself out there by putting the book on the shelf and he described his aim when publishing his book this way:
This book represents my attempt to capably and accurately detail the brewers and their breweries that existed from the early 19th century to Prohibition. The area of examination will include the four layers of counties facing either the St. Lawrence River or the eastern end of Lake Ontario from the communities of Napanee to Cornwall. This is not the definitive study of this subject but instead I hope it to be the start point for others to take up the torch.
What a gracious thing to say when you realize Steve has worked for years putting together the material that makes up his book. When I wrote Garrett back after he first emailed me after he came across the wiki, I wrote back that I thought his book was a gift and hoped the wiki would enrich it though the comments, additions and edits of readers. After I sent it I thought I sounded like I was sucking up. See, I have written as much as would fit in many books but have never published a book with its own two covers. But I would hope if I did that it would be a starting point for others.
You can find Garrett's statement at the wiki as well as below this link.