Do beer yeast rustlers really exist? Who patented the Beer Goddess? How can you tell a Beer Geek from a Beer Nazi? Where exactly is Beervana? Does Big Beer hate Little Beer?
Ken Wells, a novelist, Pulitzer Prize finalist, and longtime Wall Street Journal writer, answers these questions and more by bringing a keen eye and prodigious reportage to the people and passions that have propelled beer into America's favorite alcoholic beverage and the beer industry into a $75 billion commercial juggernaut, not to mention a potent force in American culture.
Travels with Barley is a lively, literate tour through the precincts of the beer makers, sellers, drinkers, and thinkers who collectively drive the mighty River of Beer onward. The heart of the book is a journey along the Mississippi River, from Minnesota to Louisiana, in a quixotic search for the Perfect Beer Joint -- a journey that turns out to be the perfect pretext for viewing America through the prism of a beer glass. Along the river, you'll visit the beer bar once owned by the brewer Al Capone, glide by The World's Largest Six Pack, and check into Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel to plumb the surprisingly controversial question of whether Elvis actually drank beer. But the trip also includes numerous detours up quirky tributaries, among them: a visit to an Extreme Beer maker in Delaware with ambitions to make 50-proof brew, a look at the murky world of beer yeast rustlers in California, and a journey to the portals of ultimate beer power at the Anheuser-Busch plant in St. Louis, where making the grade as a Clydesdale draft horse is harder than you might imagine. Entertaining, enlightening, and written with Wells's trademark verve, Travels with Barley is a perfect gift -- not just for America's 84 million beer enthusiasts, but for all discerning readers of flavorful nonfiction.
Dave Barry I highly recommend this (burrrrp) book.
Helpful Clues About Brews
Why Beer, Why Me?
Anatomy of a Beer Spill, Perdido Key, Fla.
Chapter 2: The Quest Begins
A Pilgrim on the River of Beer, Stillwater, Minn.
A Diversion to Consider the Beer Cure, New York, N.Y.
Chapter 4: On the Road Again
In the Shadow of the World's Largest Six-Pack via La Crosse, Wisc.
The Plymouth Rock Beer Detour (Or, a Pause to Consider the History of the River of Beer)
Chapter 6: The Quest Continues
Motoring Toward Dubuque, in Search of the Brewer Al Capone
A Side Trip Deep into the Lair of Extreme Beer, Milton, Del.
Chapter 8: Back on the River of Beer
Beer and Remembrance: Slouching Toward Hannibal by Way of Nauvoo, Ill.
We Divert West to Sleuth Amongst the Yeast Rustlers, Woodland Hills, Calif.
Chapter 10: Questing Onward
Bud Land and Vicinity: In the Castle of the King, St. Louis, Mo.
Prowling Among the Beer Suits, Boston, Mass.
Chapter 12: The Quest Takes a Southern Lurch
Beer, Elvis, and the Heartbreak Hotel by Way of Woody's
Foam Improvement (Or, a Side Trip to See the Grand Wazoo), Houston, Tex.
Chapter 14: On the Road Again
The Delta and Beer at the Cross Roads by Way of Clarksdale, Miss.
A Detour to the Green, Green Fields of Bud, Boundary County, Idaho
Chapter 16: A Wrinkle in the Quest
Post-Delta Ruminations on the Beer Goddess Phenomenon, Jackson, Miss.
Chapter 17: The Final Diversion
At Last, Beervana, Portland, Ore.
Chapter 18: Quest's End
On the Road to New Orleans: Contemplating Rock & Sake, Darryl and Sheila
Pa and Pabst
A Brief Glossary
Notes on Sources
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 1st November 2007
Publisher: Free Press