I’ve been talking with Josh Christie, author of “Maine Beer, Brewing in Vacationland” on Twitter for a while now. It was roughly a year ago when I caught a passing tweet about the book he was writing, and all I gathered was it was about Maine Beer. I’ve met Josh once, and our paths don’t seem to cross very often. Maybe I need to start skiing again (he seems to be in the mountains a lot during the winter), or maybe I should read a few more books. Not only does he write them now, but he also sells them. Josh is one of my beer people on Twitter; I have quite a few people I can ask how to pair a beer to my dinner, but as the writer behind the Brews and Books blog, he’s about the only one I trust to pair a beer with a book.
“Maine Beer: Brewing in Vacationland” starts where any good book should start – at the beginning – with a brief history of Maine beer from pre-prohibition right up until 1986 when D.L Geary’s sold their first beer.
Josh moved on to write about each Maine brewery and/or brewpub in chronological order of when they opened. Each brewery write-up is written in the same format: a history of the brewery, a rundown of their regular beers, and “what’s in a name,” which I really enjoyed as it gave some insight as the reason a beer or brewery was named the way it was.
After you’ve read about the breweries in the state, there is a short section on Maine’s mead, cider and spirits producers, and a section on breweries in development (some of these breweries have already started producing). There is also an appendix of “lost” breweries, and another that lists some of Maine’s “best beer bars”.
Overall, Josh Christie has written a very thorough history of Maine brewing without becoming a dry “textbook”-type read. I had a difficult time putting this book down – it was as if Josh was telling me a story. As a fan of the subject of beer, and particularly of beer brewed in the state where I live, I continually try to expand my knowledge on the subject and was pleased to find a wealth of local history that I didn’t know about. If you are interested in beer, especially Maine beer, this is a must read. I can tell you that it will be a frequently referenced addition to my personal beer library.
Because I was lucky enough to end up with two copies of Christie’s “Maine Beer: Brewing in Vacationland” I’m going to give one away. As a bonus, the copy I’ll be giving away will be autographed by the author. To have a chance to win a copy of this book, all you need to do is comment below on this blog post and tell me two things:
- What is your favorite Maine brewery?
- What is your favorite beer from that brewery?
I’ll be accepting comments until 6pm on Sunday, June 23rd. At that time I will select a winner at random and post the winning name on this post and on Facebook. Good luck.