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Brewing Battle has been reviewed over 13 times.

Mittelman, historian and writer, provides a detailed history of American beer in this book that spans the early Colonial days to the present. American beer has been influenced by many German and Czech immigrants who brought their brewing expertise to the US and founded many breweries. The important topics of taxation and regulation of alcoholic beverages are comprehensively described. Organizations such as the United States Brewers Organization, which enabled brewers to work cooperatively together, are a significant part of the history. Prohibition, dry geographic regions, and the legal drinking age have all impacted the brewing industry. As young adults began to drive regularly, auto accidents associated with alcohol consumption became an issue, and organizations such as Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD) were established. Technology issues, such as the sterilization of beer and the development of better containers, are also part of this history. The work contains eight chapters and includes many references for those who want to read original sources. Summing up: RECOMMENDED – ALL READERS.  Choice, Science and Technology, 2008.

Well, I am now coming up to half way through Amy Mittelman’s book Brewing Battles and I have to tell you that as far as I am concerned this is the best book on US beer history I have had my hands on. That being said, I admit I have not got a copy of 1962’s Brewed in America The level of research and detail is simply richer that found in Ambitious Brew and, unlike Beer In America: The Early Years, it’s not just about the early years.

There is a good explanation of the role of taxation and beer from the Civil War when it became a prime source of Federal Revenue to WWI when income tax replaced it, thus assisting in the freeing up beer to be part of prohibition. While not as dry as Tremblay and Tremblay, there is an academic tone to the book but once you are rolling along with the text, it’s not an issue.

The quality of the footnoting which, combined with internet news archiving and Google Books, allows the reader to corroborate much of the detail on the go if that is what you are into.

Buy it. A Good Beer Blog May 2008.

The history of the American brewing industry is a history of a battle between control and individual freedom,” writes Amy Mittelman in the introduction to her far-reaching study, Brewing Battles: A History of American Beer. Her carefully researched book details many battles under this rubric, from colonial times to the present: federal taxation and regulation as opposed to individual (and then united) brewers’ desires to control their own destiny; moral regulation in the form of Prohibition versus individuals’ wishes to control their own behavior; and corporate conglomeration challenged by craft brewers and niche marketers. Mittelman does not neglect ethnicity in this story, telling how immigrant German and Czech brewers made lager king of American beers.  Minnesota History  Fall 2008.


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