cover image The Audacity of Hops: The History of America's Craft Beer Revolution

The Audacity of Hops: The History of America's Craft Beer Revolution

Tom Acitelli. Chicago Review (IPG, dist.), $19.95 (416p) ISBN 978-1-61374-388-1

In 1965, America only had one craft brewery: San Francisco's Anchor Steam. By 2012 there were over 2,000 and growing. Journalist and beer-lover Acitelli's exceptional document of this remarkable growth profiles the brewers, breweries, and brewhounds that have played a part in today's booming craft beer industry. Acitelli talks to dozens of brewers and beer enthusiasts in order to share his tale, deftly weaving multiple narratives into a larger whole, incorporating the stories of homebrewing, the Slow Food movement, the evolution of America's drinking habits, the rise of brewpubs, and the role of beer evangelists like Englishman Michael Jackson and Jim Koch, giving readers a 360-degree view of the subject by chopping it into short, digestible chapters. It's an ingenious means of telling a story with so many influential characters, and Acitelli pulls it off, with an eye for detail and a nose for drama. He even illustrates how massive breweries like Budweiser and Coors responded to the craft brew trend by creating imitations of iconic styles and trying to pass them off as craft beers. Acitelli knows his material and he's sure to keep readers engaged while they work up a mighty thirst. 29 b&w photos. (May)