Thursday, November 18, 2010

Great American Beer: 50 Brands That Shaped the 20th Century

This book is by Christopher O' Hara.  It gives a short history of American beer.  It then outlines what it picks as America's most timeless brands.  It then further goes on to list what it considers the other great American beers.  This is not about craft beers.  This is about the "great" popular beers that began in the nineteenth century or early twentieth century.  Most are actually around in some form yet today although their owners and who actually brews them may have changed hands many times over the years.  A few have a more direct lineage.

If you have an interest or love for the classic American beers (lagers mostly) this is an interesting book.  The illustrations of old bottles, cans and ads are intriguing.  Each beer gets a one page short history.  However, this book is like chips or candy.  It is enticing, tasty, appealing, but in the end it will not fill you up or satisfy you.  It is a great overview, but it really just leaves you wanting even more, meatier, information.

From the beers listed in the book here are the ones I have had and not had.  I would like to get the "not had" list down only to those no longer made.  If one of them is available in your area, let me know:

Had                                                                             Not Had

Budweiser                                                                    Rheingold
Pabst Blue Ribbon       
Ranier                                                                          Falstaff (not made anymore?)
Schlitz                                                                          Pearl
Hamm's                                                                        Schmidt's (not made anymore)
Ballantine                                                                      Berghoff 
Iron City                                                                      
Schaefer                                                                       Billy Beer (not made anymore)
Blatz                                                                             Lucky Lager (not made anymore)
Piels                                                                             Weidemann (not made anymore)
Black Label                                                                   Hofbrau (not made anymore)
Coors                                                                           Bartel
Lowenbrau                                                                   Ortlieb's (not made anymore)
Grain Belt                                                                     Olde Frothingslosh (not made anymore)
Genesee Cream Ale
Lone Star
Rolling Rock
Old Milwaukee
Milwaukee's Best
Old Style
Point Special Lager
National Bohemian
Meister Brau
Buckeye (the revamped label, not the original that stopped brewing in 1971)
Utica Club


  1. Schmitd's is still made serve it in my bar

    1. Look in the left column, and you'll see Schmidt beer, which is still made and available in the Midwest. In the right hand column is Schmidt's beer that used to be made in Philadelphia and is the one that I believe is no longer made and not available. Thanks!