The Comic Book Story of Beer The World's Favorite Beverage

  • Paperback
  • 180 pages
  • The Comic Book Story of Beer The World's Favorite Beverage from 7000 BC to Today's Craft Brewing Revolution
  • Jonathan Hennessey
  • English
  • 11 December 2014
  • 9781607746355

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The Comic Book Story of Beer The World's Favorite Beverage from 7000 BC to Today's Craft Brewing RevolutionThis graphic novel is a wonderful love letter to beer The story is written with the passion that only a true beer lover can have about the subject This is a very in depth history going from prehistory to today While I wasn't worried because I'm the kind of guy that likes dry histories I was pleasantly surprised at how engrossing and readable this graphic novel is I honestly couldn't put it down I loved how the author didn't only tell the history of beer in general but went into the back stories of many different varieties of beer This is a must read for any beer lover A full color lushly illustrated graphic novel that recounts the many layered past and present of beer through dynamic pairings of pictures and meticulously researched insight into the history of the world's favorite brewStarting from about 7000 BC  The Comic Book Story of Beer traces beer's influence through world history encapsulating early man's experiments with fermentation the rise and fall of Ancient Rome the often beer related factors that led Europe out of the Dark Ages the Age of Exploration the spread of capitalism the Reformation and on up to the contemporary explosion of craft brewing No book has ever told the story of beer in a graphic format as a liberating or emancipating force that improved the life of everyday people Visually riffing on abstract subjects like pasteurization original gravity and lagering artist Aaron McConnell has a flair for cinematic action and demonstrates versatility in depicting characters and episodes from beer's rich history Hand drawn in a classic accessible style  The Comic Book Story of Beer makes a great gift and will appeal to the most avid comic book geek and those who live for beer The very existence of this graphic novel fascinates me With the popularity of craft brews I can see the general interest in the material but why a graphic novel? I'm not complaining just curious I actually don't drink beer Something about the basic flavor just puts me off I've tried uite a few over the years but never found one from which it was worth taking than a polite sip or two I do love comics though and am especially happy to read one on a topic not normally associated with the medium Beer is one of those commodities as old as civilization itself The book gives the full history from the earliest known archeological evidence right up to the current microbrew revolution It reads pleasantly enough and the artwork is well suited to the task The book's conclusion drags on a bit partly due to the creators' decision to do their summary paragraphs in the form of beer labels a conceit that's just a little too cute for its own good All in all not a bad book I for one learned uite a bit about beer that I didn't already know This review is based on an ARC copy from NetGalleyLove love love this bookThere's no doubt that craft beer is super popular at the moment so whether your'e a beer drinker or just interested in pop culture this book is for you I know reading a book on the history of one specific thing sounds very dry and tedious but this book never bored me and never felt like a chore to read In fact the illustrations and light tone of the book made it uite a delightful processI never new beer had such a rich history This book introduces the many ways that beer has been influenced by and in turn has influenced so many cultures around the world The production and consumption of beer has played a major factor in almost every historical era and almost every continent on the planet I highly recommend this to anyone interested in food history history in general or pop culture Many thanks to NetGalley and Ten Speed Press for a digital Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for my reviewDon't let the fun comics format lull you into thinking this is simply a light romp about drinking beer Sure that may be where it starts but it is so much This is a history book complete with footnotes and references a few are in the book but the full list of chapter notes can be found on their website and an index Not only will you be entertained you will be educated This is a history class you wish you had in college Like a good brewery tour you will learn about the process of making beer though an even detailed account But that's only the beginning My favorite way to study history is take a topic and follow it over time and throughout a geographic area noting its cultural religious and economic impact Beer makes a good such focal point because it has been around in one form or another for millennia and is drunk the world over Also I'm a big fan and can be rather beer snobish Around the globe people consume beer than coffee wine and even Coca cola Yet the industry as we know it today is vastly different than it has been over time For nearly all of human history brewing and serving beer has been an almost exclusively female enterprise In ancient Summaria the goddess of beer Ninkasi was worshiped for bringing this sweet nectar to the people Only a few centuries ago Beer made a decided emergence from the kitchen Brewing became a male business that generated manly profits In large part women were sueezed out Ninkasi would have wept The death knell had sounded for the millennia old tradition of Alewives and BrewstersThe basic ingredients of beer today have been the same for centuries but the addition of hops was no less than revolutionary The preservative ualities meant that consumption did not need to happen within a week or so but the drink could be stored for longer times and therefore shipped beyond the immediate brewing area A current beer trend is to play with the flavors varieties and intensity an arms race with hops but hops is freuently an acuired taste In fact for most of beer's history adding hops would have been about as common and acceptable as using say asparagus as a flavoring For those with allergies beer without hops can be found though you may need to do some searchingThe second half of the book focuses on the US Even the pilgrims were fans of beer but the country officially went dry during prohibition During that time alcohol manufacturers had to find other products to produce some breweries turned to making ice cream” but the smaller companies weren’t able to last After prohibition was repealed during your next argument over who may claim the Greatest President title keep in mind that newly elected President Franklin Roosevelt proposed to immediately reauthorize the manufacture and sale of beer” the largest surviving breweries got even bigger and began to compete within a narrow flavor profile “The desires of American drinkers led them to the same sort of product inoffensive mass produced blonde light bodied 'drinkable' lagers with little or no cumulative bitterness” American Lagers are often snubbed by today’s craft beer drinkers yet “remains the most widely consumed beers brewed in the world” It may be no coincidence that it pairs well with hot dogs peanuts and cracker jacks” And perhaps apple pie?Despite this being the vast majority of beer consumed today there have always been those on the fringes who seek something different something unusual Even during the mid 1400s when Bavarian purity laws began to reuire that beer could be made with nothing other than water barley hops and yeast there were “home brewers who experimented with a variety of ingredients Today’s craft beer movement was born “in reaction to American Lager's ubiuity” and has exponentially increased the number of producers Post prohibition but before home brewing was again legal in the US “American breweries fell to an all time low of just 44 breweries Just 36 years later “there are over 3200 breweries in the US And than 2000 are reported to be in planning” Craft beer drinkers may be in the minority but along with modern home brewers we are driving an expansion of the market “Brewers discovered that some American drinkers were willing to pay top dollar for handmade flavorful premium beer” a fact which has led to us creating “a wider diversity of beers than any other nation in the world”Since I working in a library where there is an amazing collection of reading material available at no charge not counting late fees I rarely buy books But I enjoyed this book so much it is one of my exceptions for this year I picked up my own copy at a local bookstore so I could bring it to show off at Bier Klasse and loan to friends I may even buy copies as gifts Read this book with your favorite brew perhaps one mentioned in the story and with your next beer raise your glass to Ninkasi The Beers etcp 2 PBR canp 9 Bass bottlep 11 Dogfish Head Chateau Jiahu bottlep 46 La Lorraine mugp 60 Classic examples of Lambics Boon Oude Gueuze; Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus; Drie Fonteinen Kriek; Allagash Resurgam p 61 several bottlesp 65 Classic examples of Trappist Dubbels Wesmalle Dubbel; Chimay Premiere red label; La Trappe Dubbel; Ommegang Abbey Ale; Sierra Nevada Oliva Abbey Dubbbelp 83 Classic examples of Bocks Einbecker Ur Bock Dunkel; Spaten Optimator; Eku 28; Tommyknocker Butt Head Bockp 88 Fraunce's Tavern Extra Lager Beer signp 94 Classic examples of Porters Fuller's London Porter; Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter; Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald; Anchor Porter p 96 Guinness breweryp 97 Classic examples of India Pale Ales Meantime India Pale Ale; Bell's Two Hearted Ale; Stone IPA; Bear Republic Racer 5 India Pale Alep 108 Classic examples of Pilsners Pilsner Uruell; Budweiser Budvar Czechvar in the US; Victory Prima Pils; Bitburger Pils classic example of a Pilsner; Brooklyn Pilsnerp 109 Michelob Labatt Blue Heineken Sapporo Coronap 112 Budweiser bottlesp 115 Carlsberg Breweryp 123 Jacob Ruppert Knickerbocker bottlep 128 Schlitz; John Haucks Beers; Pabst blue Ribbonp 129 Krueger's Finest Beer canp 132 Groves Whitnall Barclay Perkins Whitbread Watneys breweriesp 133 Hamm's adp 134 Gabliner's Beer canp 134 Lite Beer from Miller bottlep 135 Classic examples of American Lagers Budweiser Miller Coorsp 136 Heineken adp 137 Anchor Steam pintp 138 Watney's Party Seven bitter party canp 139 Kruger's Barp 141 CAMRA CAMpaign for Real Alep 142 Anchor Christmas ale hoppy ale barley wine porterp 143 several bottlesp 144 New Albion labelp 146 Classic examples of American Pale Ales Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale; Dale's Pale Alep 154 Bert Grant's Brewery Pub; The Hopland Brewery p 155 Pitsburgh Brewing Co bottlecapp 156 Samuel Adams Boston Lager bottlep 157 Classic examples of Belgian Wits Hoegaarden Wit; Allagash White; Blue Moon Belgian White Someone sent this to me at the time I marked my fourth decennial but didn't pop a card or return address in there so they remain safely anonymous whereas I remain fucking forty So thanks yo whoever you areAs I don't know anything about brewing I can't comment on the presentation of the production process or the history of different varieties lambics doppel porter c Cool though that beer does in fact have a history I imagine there must be an Althusser of brewing out there who has said that 'Beer has no history howeverAmusing the presentation of the ancient history of beer wherein say the bloodlust of Sakhmat is assuaged only because the Egyptians offered her a cold one To think mathematically about that it must mean that beer may substitute in for blood which makes all'y'all beer drinkers I'm of a wine drinker basically euivalent to vampires Hemophages Gross I went into this one with high hopes but it left me disappointed for four reasons1 It spends far too much time trying to prove to the reader how important beer is I'd rather have information and less of a sales pitch2 The first section about early beer is mostly mythology along with stories that even the book admits are probably false Why even have this in the book if you know it's probably not true?3 It feels like it's lacking in information I'm not a beer historian but if beer was so important to mankind in general shouldn't there have been beer in parts of the world other than Europe or America? The book focuses solely on those locations which seems too European centric4 The artwork can be rather weak at times A VERY detailed history of beer At times it was a little slow but overall a good read I learned a lot and the illustrations were superb Beautifully drawn and entertaining At times it took some strange asides that I did not entirely follow Otherwise very educational Delightfully refreshing with a charming and strong finish this Comic Book Story of Beer ranks high with all of our tastersand you can see where I'm going with this Seriously though packed with solid documented history and clearly marking simple assertions and conjecture when they occur and lushly illustrated this is one of the fun histories of anything you will likely ever read

About the Author: Jonathan Hennessey

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