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Conventional wisdom has it that giant breweries, driven by corporate greed, have flooded the U.S. with inferior-tasting swill, and the only beer worth drinking is from scattered boutique microbrewers. Nonsense, says Ogle: companies like Miller and Anheuser-Busch are actually near-perfect embodiments of the American dream (in which "liberty nurtured ambition, and ambition fostered success")—and if their beers became noticeably blander 50 years ago, it's because consumers wanted it that way. Ogle (All the Modern Conveniences) looks back at the early years of brewers like Phillip Best, Frederick Pabst and Adolphus Busch as they rose to success making European-style beers for fellow immigrants, converting plenty of native palates along the way. Such men, she claims, should be heralded as captains of industry like Gilded Age icon J.P. Morgan. This material is strong, as is Ogle's analysis of the slow but steady rise of the Prohibition movement, but her narrative loses momentum as she tries to encompass the post–WWII era and add the most successful microbrewers to her list of heroes. Her exuberant musings on the American spirit become distracting, but there's more than enough drama in the family sagas to keep even the soberest of readers turning the pages. (Oct.)
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“Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer” is an ambitious title. No surprise that the book is a hefty 452 pages. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Leslie N. Patino
Very interesting read. If you're a beer drinker or just a history buff, I recommend this bookPublished 15 months ago by Tyson Dillow
A thorough look at how the brewers started in the U.S. Shows how one person can build an empire but lose it when the industry changes.Published 17 months ago by mark carson
While craft beer is all the rage, it is important to remember that for many reasons, much of America was raised on "Big Beer." And, that is an interesting story as well. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Mac
nice historical book on industry, was informative
easy read..i thought is was a great overview of the beer business large and small
and how it transition thru its various... Read more
I did enjoy this book, especially the beginning with the Germanic Beer Barons histories. The chapters are long and things did get redundant. All in all, worth a read.Published 19 months ago by Chris Belcher
If I can enjoy a book about cattle and pigs, which I did (In Meat We Trust) I know I can down a book about beer! I was hooked halfway thru the first chapter where Ms. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Gordon Moog
decent history book. interesting how beer reflects society moods. It shows, once again, how big business only cares about profit. Employees always take a back seat. Read morePublished 22 months ago by short pants brewing