Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2006 - Business & Economics - 422 pages
In the first-ever history of American beer, Maureen Ogle tells its epic story, from the immigrants who invented it to the upstart microbrewers who revived it. Beer might seem as American as baseball, but that has not always been true: Rum and whiskey were the drinks of choice in the 1840s, with only a few breweries making heavy, yeasty English ale. When a wave of German immigrants arrived in the middle of the nineteenth century, they promptly set about re-creating the pleasures of thebiergartens they had left behind.

Just fifty years later, the American-style lager beer they invented was the nation's most popular beverage--and brewing was the nation's fifth-largest industry, ruled over by fabulously wealthy titans Frederick Pabst and Adolphus Busch. But when anti-German sentiments aroused by World War I fed the flames of the temperance movement (one activist even declared that "the worst of all our German enemies are Pabst, Schlitz, Blatz, and Miller"), Prohibition wasthe result. In the wake of its repeal, brewers replaced flavor with innovations like marketing and lite beer, setting the stage for a generation of microbrewers whose ambitions reshaped the drink.

Grab a glass and settle in for the surprising story behind your favorite pint.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nmele - LibraryThing

Ogle treats the history of beer seriously but not without humor. I was not interested in reading this but in the end am glad my book club chose it. I learned quite a bit about the big brewers, like ... Read full review

AMBITIOUS BREW: The Story of American Beer

User Review  - Kirkus

From kegs to bottles to cans, the making and selling of beer encapsulates in various ways the larger history of American taste and how business catered to it.Once upon a time, writes social historian ... Read full review


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About the author (2006)

MAUREEN OGLE is a historian and the author of several books, including In Meat We Trust: An Unexpected History of Carnivore America and Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer . Her website can be found at . She lives in Ames, Iowa..

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