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Land of Amber Waters: The History of Brewing in Minnesota
By Doug Hoverson

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Publisher: University of Minnesota Press, 2007.
Hard Cover, 352 pages, 10.25 x 10.25.
Item #1470

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... See the Table of Contents

At, we've seen and read just about every regional brewing history published over the last several years. Without hesitation, we can call this history of Minnesota brewing the most impressive. Author Doug Hoverson has put forth a stunningly handsome, oversized tome, beautifully written, and featuring 341 full color photos. We can't say enough about the quality of this book, both visually and in terms of its top-notch historical narrative. You won't be disappointed.

From the dust jacket —

For centuries, brewmasters both professional and homegrown have pursued the perfect pour—a delectable combination of barley, yeast, water, and hops—and few states can claim as devoted a relationship to beer as Minnesota. For a time it seemed that every town had its brewery and a beer garden was a highlight of every local celebration. Dedicated home brewers and casual pub crawlers alike will be amazed by the tales of Minnesota beers and breweries featured in Land of Amber Waters.

Starting with its first brewery in 1849, Doug Hoverson tells the story of the state’s beer industry from the small-town breweries that gave way to larger companies with regional and national prominence (including Hamm’s, Grain Belt, and Schell’s) to the vibrant beer culture of today, led by a new wave of breweries such as Summit, Lake Superior Brewing Co., and Surly, as well as brewpubs like Town Hall Brewery, Fitger’s, and Granite City Brewpub, sustained by microbreweries, home brewers, and beer aficionados.

From the first illegal brewer at Fort Snelling to the craft brewers and major companies of today, nearly 300 breweries have opened and operated at one time or another in 125 cities and towns around the state. Complete with a comprehensive list of Minnesota’s breweries—including many never before listed in print—and more than 300 tempting illustrations of beer and breweriana, Land of Amber Waters marvelously chronicles Minnesota’s rich brewing traditions.

“Here’s a great book to read on a hot summer day while working up a thirst.” —Marq

“Hoverson’s book would be the perfect read to go along with a cold one.” —St. Paul Pioneer Press

“A heartfelt paean to the pioneering breweries of the Midwest, packed with details and excellent photos. Land of Amber Waters is sure to delight anyone interested in the storied history of American brewing.” —Garrett Oliver, brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery and author of The Brewmaster’s Table

“Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.” —Dave Barry

Doug Hoverson teaches social studies and coaches the debate team at St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights, Minnesota. He is associate editor of American Breweriana Journal, an award-winning homebrewer, and a certified beer judge.



From Barley to Bar Stool: The Art and Science of Brewing
            Measuring Beer

1. Pioneer Brewing
            Becoming a Brewer

2. Fewer Ales, More Rails: Brewing Fills the State

3. Patronize Home Industry: The Glory Days of the Small-Town Brewer
            Collecting Breweriana

4. Craft Becomes Industry
            Brewery Architecture

5. From Temperance to Prohibition
            Malt Tonic

6. New Jobs, New Containers, New Rules: Minnesota Beer Returns
            Brewery Jobs in the 1930s

7. Sky Blue Waters, Bland Yellow Beer
            Brewery Advertising
            “From the land of sky blue waters . . . wah-a-ters”

8. The Waters Turn Dark Amber
            Brewery Preservation

Minnesota Breweries: From the Territorial Era to the Twenty-First Century
Minnesota Brewpubs: Pairing Beer and Food

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