9000 years of suds…
Authors: Jonathan Hennessey, Mike Smith and Aaron McConnell
More than 35 billion gallons a year! That’s enough beer to quench even the most outrageous thirst. Spanning the globe, the artful combination of barley, hops, yeast and water is second only to tea when it comes to popular liquid diversions. While it’s obvious that beer has made quite an impact on the world, what you may not know is that the history behind it is abundantly interesting. Displaying an intoxicating enthusiasm for their subject, writer Jonathan Hennessey, brewer Mike Smith and illustrator Aaron McConnell have teamed up to create The Comic Book Story of Beer.
Tracing its origins as far back as 7000 BC, the authors start by describing how an eagerness for beer may have been one of the primary reasons for the early adoption of agriculture. Then, in a preview of a cultural divide that persists to this day, they go on to describe how the wine-drinking Greeks and Romans were eventually overrun by the more robust beer-drinking barbarians to their north. Monks and alewives take the stage next, as the art and science of brewing continued to evolve during the Dark Ages. But it wasn’t until the appearance of hops, 700-800 years ago, that the modern taste of what we call beer really took form. It was then that the brewing industry started to grow. England and Germany were first; but then on to America, where men like Miller, Schlitz, Pabst, Stroh and Busch became household names. They also became fabulously wealthy at the same time.