Hops and History: American History and Folklore as Remembered by American Breweries and Beers

Jim Dent. Jim Dent, $35 (336p) ISBN 978-1-987-09936-2
Dent shares the stories behind a host of craft beer names in this endearing encyclopedic survey. While Dent doesn’t share his criteria for selecting the breweries or their beers, readers will get drawn into stories such as that of Miss Fancy’s Tripel, a Belgian ale from Alabama’s Avondale Brewing Company named after a retired circus elephant; the exploits of gangsters such as Detroit’s Purple Hill Gang, for which the Atwater brewery named a pilsner; and Prohibition-era Atlantic City political boss Enoch “Nucky” Johnson (there’s a Nucky’s Empirial IPA from the Garden State Beer Company). Lawmen also make frequent appearances, such as the trio memorialized by Oklahoma City’s Three Guardsmen IPA, and Henry Plummer, a prolific killer turned sheriff turned criminal in Montana memorialized in a Gambler Amber. Fans of ephemera and regional U.S. history will have a field day with the profiles of places, such as Stiltsville, a tiny village outside Miami built entirely on stilts, and now home to the Concrete Beach Brewery. This deep dive into some zany American brewing history will spark a thirst in beer nerds. (Self-published)
Reviewed on : 01/15/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
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