Comments by Bob Corbett
This is not only a very well-researched and fascinating book, but simply beautiful in presentation. Large, coffee-table sized book filled with great text and marvelous colorful graphics. Written by three men knowledgeable of local St. Louis beers, and men with a dedication to collecting breweriana and telling the rest of us about their research and love of St. Louis beers.
Henry Herbst, one of the three authors was not only a beloved friend of mine, grade school buddy, and husband of one of my favorite cousins, but even a founding board member of our local Dogtown Historical Society. I followed much of Henry’s love of St. Louis brews and his hobby of collecting breweriana, especially beer cans, a hobby he involved me in for a number of years.
It was with great sadness to me that Henry died just days before the formal book signing opening sales for this book. I joined many others that night the book was “brought out,” and had pre-purchased a copy for our Dogtown Historical Society. Shortly before he died Henry had signed 100 copies of the book for that evening, and I was overwhelmed with emotion to discover that our DHS copy was one Henry signed along with his two co-authors. That signed copy now occupies a place of special honor in our DHS archives.
The opening chapter was one of my favorites. The authors analyze St. Louis brewing over the past two hundreds years within 8 “periods:”
After that intriguing chapter of analysis, the book moves into a very long second chapter which details the history of the more famous and successful and noteworthy of the breweries with special emphasis on breweries such as Anheuser Busch, Falstaff, Columbia, Hyde Park and Griesedieck among others.
Next, in chapter three the authors recognize another group of breweries which never came to special prominence nor longevity, but which for various reasons they selected as worthy of special note. I found it especially interesting that the authors speculate on the reasons these breweries never flourished and suggested the main reasons were:
I sort of expected they had said about all there was to say at this point, and was delighted with then next chapter on the brewers of weiss beer, a popular German style beer made partially with wheat and tending to be lighter in alcoholic content and color. I hadn’t known about the existence of this small group of small breweries. The final historical treatment goes beyond just the brewers and tells about the various affiliated industries (barrel makers, unions, delivery people and such), and various organizations like collectors of breweriana and supporters.
While the book is just filled with marvelous brilliantly colored photos of breweries and related objects and ads, the last 15 pages of the text was sort of like the grand finale at a fire-works display, pages of their most colorful and largest illustrations, a marvelous way to wind down from the mountains of information contained before them.
Any lovers of St. Louis history in general and especially beer should not be without this simply marvelous book.Bob Corbett firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Corbett email@example.com