Sunday, October 27, 2013

"The Audacity Of Hops" by Tom Acitelli

"The Audacity Of Hops: The History Of America's Craft Beer Revolution" by Tom Acitelli (2013 Chicago Review Press, softcover, 6" x 9", 400 pages)

This is the (so far) definitive book detailing the burgeoning craft beer movement in the United States. Tracing roots back to England and Germany, but more specifically San Francisco, and Fritz Maytag's venerable Anchor Brewing, writer Acitelli covers every major element in the craft brewing industry up to today. Along the way, he succeeds in presenting interviews and viewpoints from all of brewing's major players -- Jim Koch, Sam Calagione, Charlie Papazian, Greg Koch, Kim Jordan, Ken Grossman, and plenty of others. If these names mean nothing to you, you simply aren't tuned into the craft beer scene, period.

Acitelli's writing is succinct, yet descriptive, and this story follows so many branches that any craft beer fan will find plenty of fascinating information on the formation of their favorite brewery. Not only touching on the "big guys", there are historical looks at New Albion, Boulder, F.X. Matt/Saranac, Buffalo Bill's, Pete's Wicked Ales, Alaskan, Weeping Radish, Brooklyn, New Glarus, Redhook, Odell, Magic Hat, Flying Dog, Lagunitas, Catamount, Harpoon, Mendocino, and tons more.

In short, "The Audacity Of Hops" is a top-shelf book that should be in every beer lover's library. As comprehensive as it gets, this is a truly enlightening read, and a joy to behold. Bravo!

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