A few years ago, there were only a handful of books written about beer, and most concerned themselves with methods for brewing it, or stories of how a particular brewer rose to fame and success. There have been some highlights along the way, but I am very pleased that beer writers are beginning to take a look back at how exactly the American craft beer industry ended up where it was today.
The growth of craft beer in the U.S. has not been a steady march forward since the repeal of prohibition, but rather an undulating journey of booms and busts, near-misses and resurrections, champions and underdogs. In that journey, there is a surprisingly small yet indomitable cast of characters that made an immense impact on the craft brewing landscape. Two recently-published books have helped to bring those people to light – and allowed some of the as yet untold stories to come out.