Editor’s Note: “Dr. Beer,” Herman W. Ronnenberg, responds to Points’ questions re his latest book: Material Culture of Breweries (Left Coast Press, 2011).
1. Describe your book in terms your bartender could understand.
This book traces the development of beer brewing facilities, equipment and techniques in America from the first English brewing at the lost Roanoke Colony to the early 21st Century. It also covers the preparation of brewing materials and the containers used to deliver beer. Many methods were used to make barley into malt, to grow and dry hops, to try to keep yeast pure.
2. What do you think a bunch of drug and alcohol historians might find particularly interesting about your book?
Many students of alcohol history know little about the manufacturing techniques or the science behind alcohol production.