From antique bottles to closely guarded recipes and treasured historic architecture, breweries have a special place in American history. This fascinating book brings the material culture of breweries in the United States to life, from many regions of the country and from early 16th century production to today’s industrial operations. Herman Ronnenberg traces the evolution of techniques, equipment, raw materials, and architecture over five centuries, discusses informal production outside of breweries, and offers detailed information on makers marks, patents, labels, and beer containers that allows readers to identify items in their own collections. Heavily illustrated with photographs and line drawings, this book will be popular with collectors and general readers, and a key reference in historical archaeology, local history, material culture, and related fields.
"This solid introduction to the mechanics of making beer places special emphasis on development within the US. By focusing literally on the nuts and bolts of the brewing industry, the author avoids having to explain the science of beer and also the complexities of styles and taste. The copious black-and-white photographs and illustrations enhance the work by depicting machinery and facilities devised for brewing, and the four appendixes provide a chronology of brewing in America, a useful compendium of brewing terms, information for collectors of artifacts, and finally data on archaeological research into earlier breweries. Summing Up: Recommended."-- C. L. Dolmetsch, CHOICE
“Overall, the book is well-written and detailed, providing valuable information for those who are looking to begin research on breweries or for those who are looking for more information on more specialized topics covered in the book.... As Ronnenberg describes in the beginning of the book, only two historically researched books have been written about breweries in the United States, and Ronnenberg hopes that this book will inspire historians, anthropologists, and archeologists to begin research on breweries and the industry to help to expand the historical record.” —Museum Anthropology Review