By Pete Dunlop
American Palate, $19.99, 144 pages
Did you know that there are over fifty breweries in the city of Portland? That is a lot to choose from on a Friday night! Luckily, professor, homebrewer and Oregonian Pete Dunlop has written a book to help educate readers and beer lovers who want to know more about craft beer. Portland Beer: Crafting the Road to Beervana attempts to answer two questions “Why Portland?” and “Why now?”
To some fans of The Horse Brass pub, the Hedge House or Lucky Labrador Brewing (bring your pup along!), the answers to these questions might not matter. But true brewers are interested in the entire process and that is where Pete Dunlop comes in. Dunlop’s book is full of the history of craft brewing. Topics include frontier saloons, temperance, Prohibition, the founding fathers and the Oregon Brewer’s Festival. His work is well written, reader friendly and full of quotes from newspapers of the time and local lore that local readers will particularly enjoy.
The section most pleasing to the eye includes reproductions of original guides and posters from Oregon Brewer’s Festivals and labels from bottles that many will remember (i.e. Hefeweizen). A menu from Barley Mill Pub shows the prices from the early 1980s when a pitcher of Bass Ale cost $5.40 and a glass of Bud cost $.50. This trip down memory lane is a blast.
A “Beerology” in the back of the book helps define unknown terms. Don’t know what a “growler” is? Look it up – it is a refillable glass jug that comes in 32 and 62-ounce sizes. Dunlop’s Bibliography contains plenty of sources if readers wish to continue with their own research. Cheers!
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin