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Beer in America: The Early Years--1587-1840: Beer's Role in the Settling of America and the Birth of a Nation
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Beer in America: The Early Years--1587-1840: Beer's Role in the Settling of America and the Birth of a Nation

3.35  ·  Rating Details  ·  94 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
One little-known aspect of early American history is the role of beer in its founding and formative years. This account of beer's imact on people and events that shaped the birth of a nation begins with the pre-colonial era and ends with America's emergence as an industrial power.
Paperback, 300 pages
Published September 18th 1998 by Brewers Publications
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Jul 11, 2012 Eric rated it it was amazing
My friend let me borrow this book. Actually, it was more like he handed it to me and said "Read this". He picked it up during a trip to Williamsburg.

I'm consistently amazed as I look into the history of beer how much has been paved over by the temperance movement and a "puritanical" desire. Unfortunately, I had to wait until my mid to late 30's to discover that America has a rich history of beer. This book delves into it.

The Europeans of the middle ages drank beer. They feared water, because th
Aug 27, 2011 Todd rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, beer
As a self-proclaimed beer nerd, I’m always interested in all things beer. So, when Kim found me Beer in America: The Early Years, a book on the history of beer, I was intrigued. Admittedly, I’ve never really thought much about the history of beer; I generally assumed it’s just evolved from its beginning as the oldest fermented beverage on earth to what it is today without much fanfare. However, after reading this book I found that there is actually quite a bit of history to the evolution of beer ...more
Jul 16, 2012 KDB rated it did not like it
Shelves: beer-history, history
I found the level of research and overall presentation of beer and the drinking culture in early America disappointing. This book would be good for those who have minimal to little prior knowledge of beer consumption in history, or American history in general.
Jun 03, 2012 Matt rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and I have a good reason why. I even gave it four stars, which means that I found it to be a really good book or I had ulterior motives. First off, it is non-fiction which almost garners a star just for being readable. What I really enjoyed about this book though is how it correlates with science. Beer is a healthy drink and water is poisonous. At first I was very dubious about this claim, but in light of how little people knew in 1600's, 1700's and 1800's the claim be ...more
Mathew Powers
May 04, 2015 Mathew Powers rated it it was ok
Shelves: beer
The research in this book includes several mistakes regarding American History, as well as beer's part within it. I realize he is not a trained historian, but you don't have to be to do proper research. I rated his other book and found it troubling, but this one is almost impossible to read given several mistakes and promotions of historial myths. You can't just take quotes out of context to fit a thesis/argument. I am really disappointed in this book. I want it to be better. There is so much go ...more
David Spencer
Sep 08, 2015 David Spencer rated it liked it
Subject matter was enjoyable and I'm much more educated on the topic than when I went in, but overall the book needed better organization and editing. It's a strong 2-star or weak 3-star, and since I'm a sucker for beer I'll move it to three stars instead of keeping it at 2.
Jan 27, 2013 Christian rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: homebrewers, historians, chemists, patriots
Didn't enjoy this much. The historical aspect would have been great to focus on, but the author felt a need to flesh out and fluff up the word count for no perceptible reason. The narrative suffers for this, when it becomes apparent Smith has lapsed into a circular speaking pattern and repeats himself two or three times within a paragraph, and this is how chapter after chapter progresses. Maybe this book would've been one-third its present volume had he eschewed the style of a reluctant middle-s ...more
Feb 23, 2009 Chuck added it
Shelves: f-bomb-it
what in the hell is this? is this supposed to be informative or is someone pulling my leg here? this guy is an "award winning beer author"? whatever. the book sucks so far. i dont think i've learned a thing. the pilgrims landed at plymouth because they needed beer? ok? maybe they also just needed to find freakin land. i'm 4 chapters in, but i might never pick this up again. dude's a joker. at this point this gets zero stars.
Oct 25, 2015 Barb rated it liked it
Not the most compelling book ever, but full of fun beer facts for so one who needs to know them. Most interesting was the ubiquitousness of beer in everyday life from the colonials right up through prohibition. It makes Prohibition, it's repeal, and the ensuing mass production of bland beer in the late 20th century, seem like a blip on the vast, varied and particular history of brewing.
Erik Lars
Sep 12, 2010 Erik Lars rated it liked it
If the entire book would have been like the last chapter it would have been exactly what I was looking for. As it was, it seemed a little repetitive, like there were actually 3 books here that we kind of stuck together. The real focus for the first three were colonial history that mentioned beer, rather than beer in colonial times.
Aug 18, 2009 Patrick rated it it was amazing
This is one of several books I have read relating to beer history. It's interesting to get into the roots of the current brewing industry. It gives you the background of brewing companies like Budweiser, Miller and Coors.
Jan 19, 2013 Bill rated it liked it
If you love freedom and beer, you will enjoy this book. Written by a beer enthusiast, it is history with a light touch. Who knew what an important role beer and taverns played in the Colonial and Revolutionary period of America!
Jan 23, 2012 Bruce rated it really liked it
Good footnotes and bibliography.
Christina W
Mar 20, 2016 Christina W rated it liked it
Good, not great
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