“A Glass Of Handmade”

There are a few moments I can point to in my memory that represent elemental changes that helped frame my interest in beer. The first time I was allowed to dip a finger in a Labatt Blue; the Olands Ex I had at my pal’s house in high school; the visit I made to the Pitfield Beer Shop in 1986 from which I returned to Nova Scotia with beer making tools including two polypin cubes as well as Dave Line‘s Big Book of Brewing; and finding an article in an issue of The Atlantic in 1987 that gave me some hope that there was going to be a bigger world of beer out there, even with the first bottles of long-gone Hans Haus beers arriving in the liquor stores or our regular attendance at the first Granite Brewery at the old Ginger’s Tavern in Halifax (oddly excluded from the brewery’s own sense of history which starts in 1991 but referenced in this home brewers digest from 29 November 1989).

That article was “A Glass of Handmade” by William Least Heat Moon and I have finally located a copy on the internet which I have filed in the archives. It starts out with the following introduction:

The industrial brewers continue to prosper; but now they are facing a new challenge from local brewers across the country who are dedicated to turning out brews that have only one thing in common with industrial beer – wetness.

What I love about the article now is its place in time including some quirks – Redhook is considered a huge break-through, common terms need explaining as in “boutique, or micro-, brewery” and now famous names are played out like the obscure tiny operations they then were. It is a gem of an article with a great last line I have used for almost twenty years now. Here it is. Please add your reviews in the comments when you have had a good read through.

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