#beerhistory Archives – PorchDrinking.com
In recent years, associations have been made between depictions of Medieval alewives and our modern day image of witches, from pointy hats to cauldrons, and black cats to broom sticks. The story gets passed around by barstool historians claiming modern iconography of witches comes from these Medieval alewives, and as often happens, these stories have morphed into accepted popular history. But is there any truth to these stories about witches and alewives? Was there ever a connection between female brewers and witchcraft, and how did this story get started?
In this episode of Bean to Barstool, David Nilsen talks with Dr. Christina Wade, a beer writer and historian who helps us unpack the complicated mythology and iconography surrounding witches and brewing, and separate romance from reality when it comes to this spellbinding chapter of beer history.
Every Midwesterner is familiar with the ritual. A stiff, cool breeze pushes through the air, alerting you to the change in seasons. A familiar crunch of dying foliage and an ominous whiff of bonfire – or maybe it’s grill smoke from the tailgate – fill the senses. The squirrels start moving a bit slower and look a bit rounder. Maybe today I’ll get a hot coffee. Maybe this morning is the time to pull out the sweatshirt from its slumber. It’s time for Fall and everything it has in store. Fall is objectively my favorite time for seasonal beers. You get Oktoberfests, Wet Hop IPAs and more – you also get a heavy dose of pumpkin beers. While the Oktoberfest style might have the most celebrated history, the pumpkin ale has a unique story as well, and the booming seasonal style doesn’t show any sign of slowing down.
The American craft beer industry is still a relatively young movement — it started in the 1970s. The youth of our industry really shows when compared to the longevity of beer globally. Sure, the craft beer industry turns 70 this year, but prohibition is still in recent memory. Early pioneers of our craft moved mountains and steam-forged a path that led to Boston having its very own Lager and spectacular views from the coast of Maine.
“I think this would be a good time for a beer,” exclaimed Franklin Roosevelt after signing the Cullen-Harrison Act on March 22, 1933. Though the passage of the 21st Amendment in December 1933 fully ended the nation’s temperance experiment, the Cullen-Harrison Act allowed for the legal sale of low-alcohol beer (and wine). It went into effect on April 7, 1933, a day we commemorate as National Beer Day.
With over 8,000 breweries operating coast-to-coast and everywhere in between, there has never been a better time than today to be a beer drinker in the United States. The energy and creativity of the craft beer movement is undeniable. Breweries are producing elaborate takes on venerable beer styles and creating new styles as well. Whether you like Milkshake IPAs or an Italian Pilsner, there is a beer for you in your local brewery. Craft beer is an undeniably popular beverage. However, beer was even more popular in the US before the catastrophe of Prohibition nearly wiped out the alcohol industry from 1920 to 1933.
It’s Oktoberfest time! For beer lovers in and around Cincinnati, Ohio, this season is pretty much made for them — the Queen City throws the second largest Oktoberfest celebration outside of Munich, and the world’s largest chicken dance.
Sadly, COVID-19 will put a major damper on how Oktoberfest social events are handled this year. However, one of the great things about the season is the glut of Oktoberfest, Märzenbier and Festbier releases. (Check out this primer on what exactly it is we’re drinking when we have an Oktoberfest beer.) While it’s great enjoying these styles at a Cincinnati Oktoberfest celebration with an oompah band playing in the background, they’re also plenty enjoyable to relax with on a patio or porch as the summer heat wanes into crisp autumn evenings.
Anchor Steam®. Those two words serve as a metaphorical window into a world filled with a veritable wealth of American beer history.
To view Anchor Brewing is to observe three distinct stages of American brewing: 19th Century to Prohibition; the resurrection of American craft and the establishment of craft as a business worthy of significant investment. To drink the beer is to enjoy a historical brewing process that afforded West Coast brewers an ability to brew successfully without ice; it also helped remind later-twentieth-century beer drinkers that beer need-not be clearish-yellow and full of adjuncts.
A principal attribute of craft brewing involves the confluence of creativity and tradition. The summer ‘18 opening of the newest Tribes Beer Company location—a brewhouse, tasting room and beer garden—exemplifies that characteristic. Tribes draws on tradition while simultaneously adapting to an ever-evolving beer industry.
“We’re bat shit passionate. I mean, you talk about sustainability, you talk about our beer quality, you talk about our family history. It’s all of that. You can’t just sum it up in passion because that has, you know, 50 shades of gray type of a feel to it. But, if you say ‘We’re bat shit passionate,” it’s like, ‘Okay!’ That’s what it is,” said Brian Grossman of Sierra Nevada Brewing.
The maturation of the craft-beer industry includes a changing of the guard, but for Sierra Nevada that transition will remain in the family. Formed in 1979 by Ken Grossman, his son Brian now serves as co-owner and serves as the GM of the brewery’s Mills River, North Carolina, location. We sat down to talk to Brian and find out what makes Sierra Nevada tick.
“In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” but a few months before Columbus landed in the Caribbean, an Austrian brewery that came to be known as Stiegl arose in the town of Salzburg. Five and a quarter centuries later, the world has dramatically changed, but Stiegl is still there and still delivering beer in its hometown by horse and carriage. The one thing that is new is the Stiegl Zitrone Lemon Radler, its newest summer-friendly, highly sessionable U.S. import.
Welcome to Beerology! On the first Thursday of every month we will take a look into the origins of all things booze. This can range anywhere from where certain styles of beer came from, how certain brewing techniques were developed, tracing the history of beer trends, and today we thought it appropriate to touch on how one of our oldest beer traditions began by asking the question, why we toast our beers.