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Archive for the ‘Beer History’ Category

The first cases of the Genesee Heritage Collection variety pack are delivered to a few select bars in Downtown Rochester NY by Horse and Carriage.

I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard that Genesee was bring back the iconic 12 Horse Ale, not to mention that they marked the occasion by delivering it by horse drawn carriage to a few select bars in downtown Rochester, NY. The beer was originally introduced in 1933 and was last on store shelves in 2003 when it was pulled due to lack of sales. It was delivered to Salinger’s Bar around lunch time today in the new Genesee Heritage Variety Packs. The pack features Genesee Lager, Cream Ale and of course 12 Horse Ale all in vintage style stubby glass bottles.  As a collector of NY breweriana 12 Horse has always been one my favorite brands so I was thrilled to get to try it and see it being produced once again. Here’s to hoping it catches on and sticks around for while. The Heritage Variety Pack are a limited release and should be hitting store sometime very soon. Try some while you can or better yet share some with your friends and family and see what stories or memories they have of this iconic brand. Cheers!

The new 12 Horse Stubby bottle and a 1930's era 12 Horse Tray from my personal collection.

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Raise a glass and give thanks to the 75th Anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition!
Here’s some prohibition era pics from the Monroe County Library. Mostly from the Albert Stone Collection.

and Hat’s Off for F.X. Matt (Saranac) and Utica Club for being the first beer legally served after prohibition. It was served to the mayor of Utica roughly one hour after the ratification of the 21st Amendment.

Sheriff Morse with confiscated liquor (local leader of the liquor war)

Sheriff Morse with confiscated liquor (local leader of the liquor war)

Mrs. Grace Begy, owner of Prohibition saloon - I'd love to learn more about this lady!

Mrs. Grace Begy, owner of Prohibition saloon - I'd love to learn more about this lady!

Confiscated Liquor/beer

Confiscated Liquor/beer

Bootleggin' Operation

Bootleggin' Operation

Destroying the elixir of life

Destroying the elixir of life

One of my fav's from the Library of Congress

One of my fav's from the Library of Congress

Local sign posting

Local sign posting

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Ambitious Brew

ambitiousbrew.jpgI just read the free downloadable sample excerpt of this  recently released paperback edition of the book Ambitious Brew about one hundred fifty years of American beer, from the German immigrants of the 1840s to the microbrewers of the 1980s. It was very enjoyable and I found myself transported to the pioneering days of american brewing after reading the excerpt, it’s fascinating what the early pioneering brewers went through to brew beer in early America. I wonder if the other time periods covered in the book are as interesting? I hope to get my hands on the book itself sometime soon. Here’s what the critics said:

“It’s a treat to drink from Maureen Ogle’s superb schooner ‘Ambitious Brew’ . . . What she packs into this brisk, entertaining and insightful account is worthy of a toast and a round on the house.”
Peter Rowe/San Diego Union-Tribune

“The rise of lager beer, and the great names associated with it – names like Busch, Pabst, Blatz, Schlitz and Miller – is the subject of Maureen Ogle’s effervescent, occasionally frothy “Ambitious Brew,” a fairly standard history with a provocative thesis attached. Ms. Ogle . . . takes the air out of a few myths . . . .”
William Grimes/New York Times

“Ogle beautifully weaves together [brewers’] tales, moving from one mini-bio to the next as the industry and the country grow. . . . [and her] storytelling ability keeps Ambitious Brew flowing.”
Bob Oswald/Chicago Sun-Times

Want more synopsis?

When a wave of German immigrants arrived in the middle of the nineteenth century, they promptly set about re-creating the pleasures of the biergartens they had left behind. Just fifty years later, the American-style lager beer they invented was the nation’s most popular beverage — and brewing was the nation’s fifth-largest industry, ruled over by fabulously wealthy titans Frederick Pabst and Adolphus Busch. Anti-German sentiments aroused by World War I fed the flames of a well-established temperance movement (one activist even declared that “the worst of all our German enemies are Pabst, Schlitz, Blatz, and Miller”). Prohibition was the result.

Beer came back in 1933, but Americans’ taste for Budweiser and Schlitz did not. Per capita beer consumption remained stagnant for the next few decades, and only reached its pre-Prohibition high again in the 1970s. That was too late to save the hundreds of small beermakers who went bankrupt in the 1950s and 1960s. By the mid-seventies, only forty-four brewers remained.

But even as those few giants monopolized the industry, a younger generation’s passion for innovation and entrepreneurship sparked a new era in beer’s American history. In the 1970s and 1980s, a handful of homebrewers built small breweries and began making lagers and ales of a sort not seen in the United States since the mid-nineteenth century. Today there are well over a thousand breweries and brewpubs in the United States and there has never been a better time to explore the pleasures of fine beer.

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