Published in January 2012, this essay on the place of beer in contemporary culture and personal experience is an excellent example of new impulses in the realm of beer writing. Moving beyond tasting notes and informed by history, travel, and more than a few pints, Why Beer Matters is not so much an argument to establish the importance of beer as the title suggests, but rather a friendly discourse on a number of topics pertaining to our beloved potation, and why it seems to appeal to so many people, and mean so much to some.
In addition to being Independence Day in the United States, today is also The Session, a monthly group beer blogging event that was started in 2007 by Stan Hieronymous at Appellation Beer and Jay Brooks at Brookston Beer Bulletin. The Session occurs on the first Friday of every month; this month’s host is Bill Kostkas over at Pittsburgh Beer Snob. The topic of this month’s Session is: Beer in History.
Nashville’s first commercial brewery – simply named The Nashville Brewery – was founded in 1859 by a Jacob Stifel on the corner of High and Mulberry Streets. Several other brewing concerns and bottling companies operated in Nashville in the late 19th century, but it was Stifel’s brewery that, after several changes of ownership, became The William Gerst Brewing Company in 1893. The Gerst brewery grew to dominate the beer industry in Tennessee and throughout the American South in the early years of the 20th century, producing as much as 200,000 barrels annually and employing hundreds of people.