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Friday, July 25, 2014

DRINK BOOK OF THE MONTH! - Craft Beer Revolution

THE CRAFT BEER REVOLUTION; how a band of microbrewers is transforming the world's favorite drink (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014; distr. Raincoast, 250 pages, ISBN 978-1-137-27876-0, $25 US hard covers) is by Steve Hindy, co-founder of the Brooklyn Brewery, It comes loaded with 17 different log rollers, most of whom are associated with the US microbrewing industry. It is a basic history of the past 50 years' explosion of artisanal crafted beer. The pioneers started the demand for strong flavours, all-malt, and higher alcohol than the frankly acknowledged horse piss of the major players. It is also about independence and the frontier, reflected in the labels that are just short of cuss words and incitement to riots. There are more than 3000 craft brewers in the US, with more being added all the time; they have about 10% of the total market. There is comparable growth in Canada, but the regulatory bodies have nipped the flashy labeling. For example, in the UK, 140 labels have been pulled since 1989. Rebel brands are a big deal in the US, especially south of the Mason-Dixon line where some labels really are rebel, as in Civil War. Still, there are fractious factions in the craft brewing industry, and he pulls no punches. Hindy also discusses the acquisition period where big money meets craft brewing (1994 – 2000). There are notes on the associations (Brewers' Association of America and the Association of Brewers). But nothing on NAFTA or free trade. There are black and white photos scattered throughout this good business history book.
Audience and level of use: students of beer.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: "The future of craft brewing largely depends on how that [Brewer's Association] power is wielded."
The downside to this book: American examples and usage.
The upside to this book: much of the scene in Canada follows the US course.
Quality/Price Rating: 89.

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