I rail on prohibition because of the leftover antiquated relics we call beer laws make it difficult for craft brewers to do business in this state and others. Fortunately, another writer has the time to delve deeply into prohibition and its aftershocks. Or America’s Great Hangover as I call it. The book is called “Last Call,” and it’s written by Daniel Okrent, a former NYT editor. Here’s a quick review of the book by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Chris Foran.
Among the nuggets found in the book, according to Foran, is that prohibition gave rise to the dinner party and many other cultural events prominent in our modern age. Many cocktails found their origins in prohibition because of bad liquor that just had to be mixed.
Organized crime, Caribbean tourism and many other aspects of life came about because of the “noble experiment.”
I for one would like to read the book, because there are those who would love to see the 18th amendment restored and alcohol banned yet again, and I’d like to get more background on just what forces brought about prohibition. From the review, it sounds as if Okrent goes into details about all the stakeholders.
A few brewers have blogs that detail the exciting day to day life at a brewery. One of my favorites is the GBC Brewer’s Blog, put together by the folks at Glacier Brewing Co. in Polson. It highlights a lot of the stuff I like to write about breweries, which makes my job easier, and it’s a good way to get a cool peek into the little things that make our local breweries so special. If you find yourself wanting to know a little more about life in a Polson craft brewery, check out this blog.
I was rereading Hemingway’s “Green Hills of Africa,” and I came across a great passage about beer that I had forgotten.
“N’Dio,” he said with great force, and from the chop box one of the natives had carried on his head produced, in its straw casing, a bottle of German beer, one of the sixty-four bottles Dan had bought from the German trading station. Its neck was wrapped in silver foil and on its black and yellow label there was a horseman in armor. It was still cool from the night and opened by the tin opener it creamed into three cups, thick-foamed, full-bodied.”
“No,” said Pop. “Very bad for the liver.”
We all drank and when M’Cola opened the second bottle Pop refused, firmly.
“Go on, it means more to you. I’m going to take a nap.”
“Poor old Mama?”
“Just a little.”
“All for me,” I said. M’Cola smiled and shook his head at this drinking. I lay back against the tree and watched the wind bringing the clouds and drank the beer slowly out of the bottle. It was cooler that way and it was excellent beer.
Occasionally I come across a good article about beer. Usually these are found in some beer-themed magazine or publication, and they are about as widely read as this blog. Just kidding, some beer publications are very well read.
When my friend Cory sent me this link, to this very fine article, which you can also find here, I was astounded that craft beer has made it to the intellectual elite. A New Yorker article on craft beer, how about that?
The only thing that might anger some beer snobs is the fact that the article centers around Dogfish Head Brewing Co. But if you’re open minded, and if you’re willing to concede that we’ve only just begun to discover beer’s awesome potential, the article is well worth a read, even if you aren’t a fan of Sam Calagione’s concoctions.