Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The United States of Beer: A Freewheeling History of the All-American Drink” as Want to Read:
The United States of Beer: A Freewheeling History of the All-American Drink
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The United States of Beer: A Freewheeling History of the All-American Drink

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  225 ratings  ·  41 reviews
From the author of Bourbon, “the definitive history” (Sacramento Bee), comes the rollicking and revealing story of beer in America, in the spirit of Salt or Cod.

In The United States of Beer, Dane Huckelbridge, the author of Bourbon: A History of the American Spirit—a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance bestseller—charts the surprisingly fascinating history of Americans’ relationship wit
ebook, 304 pages
Published June 14th 2016 by William Morrow (first published May 31st 2016)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The United States of Beer, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The United States of Beer

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  225 ratings  ·  41 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The United States of Beer: A Freewheeling History of the All-American Drink
Steven Peterson
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is an enjoyable book. It is sprightly, well written, and the author does not take the subject too seriously. The book is organized around different regions of the country and their predilections and contributions to the evolution of beer. Among regions considered: New England, New York and the Mod-Atlantic, the South, the Midwest, the West, and--finally--the West Coast. Along the way, we get a history of beer, from early origins thousands of years ago. It is fascinating to see the different ...more
Sep 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An ok look at beer brewing. Very dry at times.
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a pleasant surprise this book turned out to be. I stumbled across this title on BookBub and it cost me a whole $1.99 of my husband’s money. You see, my husband, and his father, are both avid beer enthusiasts. Me, not so much. While they can taste supple notes of caramel and my husband can recall which hops were used, I am limited to stating, “Yep. That’s beer alright.” It’s not that I dislike beer, I just don’t have the true appreciation for it like them.

Enter “United States of
This was a light, short and fun book that, I think, just scrapes the surface of most of the events described. For a book that seems like it was pitched as an excuse for the author to drive around the country drinking different beers, this book is actually fairly well-researched, but it does not seem to rise all the way to the level of a serious work of scholarship.

This seems like a great book to read on a vacation or right when you start getting into homebrew. I'd be very interested
Mo Coghlan
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cicerone-study
This books gives a fantastic overview of the history of Beer in America and the economic and political causes of its evolution. This book has the most clear, evidenced explanation for the growth of American Lagers that I have ever read.
Ron S
Jul 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, beer
A light, frothy and fairly satisfying look at the history of beer in America. Don't expect a definitive encyclopedia, or much coverage of the craft beer explosion of the last decade though. Author Dane Hucklebridge is also the author of Bourbon: the Definitive History.
Jon Tyler
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A really great read about the rollicking history of beer in (and out of) the United States. Any beer lover or history buff would enjoy.
Joshua Gentzler
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun read. It centers around the peoples who brought their version of beer to the US (the Germans, Dutch, and English) and traces the beer we drink today back to the styles made in Europe.
Ken Dowell
Mar 01, 2019 rated it liked it
A lightweight history of the U.S. as viewed through beer goggles. Huckelbridge goes from region to region, identifying how beer made its debut in each. Of course, like most of U.S. history, we tend to think things only started to happen when the Europeans arrived when in fact Native Americans were brewing corn beer long before Columbus or anyone else set foot ashore.

Nonetheless, if you see a guy in a MAGA hat swilling a can of MillersCoorsBud, you might want to point out the hypocris
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
TITLE: The United States of Beer: A Freewheeling History of the All-American Drink
WHY I CHOSE THIS BOOK: It met my reading challenge criteria, being connected to the book before it, Health at Every Size, both being about "food" consumption
REVIEW: I really don't care about beer all that much. I will drink it from time to time, especially if I get an opportunity to drink something a little bit different. I mainly picked this because it allowed me to continue the flow of my reading chal
Felisa Rosa
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
The title is self-explanatory. I enjoyed that this is a book for beer-lovers and history buffs more than it's a book for beer snobs. Huckelbridge has a knack for picking out interesting facts, stories, and details, and thus manages to weave an engaging history that wouldn't bore or alienate the casual reader. He's a good writer, though I was occasionally annoyed by questionable syntax and the sort of folksy/hokey turns of phrase that are common to periodicals. (As a writer for periodicals, I'm g ...more
Kevin Payne
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Entertaining and informative. The Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock because they ran out of beer. The importance of beer in the colonial era and in early Britain had to do with the fact that beer was safer than water since the water was boiled. Early beer was very low in alcohol so it could be consumed in relatively large quantities and by children ("small beer"). Many early brewers were women ("alewives") who brewed for the family. American Indians had alcohol including beer but it was mostly co ...more
Leslie Basalla
Feb 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Breaking down the history of beer in the United States region by region, this book occasionally reveals some unexpected insights with regard to how native traditions and ingredients mingled with patterns of immigration and settlement to influence styles of beer we still recognize today. Ultimately, though, there is no way a book this short is going to offer anything resembling a deep and comprehensive picture. Think of it as the printed equivalent of a cold, American pale lager - light, frothy, ...more
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fun read! I learned quite a bit about the history of beer in the United States (and beyond). I especially liked the attention paid to different regions throughout the country. I listened to the audiobook, so hearing the descriptions of drinking at a particular bar or getting up during a Yankees game came across a little corny. But I appreciated the personal narrative. An interesting overview of beer's influence throughout American history.
Matthew Philips
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very well-written story of the history of the US in parallel with beer. I really like the concept of starting in the east and moving west as the country expanded with beer’s impact along the way. I’ve read several booze books at this point and I rarely fail to pick up some new piece of info. Keep them coming!
Jul 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking, ebook
Solid book with A nice twist

If you're looking for a history of beer, or a cultural look at various sections of the US, you're going to enjoy this book. The historical aspects are more researched then the culture, which now about recounting writing a book then the areas involved. Overall it's worth a beach read.
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m not sure how truly detailed the book could have gotten, but I thought it was a fantastic overview of the story of how beer got to where it was in the US of A. Lots of great history on old-world beer origins, too. Learned a lot, and it gives me a better appreciation for how beer and world history are connected.
Shawn Dvorak
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
An informal, free-wheeling history of beer making (and drinking) in the United States. More a collection of individual stories, Huckelbridge covers our history region by region as well as through time.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As can be judged by the title, the book is a history of Beer in the United States. There are, of course, a few sidetracks to Germany and England. Different regions of the US have different beer histories, and this is discussed.
Kevin Harber
Jul 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Fairly interesting account of the origins of the beer industry in America and the impact it's had on various aspects of American history.
Aug 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, audiobook
A beer-centric history of the United States, with some explanations of greater beer history or developments.
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
neat little book about how beer influenced American history and travel. makes me want to go for a cold one right now
Cook Memorial Public Library
A 2016 staff favorite recommended by Mary.

Check our catalog:
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read.

Very interesting read. Learned a lot, and always interesting to see how various beverages (beer, rum) have impacted our lives as they change through the times.
Sean Kottke
Aug 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
Most enjoyable when it focuses on American beer production and regional variations. Historical context and detailed consideration of other spirits was less engaging; just get to the beer, man!
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very enjoyable read through the history of beer in the US and in the old world. Interesting story about how it progressed across the the country and then in reality back again.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good history & fun to read

A book written for its subject. Lots of good background and general information. For a homebrewer like me, it was a fun read.
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thoughtful planning allowed the author move forward through time as he moved westward in location.
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Not a bad read. Very light, and I liked the research. Still, it felt like a long magazine article.
Jun 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Lots of interesting tidbits. My biggest gripe was that I listened to this on audio, and the narrator (who was not the author) mispronounced some words: nascent and saguaro were repeat offenders.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America's Kings of Beer
  • The Great Book of Baseball: Interesting Facts and Sports Stories (Sports Trivia 3)
  • Stumptown, Vol. 1: The Case of the Girl Who Took Her Shampoo (But Left her Mini)
  • The Complete Joy of Homebrewing
  • Stumptown, Vol. 2: The Case of the Baby in the Velvet Case
  • Cider, Hard and Sweet: History, Traditions, and Making Your Own
  • Talk Bourbon to Me: A whiskey lover's guide to Kentucky's favorite spirit
  • The Practical Distiller An Introduction To Making Whiskey, Gin, Brandy, Spirits, &c. &c. of Better Quality, and in Larger Quantities, than Produced by ... from the Produce of the United States
  • The Whiskey Rebellion: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Frontier Rebels Who Challenged America's Newfound Sovereignty
  • Jews and Booze: Becoming American in the Age of Prohibition
  • Alcoholica Esoterica: A Collection of Useful and Useless Information as it Relates to the History and Consumption of All Manner of Booze
  • Moneyland: Why Thieves and Crooks Now Rule the World and How To Take It Back
  • The Players Ball: A Genius, a Con Man, and the Secret History of the Internet's Rise
  • The Birth of Loud: Leo Fender, Les Paul, and the Guitar-Pioneering Rivalry That Shaped Rock 'n' Roll
  • Domesticating Drink: Women, Men, and Alcohol in America, 1870-1940
  • It Burns: The Scandal-Plagued Race to Breed the World’s Hottest Chilli
  • And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails
  • One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw
See similar books…
Dane Huckelbridge was born and raised in the American Middle West. He holds a degree from Princeton University, and his fiction and essays have appeared in a variety of journals, including Tin House, Literary Hub, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, and The New Republic. His debut novel CASTLE OF WATER was published by St. Martin's Press in 2017, and his book NO BEAST SO FIERCE was published b ...more