Happy Free Book Friday! Today’s giveaway, Baltimore Beer: A Satisfying History of Charm City Brewing, comes from beer scholar and journalist Rob Kasper, with a foreword by Boog Powell and photography by Jim Burger. You can enter to win by commenting on this post by Sunday, April 29 (12:oo a.m., EST)!
You may have to put down the crab mallets and break out a cold one for this heady history.
…because Beer Soup, Saengerfests and beer gardens are just a few traditions of Baltimore’s long-standing beer-centric community. The size and scope of the city’s former breweries, the civic involvement of the city’s brewers and Baltimore’s historical influence on national brands point to a passionate and thirsty local movement.
Rob Kasper’s Baltimore Beer will appeal to casual readers, Baltimore locals and beer history buffs alike:
“In this book, I strive to go beyond a dry accounting of who brewed what and when. With words and photographs, I tell the story of this city’s rich, sudsy social history.
It is a lively tale, starting back in the days of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ when alehouses lined the Jones Falls and a seamstress, Mary Pickersgill, sewed Old Glory as the flag was stretched out on a brewery floor. It tells of the turn-of-the-century Germans who erected elaborate breweries and leafy beer gardens along the Gay Street–North Avenue corridor.
It tells of the 1950s and ’60s, when Gunther, National, American and Arrow mounted clever advertising campaigns and tried to wrap themselves around the Orioles and the Colts as the breweries battled for the palates and wallets of the Chesapeake Bay’s burgeoning beer-drinking population.
It finishes up with the stories behind the current crop of local brewpub operators and craft brewers who are putting modern spins on the century-old routine of making beer. After studying this city’s past, there is little doubt that Baltimore is a suds city, a town that takes its beer seriously.”
Join Kasper as he uses interviews, stunning vintage images and a few recipes to pop the cap on Charm City’s brewing history. We hope you’ll enjoy this fantastic excerpt and share your thoughts on Baltimore beer!
Rob Kasper is a Baltimore writer. For more than three decades, he was a reporter, columnist and editorial writer for the Baltimore Sun, often writing about the area’s food and drink. In the fall of 2011, he left the newspaper to finish writing this book. He has won numerous writing awards. The Association of Food Journalists cited his 2008 food columns as among the best in American and Canadian newspapers. This marked the fifth time in two decades that his writing has been so honored by the association. He has also won two National Headliner Awards. His interest in local history and Baltimore brewers led him in 2009 to become a founding member of Baltimore Beer Week, a not-for-profit organization that celebrates the area’s brewing culture. A native of Dodge City, Kansas, he received his undergraduate degree in American studies from the University of Kansas and a master of science in journalism from Northwestern University, graduating with honors and distinction. He was a reporter for the Hammond (IN) Times and the Louisville Times newspapers before joining the Sun. He lives with his wife, Judith, a professor in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in a downtown Baltimore row house.
Jim Burger has been a professional photographer for more than twenty-five years. Since his earliest days, developing pictures in his parents’ basement, he has used a camera to tell stories. He learned his craft at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and he learned his trade at the Baltimore City Paper and the Baltimore Sun. As a freelance photographer, he has taken a personal approach to any assignment. His work has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the San Francisco Examiner and the Los Angeles Times, and he has worked for clients as varied as AARP, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and the Lou Gehrig’s Disease Association. The son of a Pittsburgh-area tavern owner, he has a longstanding interest in brewery artifacts and has decorated his Baltimore row home with prime examples of brewery art.