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Ann Arbor has always been a beer-loving town. From the establishment of the first commercial brewery in 1838 through a century of German immigration down to today's local craft brew boom, the amber liquid looms large in Tree Town's quirky past and present. Find out how beer helped a former University of Michigan professor win a Nobel Prize. Discover the Ann Arbor doctor whose nationally bestselling home remedy book featured ale recipes. Learn which Michigan football legend pounded brewskis as part of his training regimen. Covering the exploits of famous poets, performers and prohibitionists, local author David Bardallis pops the cap off the big beer history of this little college town and leads readers to "the best beer you can drink" in Ann Arbor today.
Less than fifteen years after the birth of Birmingham, its brewing history began, and soon saloons dotted nearly every corner. Prohibition, however, decimated the brewing scene for eighty-five years. Although national Prohibition began in 1920, Jefferson County voted to go dry in 1907. Alabama beer saw a brief resurgence after the Brewpub Act of 1992, as craft beer's popularity grew nationwide. But the brewpubs and breweries that emerged struggled against the state's restrictive laws, which included such stipulations as locating brewpubs in historic districts and limiting beer bottle sizes to sixteen ounces. By the time grass-roots lobbying organization Free the Hops formed in 2004 to fight those restrictive laws, every Birmingham brewery had closed. Join author Carla Jean Whitley as she uncovers the struggle to make local beer a Birmingham staple.
Nebraska's craft beer scene may be relatively young, but the state's rich brewing history stretches back to the 1800s. Tyler Thomas of NebraskaFoodie.com presents the whole story, from quenching thirsts in small towns before Prohibition to homebrewers going commercial and launching the nation's first winery/microbrewery combination. From bourgeois to blue collar, the craft breweries thriving today have distinct and entertaining stories. What drives them all are passionate people pouring their hearts into great beer, which they share one pint, pitcher or growler at a time.
Tap the brewing history and beer culture of Washington, D.C.
In the nineteenth century, dozens of local breweries worked tirelessly to slake the thirst of the rapidly growing city of Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids Brewing Company, along with other savvy barley merchants, established a beer culture that would dominate western Michigan until Prohibition turned off the spigots. After the repeal of the Noble Experiment, gigantic national brands stunted the growth of area breweries for decades, but the contemporary craft brew renaissance turned Furniture City back into Beer City, USA. Tour local operations like Founders and HopCat with veteran hophead Patrick Evans and enjoy the rich heritage of Grand Rapids beer.
As co-founder of the expedition that discovered Lucy, and leader of most of the first site-surveys in the Afar Depression in Ethiopia, Jon Kalb has years of experience with the region, its politics, and the scientists involved in the excavations. A participant himself in the "bone wars" that accompanied these discoveries, Kalb recounts the cutthroat competition and back stabbing that were often part of the media-highlighted race to find the oldest hominid fossil. He weaves this story in the rich fabric of Ethiopian society and politics, the plight of the regions peoples, and the international maneuverings for control of the fossil finds.
In 1824, John Allen and Elisha Rumsey established the first homestead in what is now downtown Ann Arbor. The story goes that the community got its name when the two founders’ wives, both named Ann, were seen lounging in a grove of trees. In reality, Ann Allen and Mary Ann Rumsey were never in town at the same time, but how it actually was named is unimportant when considering what Ann Arbor grew into. Early settlers gave the town schools, an expansive courthouse, a beautiful post office, and streetcar lines that spanned downtown. They built this town, and their legacy is present in every walk up Huron Street, drive down to William and Main Streets, or bike ride over to Kerrytown.

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