Friday, March 18, 2016

Book Review: The Comic Book Story of Beer by Jonathan Hennessey et al.

The Comic Book Story of Beer written by Jonathan Hennessey and Mike Smith, art by Aaron McConnell, and lettering by Tom Orzechowski

Chronicling the history of beer (starting with per-historical archaeological evidence and speculation), this book gives a quick but detailed view of the origins of beer-making by ancient peoples and follows through to the modern micro-brewing revolution in the United States. The book is entertainingly written and occasionally touches on major historical events when they are in some way related to beer (like Hitler's Beer Hall Putch). The book also gives one page information sheets on all the major styles of beer (like pilsners, porters, IPAs, etc.), detailing their color, bitterness, and strength as well as good food pairings and readily accessible examples of each style.

I enjoyed the book--the style of illustration is fun and creative, as is the story telling. When new elements become part of the story (like hops), how those elements are used in brewing beer are described. The occasional digs against the Catholic Church, government authorities, and big business is a little off-putting. The author definitely comes from an "independent brewing is great/big brewing is bad" perspective (the publisher is from Berkeley!) and has an anti-establishment vibe that may not bother you but I at least noticed it. Otherwise it's a great read.


  1. This would be a perfect gift for a geek/beer drinker! Hopefully my library has it so I can check it out.

    1. Sure enough they have it and I just put it on hold!