Reviews

Here’s what people and publications are saying about The Audacity of Hops: The History of America’s Craft Beer Revolution, the first history of the American craft beer movement:

“[A] thoroughly researched volume, a classic of its subject and form.” —Virtual Gourmet

“Mr. Acitelli’s exhaustive chronicle of the American beer revolution … lovingly told.” —Wall Street Journal

“Amazingly comprehensive, it also reads a bit more like a novel with tons of important characters parading in and out, and is easy to get sucked in. I started reading this and couldn’t put it down.” —Portland (Maine) Press Herald

“Tom has managed to write a comprehensive, thorough and enjoyable history of craft beer since 1965. I heartily recommend his book to anyone new to the beer world, or anyone who wants to get some context to how we got to where we are today. It’s been a great journey.” —Jay Brooks, editor of the Brookston Beer Bulletin and On Beer columnist for the Oakland Tribune

Excellent history of the American craft brewing movement…” —Slate

“Acitelli goes quite deep here and develops a rich cluster of stories around the people, relationships and places that have been largely unsung in the true, Fritz Maytag-focused, history of craft beer.” —Joe Tucker, editorial director of RateBeer.com

“If you are a craft brew fanatic, this book is a must-read, but even those who are simply curious about American history — or the way business works — will find the pages fascinating.” —Drink NYC

“He writes like a novelist… Like a novelist, Acitelli develops characters the best he can.” —Waterbury (Conn.) Republican-American

“An account of the rise of America’s craft brewing movement, which was born out of San Francisco’s mid-’60s counterculture.” —Bloomberg Businessweek

“The book charts the birth and growth of craft beer across the U.S. since the mid-’60s. It includes stories of well-known public figures—even the White House has created its own honey ale—and looks at the reaction of big breweries and the craft beer movement’s place in other food movements.” —The Charlotte Observer

“Rather than become mired in a minutiae of names and dates, Acitelli wisely frames his narrative as a discrete selection of entertaining vignettes that focus on key players and moments in America’s craft-beer revolution as representative of the larger movement. It’s an entertaining and informative read for anyone remotely interested in the history of American craft beer.” —The Daily Camera (Boulder)

“This is the story of how the ‘Kingdom of Beer’ was returned to the drinker by little guys and gals who loved beer. It’s about the nurturing of the beer epiphany in a time when word of a revolution in the making was passed on one glass of brew at a time. The Audacity of Hops is an absorbing reflection on what goes into every glass of homebrew and professional craft-brewed beer in America. Impassioned millions have taken the kingdom back.” —Charlie Papazian, founder of the American Homebrewers Association and author of The Complete Joy of Homebrewing

“Everyone who cares about good beer owes Tom Acitelli a huge thanks: his history of American craft beer is lively, substantive, and thoughtful. It’s time to celebrate—and I’m buying the first round.” —Maureen Ogle, author of Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer

“It’s an exhaustive look at the genesis of craft brewing. Its emphasis is less technical and more people-oriented, a refreshing read amid the many ‘how to brew’ or glossary-heavy books on the subject.” —The Cleveland Plain-Dealer

“Acitelli’s book, which was released earlier this month, would likely be of interest to any fan of craft beer, whether merely a casual drinker or all-out beer nerd.” —Lebanon (Penn.) Daily News

The Audacity of Hops: The History of America’s Craft Beer Revolution by Tom Acitelli is the book I’ve been waiting for. Encompassing those earliest days of Anchor and New Albion, Boston Beer, the late-90s shakeout, Russian River, and just about everything in-between, this was a history that needed be written…” —Ken Weaver, RateBeer

“A lot of beer books come across my desk, but few are as thorough, well-researched and approachable as The Audacity of Hops. Author Tom Acitelli takes a reporter’s approach to telling the story of the rise of craft beer in America.” —Evan S. Benn, Esquire magazine

The Audacity of Hops chronicles the rich history of America’s craft brewing revolution with deft portraits of the resourceful pioneers, the innovative brewers, and the intrepid entrepreneurs who are changing the way the world thinks about beer.” —Steve Hindy, co-founder of Brooklyn Brewery and co-author of Beer School

“Acitelli talks to dozens of brewers and beer enthusiasts in order to share his tale, deftly weaving multiple narratives into a larger whole, incorporating the stories of homebrewing, the Slow Food movement, the evolution of America’s drinking habits, the rise of brewpubs, and the role of beer evangelists like Englishman Michael Jackson and Jim Koch, giving readers a 360-degree view of the subject by chopping it into short, digestible chapters. It’s an ingenious means of telling a story with so many influential characters, and Acitelli pulls it off, with an eye for detail and a nose for drama.” —Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

“This book is a delightful read, painstakingly researched, often humorous, and filled with stories that breathe life into the birth of our industry.” —David L. Geary, president of D. L. Geary Brewing Company

“Highly quaffable and enjoyable. You can crack open a section or two, pore over it for an hour or so, and familiarize yourself with the moments and luminaries who contributed heavily to the American brewing renaissance. Heady stuff.” —Sam Calagione, president and founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and author of Brewing Up a Business

“[Tom Acitelli]’s thorough research into the craft beer revolution tells a great story and shows how a ragtag yet purposeful group of passionate individuals can build an industry. He did an amazing job capturing the characters, improbable tales, and astounding passion that make up the craft brewing community.”  —Ken Grossman, founder, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

“Acitelli offers portraits of the dozens of entrepreneurs nationwide who started small-production runs and soon developed a following, often through their own brewpubs. The cast of characters he has marshaled demonstrates these microbreweries’ diverse individuality, even as some have grown into significant corporations of their own.” —Booklist

“All of us in the craft beer business have stories to tell about the American Craft Beer Revolution. Tom Acitelli has woven them together into a fascinating history, an adventure story where good beer is the hero. This is an exciting telling of the history of our industry with a happily-ever-after ending for beer lovers all over the world.” —Jim Koch, founder and brewer of The Boston Beer Company, brewer of Samuel Adams Boston Lager

“Acitelli offers a surprisingly engrossing, lively narrative on the tenacity of smaller outfits amid the dominant corporate brands… an invaluable resource for connoisseurs.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Don Younger, the legendary publican who helped Portland, Oregon, become ‘Beervana,’ once said, ‘We didn’t know we were making history, nobody does at the time, or we would have written these things down.’ Tom Acitelli has discovered an astonishing amount of what did get written down, then done the legwork to find his own story about a new age in American beer.” —Stan Hieronymus, editor and founder of Appellation Beer and author of For the Love of Hops

“Acitelli’s book is a thoughtful and serious work of history. It is an excellent chronicle… Just read it slowly.” —BeerGraphs

“Your homework this week is to read the riveting history of the craft beer revolution in Tom Acitelli’s book, The Audacity of Hops.” —Food GPS

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3 thoughts on “Reviews

  1. Tom, I just pre-ordered you book from Amazon. I’m really looking forward to reading it!
    Hey, I just read your post entitled “The Real Canning Timeline in American Craft Beer.” Below is a link to something you may find interesting. I posted this on my blog a couple years back about what may actually be the first craft beer in a can.
    Been going through your blog and thoroughly enjoying it. Prost!
    Lee Reiherzer

    http://oshkoshbeer.blogspot.com/2010/08/chief-oshkosh-red-lager-story.html

  2. Couldn’t help but note that this is a wonderful story to be told, and my boss, former Congressman J. J. Pickle, 10th District Texas, major city Austin, Tx introduced HR 3605 at request of brewers of Shiner beer in Shiner, Texas, which was in his district. He had earlier, before joining the tax committee of the House, Ways and Means, pushed in hearings of the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee for the FTC to bring anti-trust action against national brewers who were engaged, his position, in predatory pricing in various regions, including central and south Texas, to put regional brewers out of business. Not a big piece of the story you write, but an interesting footnote as to why it had legs in the House, for as a protege of one Johnson, Lyndon, JJ Pickle was a good legislator.

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