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Philadelphia Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Cradle of Liberty

Overview

The finely aged history of Philadelphia brewing has been fermenting since before the crack appeared in the Liberty Bell. By the time thirsty immigrants made the city the birthplace of the American lager in the nineteenth century, Philadelphia was already on the leading edge of the country's brewing technology and production. Today, the City of Brotherly Love continues to foster that enterprising spirit of innovation with an enviable community of bold new brewers, beer aficionados and brewing festivals. ...
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Philadelphia Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Cradle of Liberty

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Overview

The finely aged history of Philadelphia brewing has been fermenting since before the crack appeared in the Liberty Bell. By the time thirsty immigrants made the city the birthplace of the American lager in the nineteenth century, Philadelphia was already on the leading edge of the country's brewing technology and production. Today, the City of Brotherly Love continues to foster that enterprising spirit of innovation with an enviable community of bold new brewers, beer aficionados and brewing festivals. Pennsylvania brewery historian Rich Wagner takes readers on a satisfying journey from the earliest ale brewers and the heyday of lager beer through the dismally dry years of Prohibition and into the current craft-brewing renaissance to discover and celebrate the untapped history of Philadelphia beer.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781609494544
  • Publisher: History Press, The
  • Publication date: 4/24/2012
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 678,796
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Beginning in 1980, when he set out to visit all nine of Pennsylvania’s breweries that were still in business, the author’s path seems to have been one of total immersion. Traveling throughout the state, he began to notice the hulking remains of long-gone breweries dotting the landscape and set out to create a photographic inventory of all standing brewery buildings in Pennsylvania. At the time this book was written, he had visited well over four hundred sites and found something to photograph at nearly half of them. By 1983, Rich tried his hand at home-brewing and, before long, had set up a gas-fired system in a friend’s basement, utilizing an old beer keg as a kettle. In 1990, he interpreted colonial brewing using replicas of seventeenth-century equipment at Pennsbury Manor, a reconstruction of William Penn’s country estate on the Delaware River. Within three years, he had worked with a cooper over an eight-month period to manufacture his own system, starting with two cypress logs. That year, he went on a cross-country journey to demonstrate brewing techniques of antiquity. He was a high school science teacher who traveled extensively during the summers, visiting national parks and geologic sites throughout the nation and, during the 1980s, as the craft brewing renaissance began to take hold, found many craft breweries to visit as well. To date, he has visited well over six hundred breweries throughout the United States and Canada. His research into Pennsylvania breweries continued, becoming deeper and more serious as he visited libraries and historical societies and amassed a great deal of information. Rich became involved with breweriana collectors and joined some of their organizations. He also became connected to the Society of Industrial Archeology. Rich developed tours of breweries past and present for Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, the Lehigh Valley, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and south-central Pennsylvania. Some of these were sponsored by breweriana clubs and others by historical societies and other organizations. He published guidebooks to go with each tour, and he also issued a number of posters. Finally, the inevitable came when his avocation overtook his vocation. Rich took very early retirement from his teaching career in order to participate in the emerging craft brewing industry. He attended the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago, where he received a diploma in brewing technology and spent seven years working in Philadelphia’s craft breweries. He has spent a decade as an officer of District Philadelphia, Master Brewers Association of the Americas, most of that time as secretary and membership chair. He currently spends his time researching and writing about Pennsylvania breweries and brewing techniques of antiquity. He is a public speaker and demonstrates colonial brewing. For more information, visit his website: http://pabreweryhistorians.tripod.com.
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Table of Contents

Foreword Lew Bryson 7

Preface 11

Acknowledgements 13

Introduction 15

Chapter 1 Brewing in Early Philadelphia 17

Chapter 2 Growth of Ale Breweries 27

Chapter 3 Lager Beer 35

Chapter 4 Neighborhoods of Breweries 43

Chapter 5 Prohibition 89

Chapter 6 After Repeal 101

Chapter 7 The Craft Brewing Renaissance 121

Bibliography 145

Index 49

About the Author 157

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