Five beer urban legends

Maureen Ogle’s Ambitious Brew sparked ongoing discussion among beer drinkers in part because its history of American brewing begins in the 1840s, with the rise of industrial lager.

That doesn’t mean the American brewing industry didn’t exist before then, beer historian Bob Skilnik points out in his new book, Beer & Food: An American History.

“Although it would take years after the Revolutionary War for the diverse elements of an indigenous brewing industry to come together, the Eastern Seaboard was teeming with an active ale brewing industry, decades before the introduction of lager beer. Early nineteenth century Philadelphia and New York in particular were thriving brewing centers,” he writes in a press release.

He’s put together a list of Five Urban Legends of American Beer History that the book tackles.

Another one he tackles: The Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock because they ran out of beer. Yes, a myth.