Please join us as we welcome John Holl, author of "Drink Beer, Think Beer" on November 15th, 7pm at the Newtown Bookshop! John will be discussing his new book, answering questions, sharing some samples and signing books! John has been at the Newtown Bookshop before and it is always a fun and interesting evening!
All are invited to join us!
ABOUT THE BOOK
More breweries currently operate in the US than at any other time in our country’s history. Brewers are experimenting with the world’s second most popular beverage (coffee has beer beat) like never before, meaning more options – and more confusion – every time you step into a bar. It’s a lot for a beer drinker to navigate. Especially since, as Senior Editor of Craft Beer and Brewing magazine John Holl argues, beer is more than a combination of ingredients in a pint glass; there’s a whole orbit of other elements around that glass to acknowledge, appreciate, and understand.
In his book, DRINK BEER, THINK BEER: Getting to the Bottom of Every Pint (Basic Books; September 4, 2018) Holl asserts that to drink beer is easy. To think critically about beer is much more difficult. Drawing upon history, economics, interviews with industry insiders, and his own extensive knowledge of all things beer, he provides a complete guide to beer today, encouraging readers to to examine and more fully enjoy this amazing beverage about this amazing beverage.
Holl recounts the story of beer in America from the beginning – from the Pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower with beer as their potable water, to the Industrial Revolution, when technological advancements in refrigeration made it easier to transport and store beer. Holl looks the virtual death of beer brewing in the U.S. as a result of Prohibition, and tracks its renaissance after the passage of the 21st Amendment.
Roughly forty-eight hundred breweries were operating when Prohibition began. Thirteen years later, when it was repealed, that number was down to only a few hundred. Facing a newly open market and little competition, big brewers became bigger, either absorbing competitors or eliminating them. By the 1970’s, the number of breweries had bottomed out at around fifty or so. The beer industry that emerged from Prohibition gave us essentially one style of beer. Think of it as beer-flavored-beer – generic, easy drinking, and generally lacking in discernable flavor.
But today, the days of beer-flavored-beer are behind us. Brewers are experimenting with traditional styles and inventing new ones, brewing with every flavor under the sun (including moon dust). Given this wealth of choices, Holl firmly believes that beer pairs better with every type of food than any other alcohol. Even wine.
While tasting beer is central to Holl’s career as a critic, over the past sixteen years he has become more obsessed with the peripheral: the experience not only of the beer itself, but of all that goes into its creation, and where it takes us both individually and as a community. While the sensory experience of drinking beer is important, Holl believes that everyone who eats or drinks anything should consider the process, the flavors, the sensations with each bite and sip.
Holl also delves into the battle between “Big Brewing,” which includes conglomerates like Anheuser-Busch InBev and Molson Coors, and the smaller, independent brewers. But even within Team Small Brewery, there is constant competition for the finite amount of tap-handle space. The winners are chosen by consumer dollars, and the tactics can be extremely dirty. Every time you buy a pint or purchase a six-pack, you’re choosing a side in a war. Holl explores both sides of the battle, seeking to arm readers with the information to make their own decisions.
Right here, right now is the best time in the history of mankind to be a beer drinker. And while the options might seem overwhelming, John Holl provides a complete guide to beer today, exploring how beer and breweries are building communities, changing tastes, and shaping lives. DRINK BEER, THINK BEER equips everyone, from casual enthusiasts to die-hard hopheads, with the information they need to make informed choices and support the brewers and beers that matter to them.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Holl is Senior Editor of Craft Beer and Brewing Magazine and formerly the award winning editor of All About Beer Magazine. The author of The American Craft Beer Cookbook, he's judged beer competitions around the world, co-hosts the Steal this Beer Podcast and his work as appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Wine Enthusiast. Holl lives in Jersey City, New Jersey. JohnHoll.com. He tweets @John_Holl.
From an award-winning journalist and beer expert, a thoughtful and witty guide to understanding and enjoying beer