Hometown Beer: A History of Kansas City's Breweries

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Two Kansas City authors have written a comprehensive 300-page book that chronicles the history of all of the breweries that have existed in the city in its 150 years. Hometown Beer is beautifully laid out with 585 photos and illustrations, 352 of which are in color.

Five years of research resulted in an extremely thorough compilation of vintage photographs, advertisements from local publications, and detailed accounts of each breweries ...
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Overview

Two Kansas City authors have written a comprehensive 300-page book that chronicles the history of all of the breweries that have existed in the city in its 150 years. Hometown Beer is beautifully laid out with 585 photos and illustrations, 352 of which are in color.

Five years of research resulted in an extremely thorough compilation of vintage photographs, advertisements from local publications, and detailed accounts of each breweries history. These breweries, their suppliers and their sales networks, including the pre-prohibition saloons and today's taverns, provided employment for many thousands of people and contributed large amounts to the city's treasury. Many former and present beer personalities are talked about in the book. The owners of some of these breweries wielded substantial influence over the city's economic, political and social development.

The history of this industry, so important to the grain producing Midwest, has largely been ignored by scholars. It was the authors' frustration in trying to do research that sparked the idea of writing the book. Many Kansas Citians remember, or may have had a family member who in some way was connected with, Muehlebach, Goetz, Heim, Schiltz or Electric Park.

Personal anecdotes and interesting details are provided on the breweries and their owners. Each of the city's larger breweries has its own chapter, with complete details on its origin, location, ownership, production and related activities. Even the smallest of the breweries are covered in a separate chapter titled "Early and Lesser Known Breweries."

Out-of-town breweries that had branches or depots in the city prior to prohibition are the subject of their own chapter, with the larger of these - Anheuser-Busch; Dick Brothers of Quincy, Illinois; Joseph Schlitz of Milwaukee; Wm. J. Lemp of St. Louis; and M.K. Goetz of St. Joseph, Missouri - covered in their own separate chapters. The Royal Brewing Co., of Weston, Missouri, has its own chapter, as do a group of small weiss beer breweries that made some beer but mostly produced beverages like soda pop. Also included is a chapter on "Breweriana Collecting" and a chapter titled, "Prohibition and Other Influences," which presents a uniquely local perspective on this national phenomenon.

The readers will be fascinated with the turning of each page as they look upon old time photographs that have somehow managed to survive and the authors have somehow managed to retrieve. They will be enlightened with every piece of information about these businesses that the authors were able to uncover. Also, pictured throughout the book are hundreds of beer-related collectibles - breweriana - much of which is from the personal collections of the authors.

The book is printed on 80 lb. paper in an attractive 9 x 12-inch coffee-table hard back.

Praise for Hometown Beer

"Aside from its attractive appearance, the most notable thing about Hometown Beer is the enormous number of old photographs and advertising found on every page of the book. .... Their research is exhaustive and thorough. Hometown beer is an impressive literary achievement for those who love beer and brewing."
Stan Galloway, Editor
American Breweriana Journal

"... beautifully illustrated ... and solidly researched new book. The resulting book, 304 glossy pages and 585 photographs and illustrations, is the ultimate coffee-table book, since every page is a fascinating window to another time and place."
Charles Ferruzza, Entertainment Editor
The Sun Newspaper

"The authors provide a book that is similar to good beer in that it has a sturdy body and sufficient froth to keep the reader's attention and add flavor to the tasty mix.."
Fred Slater, Timely Observations Emeritus St. Joseph News Press

" ... Hometown Beer comes as such a pleasant reading surprise. (Maxwell and Sullivan's) big, brawny book reveals that KC was awash in suds as far back as the 1850s. .... (It) offers a kegful of information, but just as noteworthy is the outstanding collection of photographs."
John Mark Eberhart
The Kansas City Star newspaper

"A wonderfully illustrated and well-written book that brings back to life a time when Kansas City was brimming over with pioneer vitality and entrepreneurial gusto. A fellow could enjoy a good ball game at the neighborhood sandlot and a quality bronze elixir from any number of hometown breweries. Sigh. Life was good!"
Pat O'Neill, Jr., author
From the Bottom Up: The Story of the Irish in Kansas City

"A new way to view the history of Kansas City. Hometown Beer was fun to read with great pictures and stories. Beer drinker or not, I think everybody in Kansas City will enjoy the book."
Karen Loeffelholz
Historic Kansas City Foundation

"Hands down the best regional brewing history yet published. Simply magnificent!."
Carl Miller
Author & creator of BeerHistory.com website


"This book sets the standard by which similar books will now be measured."
Don Rousinn
Breweriana collector, St. Louis, MO

Author the Authors: In 1993, six years after starting to collect brewery items from all over the country, H. James Maxwell began specializing in breweriana from Kansas City, his hometown. In doing some research, he discovered how little written history there is of the coming and going of the breweries of Kansas City. As his collection grew, so did his knowledge of that history. The desire to share this knowledge with others was his inspiration for this book.
This book provides a comprehensive written and visual history of the breweries of Kansas City from the 1850s up to the present day, including branches and depots of out-of-town breweries that did business in Kansas City.

Bob Sullivan, Jr. also calls Kansas City his hometown, and his roots are embedded in Kansas City's brewing industry. His great-grandfather, James Flanagan, emigrated from County Cavan, Ireland in 1881 and entered the saloon business in Kansas City's West Bottom. In 1978, when Bob Sullivan, Jr. became a driver-salesman for Sullivan Beverage Co., he became his family's fourth generation in the brewing business. Over twenty years later, Mr. Sullivan still works in the business as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Boulevard Brewing Company.
As old as "Gully Town" itself, the city's brewing history dates back to around 1850. The early breweries had an impact on the city's growth, providing employment as well as entertainment. This tradition continues today with Boulevard now providing the city with its "Hometown Beer."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780967431000
  • Publisher: Omega Innovative Marketing
  • Publication date: 10/1/1999
  • Pages: 320

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