Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Beer Dave": A Moniker Well-Earned

I took a little trip down south last weekend, all the way to Florence, y'all. I was on a journey to meet a mysterious man known only by the name of "Beer Dave." Naturally, my curiosity was piqued. Who IS this man? How on earth did he earn such an illustrious title? Can we rent him out for party entertainment?

After some twists, turns, and mis-labeled roads, we finally found Dave tucked inside his (not really) secret hideaway, the beer-cave. First impressions upon entering this realm: somebody likes - I mean really likes beer. Not that there's anything wrong with that. In fact, there's something wonderful about that, because Beer Dave's passion is about so much more than flavor and intoxication (I think?) - it's about a deep and abiding appreciation for, and love of the history of brewing in these parts. Boxes stacked from floor to ceiling in his basement, all filled with full bottles of beverages, vintage coasters proclaiming Bavarian to be "a man's beer," pictures of inundated KY breweries taken by his grandfather during a 1930s ('37, perhaps??) flood, an actual copy of a newspaper article celebrating the repeal of that dastardly legislative act known as Prohibition, Wiedemann patches from the uniforms of the company's delivery truck drivers, and SOoo much more. Since I am slightly less than talented in the photographic arts, you'll just have to wait for the good stuff to be revealed in the book. :) But here's that manly coaster I previously mentioned:
Beer and beer history has been Dave's passion since he started collecting cans as a youth. He's worked in the industry his entire life and shows absolutely no signs of waning interest. His dedication is remarkable, especially for someone like myself, who would fall in the focus-challenged category. This man has A LOT of breweriana, and what was even more impressive was that he had a story to accompany every single piece. Dave spoke about someday building a "brewseum" in his backyard to house and display all his artifacts - while he might've been speaking facetiously, he could curate the pants off that place.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Crackin open my first can o' the blogosphere

Moerlein, Wiedemann's, Little Kings, Burger, the list goes on and on. Once upon a time the streets of this town ran golden, overflowing with barrels upon barrels of locally brewed beer. I'd heard the names, I remember watching my mustachioed uncles contentedly down cans of Hudy Delight at the backyard barbeques of my youth. But it wasn't until recently that I realized the true extent of Cincinnati's brewing heritage. Since then, I've been hooked on this facet of Queen City history. So far I've found the research to be fascinating, eye-opening, social, and downright delicious.

I'm currently writing a book to be published with Arcadia Publishing about this very topic. Considering my constant search for people with information, images, and breweriana, as well as a funny story or two, I thought it might be a good time to get my feet wet in this newfangled contraption they call "the blog." I'll share some stories of my brewery-related experiences and research, and you will hopefully be entertained. Cheers!