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Good Beer Hunting

Sep 23, 2020

Today I’m chatting with one of the newer voices on Good Beer Hunting—Brian Alberts.

He’s not technically new—we published a story from him back in 2018 about the importance of preserving the historical record in breweries. That was sort of a one-off piece on a topic that until then we hadn’t really invested much in frankly: beer history. And the main reason for that was that so much had already been invested in beer’s history that GBH’s charter was really about trying to capture the zeitgeist. But over the years, thanks to people like Brian, my perspective on that history had evolved.

And seeing its relevance to the seemingly unprecedented movement of American craft helped me realize how little is really unprecedented at all. When we launched the From Barrons to Barrels series this past winter, Brian was the first person I reached out to discuss what was possible in the series. The stories were meant to be rooted in Midwestern beer history, but that doesn’t mean that it was meant to explore than history through conventional means.

Rather, we wanted to find a way of connecting some of those dots between past and present. And for us, that means through the various lenses of race, ethnicity, nationality, class, gender, and politics. When it comes to those things—alongside and interwoven with our beer—history really does repeat itself. Or at least, offers up the same songs but in a different key.

Now Brian has a few feature stories under his belt—including a look at the Munich Beer Riots of 1844, the reactionary alcohol policies and life under the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, and the longstanding economic dependency between Milwaukee and Chicago brewers.

This is Brian Alberts, listen in.