St. Martin's Press
An eye-opening journey into craft beer–making in America, and what you can find in the quest to brew the perfect pint
Sean Lewis was living in Boston when he first set foot inside the Blue Hills Brewery. He was writing for BeerAdvocate magazine about America's craft brewers, and the then-fledgling Blue Hills was his first assignment. Lewis was immediately struck by the spirit of the brewers he met there. That visit would lead him first to an intensive study of beer-brewing, and later to a nation-spanning journey into the heart—and the art—of American beer making.
What Lewis found along the way was a group of like-minded craftsmen—creators who weren't afraid to speak their minds, who saw their competitors as cherished friends. A group who takes sheer joy in their work, and who seeks the same kind of balance in their lives as they do in the barrels they brew. He shared pints with pioneering upstarts like Paul and Kim Kavulak of Nebraska Brewing Company, and talked shop with craft beer stalwarts like Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada and bombastic innovators like Greg Koch (the "Arrogant Bastard" behind Stone Brewing Co.). He found, in them and others, a community that put its soul into its work, who sees beer-making as an extension of themselves.
We Make Beer is not just a celebration of American brewing, but of the spirit that binds brewers together. It's about what you can discover in yourself when you put your hands and your heart into crafting the perfect pint.
“I SEE CREATING AND INVENTING AS PART OF BEER’S TRADITION”
OLD-WORLD TRADITION AND NEW-WORLD INNOVATION
Two photos hang on the wall in Matt Brynildson’s office. One Matt took himself; the other is hundreds of years old. They show, essentially, the same thing. Rows upon rows of barrels stacked on themselves with tubes and troughs connecting them. The photos are dark and dimly lit. They are depictions of an English style of fermentation vessels known as union barrels—the old one was taken in the sixteenth century at an old Bass brewing
Sean Lewis takes us into the brewhouses and into the special world of American craft brewers, introducing us to some of the remarkable characters and single-minded visionaries who have made craft brewing so unique and fascinating. His infectious excitement makes him our perfect guide to an industry still guided by such values as craftsmanship and collaboration, exploration and innovation. Lewis brings this world alive for beer lovers and anyone with an interest in a vibrant and evolving art. Warning: This book will make you thirsty! — Bill Yenne, beer commentator and author of numerous books on beer and brewing, including The American Brewery and Guinness: The 250-Year Quest for the Perfect Pint
“Sean Lewis pulls on his boots and pitches in at Massachusetts’ Blue Hills Brewery and then journeys across America exploring the spirit and artistry of America’s craft brewers. He lovingly describes their innovative, tasty ales and lagers and marvels at the culture of collaboration that drives the industry." —Steve Hindy, cofounder of Brooklyn Brewery and author of THE CRAFT BEER REVOLUTION: How a Band of Microbrewers Is Transforming the World’s Favorite Drink
“Competitive? yep. Compassionate? You bet! Collaborative? Yessiree! The community of brewers is a band of sisters and brothers on a mission. Sean Lewis hits the nail on the head about the heart and soul of this hard-working artistic community. Lewis takes you into the lives of today's craft brewers as they advance the cause of great beer. We Make Beer is an insiders’ look into what makes these brewers tick.” —Cheers! Tod Mott, Head Lackey, Tributary Brewing Co.
“Crack open a good beer — maybe a well-balanced IPA — and then crack open Sean Lewis' exuberant travelogue through the lands of the Craft Beer People. In "We Make Beer" Lewis not only illuminates the astonishing creativity that craft brewers have brought to the American beerscape but he makes plain the zeitgeist that fuels it. For these people, brewing isn't a profession but something more akin to a divine calling.” —Ken Wells, author of Travels With Barley: A Journey Through Beer Culture in America