I like beer, and I like comic books, so I was excited to read The Comic Book Story of Beer.
And it was overall quite a fun read! It contextualized how important beer was in antiquity – including theories that beer catalyzed the agricultural revolution – and how important it’s been in society ever since, taking a social approach to the entire history, while also explaining a lot of the science alongside the primarily social narrative. It was a really fun read, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys beer or who cares about history, which I think is most people.
I would state the general theme as this: “Beer always has been an essential ingredient to civilization.” And I think it does a solid job of proving that theme!
It spent some time specifically on the craft brewing revolution that took off in the US and the UK, and is now associated with “hipsters.” And it made me reflect a little on what a hipster was. Here’s some things associated with hipsterdom:
- Living in a city after having grown up in the suburbs
- And the focus of this book: Having actual variety in beer, instead of corporatized “light” American Lagers
All of these are things that Boomers (especially White Boomers) for some reason really made untrendy, and which Millenials are bringing back, skipping the bland suburban generation(s) for an attempt to return to some equilibrium, to a more normal state, undoing suburbanization, white flight, and the bland corporatized beer that goes with it.
And of course, the irony is really the dissonance from being raised in an environment where you weren’t expected to have this life trajectory, but here you are.
Then again, I’ve been told I don’t understand hipsterdom, so take what I say with a grain of salt.
In any case, I’m glad that among the decisions of our parents and grandparents we’re reconsidering, “light” beers are among them, and if you want to learn more about beer-making, its history, and little tidbits of scientific details, this is a fun book.
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