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Houston Beer:: A Heady History of Brewing in the Bayou City (American Palate) Paperback – April 8, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"'Houston Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Bayou City' takes us on a surprising journey that begins at a time when you were more likely to find a saloon than a church spire. Indeed, this city with deep-rooted connections to space exploration and the oil and gas industry finds beer to be an integral part of daily life as far back as the mid-1800s....Thankfully, for Houstonians and fans of brewing history everywhere, Houston Beer proves Crocker was more than up to the challenge." --Examiner.com

About the Author

Ronnie Crocker is an editor and writer for the Houston Chronicle, where he launched the Beer, TX blog in March 2009. He was born in Galveston, grew up in the Houston area and worked as a journalist at the Bryan-College Station Eagle in Texas and the Daily Press in Newport News, Virginia, before returning home to join the Chronicle in 1994. He holds a bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University and a master's of business administration from the College of William and Mary. Follow his beer writing at blog.chron.com/beertx, twitter.com/rcrocker and facebook.com/rcrocker.beertx.
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Product Details

  • Series: American Palate
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (April 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609495373
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609495374
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,215,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Bryan Carey VINE VOICE on August 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Houston, Texas is often associated with its oil and gas industries. There is no denying the impact of the energy sector on the Houston economy and the people who helped to build these industries certainly have made many important contributions to the Houston economy and its culture. But there is another industry not normally associated with Houston that has a stored past of its own. It is the business of beer and the people who helped form this business in the past and present are the subject of Houston Beer, an historical narrative written by Houston journalist Ronnie Crocker.

Houston Beer is written in a chronological fashion and it introduces the reader to several personalities and the breweries they built; brewing operations that have employed thousands and helped form the Houston area's identity for more than one hundred fifty years. Longtime residents of Houston may recognize some of the companies such as Magnolia Brewing, Southern Select, Gulf Brewing, and others. These breweries made a name for themselves long before the current crop of microbreweries and the dominance of Anheuser- Busch. The people behind these breweries were often just as eccentric as the products they produced and Houston Beer effectively acquaints the reader with this slice of Houston's past, both on a business and personal level.

Younger residents of Houston and those who have lived here for a relatively short time will enjoy the books closing chapters best, for it is here that Houston beer discusses the brewpub craze that strongly influenced the 1990's as well as the current popularity of craft breweries in the city.
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This is a history of beer brewing and drinking in Houston, Tx., from citys founding in 1836 to the present. It is a very good history of the subject and I recommend it. Truth is, the history of beer brewing prior to the 1880s-90s is unclear-the brewers and governments of the time kept very few if any records. Starting in the late 1880s this started to change, and this history from this time period forward gets 5 stars. Most interesting to me was how prohibition destroted the beer industry in the Houston area and how it had to be rebuilt from scratch afterwards. This book is a good read and I recommend it to anyone interested in the subject and to everyone interested in the history fof a city and area in a way not covered in most histories.
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A very easy read about the history of brewing in Houston. Sheds much light on the challenges of starting and maintaining a production brewery or brewpub, as well as factors that may be unique to Houston. Well written and an easy read.
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Mr. Crocker gives a pretty nice history of the Southern Select and Grand Prize era of Houston and Galveston brewing before an obligatory nod to Budweiser and then diving into where his real interests obviously lie: the rise of the craft brewing industry and its aficionados. Much of the second half of the book is all but a love letter to the Saint Arnold Brewing Co.

But, even though I purchased the book solely to learn about the pre-1970 history of Houston brewing, I'm not upset in the least to get half a book. He didn't have to write about Grand Prize or Magnolia or Dixie Pale at all, and I'm happy he did (and did fairly well, at that).
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Great book. Need to order some more for gifts
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