The Heady History of Chesapeake Brewing

Maryland’s Eastern Shore had a complicated relationship with beer for much of its history. Brewers fell into (roughly) two categories: people who needed the work and people who needed great beer. In this book, I trace that history and show how the two different kinds of brewers overlap.If you’re interested in coming to a talk or signing, here’s a list of events. If you would like me to come and speak with your group or at

Into the past

Castle HavenPhoto courtesy of the Choptank River Heritage Center I went to college as a 30-year-old and, as I made for the graduation finish line, my first marriage came apart. If I ever write that story it will read like the lamest version of the poor man’s Fear and Loathing. Come to think of it, Fear and Loathing in Delmar would be an awesome title. Doing primary source, original research was a graduation requirement, so I combined

Away we go

In a very, very technical sense, this was the first phototaken for the book. When +The History Press agreed to publish my book, I was a little worried about getting the right photos. But not quite as worried as they were at first.You see, Eastern Shore Beer was to be a pretty book, as well as an informative one. I got something like 32 color pages for a photo insert and was responsible for the cover and

Fan Fiction

Groupo Modelo write-offs cost AbInBev $6 billion this year.It lost another $1 billion anyway, even with the Word Cup. This is a tinfoil hat observation, but one that’s fun to make. Like all kooky theories, it begins with demonstrable facts and descends into the gap between madness and unlikelihood. Craft beer now has 8 percent of the market and think they can make it to 20 over the next decade. Budweiser’s parent company, even bolstered by

Exporting beer and a revolution

Oddly, though, Boxer Light hasn’t taken Belgium by storm Twenty years ago, I would tell you that Belgium was the greatest brewing country in the world. And today I would say it’s the United States. — John McDonald, Founder of Boulevard Brewing Company, in an +NPR story. Exporting a revolution Late last year, Belgian beer company +Duvel Moortgat closed a deal to buy +Boulevard Brewing Co. primarily to secure an American craft beer for export (or, I guess, import, depending upon

Craft Canning Revolution?

Setting aside the 8 or 10 people who remember when beer from cans had an off flavor, the rise of craft beer in a can is probably the next bump in the craft beer market. Cans are cheaper to buy and cheaper to ship, and they hold flavor better. It is quite possible they hold flavor longer, but it’s not an experiment I’m willing to try as it means arbitrarily leaving beer un-drunk. Over the

There’s more to campus beer than frat boys

The recently-reported discovery of an on-campus brewery at the +College of William & Mary highlights a point that we’ve forgotten, a little bit. Yes, it’s cute to make jokes about having beer on campus, but where there are people, there is beer. This is a fact of civilization. What was difficult was making good beer. It not only took time, but also resources that most smaller places didn’t have. Maltsters were rare in the country, but they

Changing tastes

In the late 90s my uncle and I started having beer tastings. Craft beer was just catching hold in Jersey and he had some access to some really esoteric beers. To be honest, though, it mostly was about the drinking. We (for example) included Zima once because we felt as if it were important to know what it tasted like.Two beers stuck out from that period. Dead Guy Ale, by Rogue was one and the