Tag Archives | History

Los Angeles Craft Beer and Homebrewing

For a look at the Los Angeles, CA homebrewing culture, check out this video from Thrash Lab, where they look into the community of craft beer and the growth of homebrewing in the area. They talk with beer geeks, craft beer experts, and home brewers, and look at the history and development of home-brewed beer as the foundation and grassroots of all craft beer:

Beer Saved The World

Beer Saved The World

Did you know that beer saved the world?

It’s true! If you don’t believe me, check out this trailer:

After watching Discovery Channel’s How Beer Saved the World show, OnlineBachelorDegreePrograms.com put together a great infographic to sum up some of the more important milestones in beer’s history, and it’s definitely worth checking out.

Beer Saved The World Infographic

Beer: A Genuine Collection of Cans

Beer Can Book

Beer: A Genuine Collection of Cans is a coffee table book that features beer cans ranging from the iconic to the obscure to the downright bizarre.

From long-forgotten brews to classic brands that have changed their look but never gone out of style, Beer offers a peek into the last century of beer culture, exploring what we drank, how we drank it, and why we picked it off the shelf.

The book actually started as a Flickr Set, when on a whim, Lance Wilson and Dan Becker started shooting Dan’s stepdad’s beer can collection, and uploading them to the photo sharing site. The response was greater than they had anticipated, with more than 180,000 pageviews in just a few months.

Beer Cans

Realizing they were on to something, the pair re-shot the entire collection, more than 1,400 in all, and then spent the following year curating, writing, editing and designing the book.

The result is an impressive look at the history of the beer can, both from a design perspective, and as a historical record of beer brands and styles that have come and gone over the years, and would make the perfect gift for the beer geek in your life.

[Beer: A Genuine Collection of Cans]

Beer Craft and Beer Infographic

Beer Craft

Beer Craft, by William Bostwick and Jessi Rymill, is “your guide to drinking the best beer you’ve ever tasted—by making it yourself. This kitchen manual has everything you need to turn your stove into a small-batch, artisanal brewery”.

It includes:

  • Simple, illustrated recipes for all your favorite styles
  • Instructions for customizing your beer with everything from herbs and spices to fruits and specialty grains
  • A tour through beer history
  • A gallery of vintage label design inspiration, and tips for branding, naming, and labeling your home-made beer
  • Expert advice from our favorite brewers at Rogue, Stone, Sierra Nevada, and more of America’s greatest craft breweries

The book is peppered with fantastic infographics, including one that was selected by Co.Design as their Infographic of the Day, about the Golden Age of American Beer, which tracks the number of breweries in America, along with the amount of beer produced, from 1800-2010:

Beer Production Infographic

As the authors put it, “We haven’t drank this much beer from this many breweries for a hundred years.”

Last year, 204 million barrels of beer were made in America, and while most came from two monstrous brewing conglomerates, Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors, 97% of the breweries in operation are small, independently owned craft breweries.

Put another way: The big are at their biggest, but the underdogs are gaining steam.

As the infographic shows, “beer took a hit in the early 1800s when rum flooded the ports and whisky the frontier. In those days, America had 200 breweries and 14,000 distilleries. Americans drank almost three pints of liquor a week. Then, the Germans arrived with a new beer: lager. During the wave of German immigration in the 1840s, 40 lager breweries opened in Philadelphia alone. The only problem was, nobody drank much anymore. The German tendency to drink during the day, outside, in noisy beer gardens with–mein Gott!–women and children freaked out the xenophobes, and a dark curtain of temperance dimmed drinking to a national per-capita low in 1850 of less than a bottle a week.

So most breweries closed, or consolidated. Anheuser-Busch, Miller, and Pabst dominated the flagging market with fancy new technology like refrigerated railway cars. The few small breweries still around finally succumbed in 1919. Prohibition took no prisoners. Big breweries scraped by selling low-alcohol “near beer,” soda, and ice cream (what else to do with those expensive train cars?). Beer took a long time to recover. By 1978 there were only 89 breweries, owned by 41 companies. Meanwhile, though, craft beer was born.

In the 1970s, three tiny California breweries fired their kettles: New Albion, Anchor, and Sierra Nevada. New Albion closed in 1983, but Anchor and Sierra exploded. Boston Beer Company followed in 1984, and the rush was on. Between 1993 and 1994, 200 breweries opened. Craft beer boomed fast, and suffered for it–many small breweries, started on a whim, shut down in the late ’90s–but it’s since found its legs. Today craft beer is growing in volume and dollars while the rest of the beer industry stagnates. Homebrewing is booming too, bringing American beer history full circle. Only, with fewer parsnips.”

For more information about the book, check out BeerCraftBook.com, or purchase your own copy from Amazon below: