Every now and then I am given oddities that friends and family run across. It wasn’t that long ago that my mother gave me the book The Book of Great American Watering Holes. The edition I have is the first book and covers the Northeast of the United States.
The book was written by Michael Caldwell and came out in 2001. Oh how the country and the world has changed. Back in 2001 the craft beer scene was still ramping up. We were no where near the number of craft breweries we have now or even the craft brew pubs.
I have yet to make it over to that part of the country so without doing some homework I don’t really know what places in the book still exist. Add to that, in this new beer environment the ones that still exist may be changed to meet the new consumer preferences.
All that aside, the book is an interesting read. Each establishment is given local history, establishment history and the beers you can find there. Of course, this is back in 2001 so most of the beers you will find are mass market lagers.
It is interesting to see the level detail that Mr. Caldwell went into for the book. He put in a regulars category. This is an interesting who’s who of the people who frequented the establishments. One of the most difficult things with putting out books like this is how much will change over time. The beers and the people who drink them are a huge part of that.
From the stand point of beer history, this is a great book to explore. It is possible that if you find yourself doing a tour in the Northeast, some of these places may still exist. When you consider the directions to finding the places are in the book, you might even be able to get there without getting lost.
Time for a pint…