these authors, gravina and mcleod, should be very proud of this little book of 160 pages. what is now known as the city of Albany, in New York State, has a very rich tradition as an early Dutch settlement, which opened its gates to all and thrived because of its location on the hudson and mohawk rivers, and later erie canal. breweries were rampant here, using the locally grown wheat and hops to make enormous quantities of beer, that were consumed internationally. new york in the mid 1850s grew 90% of the world's hops and exported this also. albany's contribution to the history of north american beer is little known and long forgotten except a very few of us. these authors correct that with this scholarly study. as a local, i recognize many names and i found it all fascinating, but anyone interested in history would enjoy this story, and anybody with an interest in brewing would appreciate this too. what happens in these pages is the history of our founding...henry hudson, early indian alliances, revolutionary war era history, right on up through the erie canal era, and through every era since up to the present day.
maybe part of the reason i appreciate this book is because this book appreciates Albany history more than Albany appreciates its history. we've torn down almost every last remnent of all the breweries in this book, we've barricaded the city from the very river we used to make our beer with-- the Hudson, and we've burried the creeks the smaller brewers used into our sewer system, but as hard as Albany tries to ignor or forget or deny its history, it's still there, just like the brewing continued during prohibition. this book won't make the ny times best sellers list, but it deserves to be on the bookshelves of every craft brewer, because these authors restored these forgotten men to their rightful place in history. brewers were prominent members of society long ago. their contributions to our history deserve this kind of scholarly study. somebody buy gravina and mcleod a round of beers. they earned it.