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Beer is…

…more American than apple pie. In the last 250 years, beer has at one point or another been a local, individual craft and a homogenized product of capitalism. Beer has been considered both healthy nourishment and sinful poison. It’s been legal, illegal, an activist’s tool, and the beneficiary of million-dollar ad campaigns. Some have used beer to include, others to exclude. Beer is culture brewed.

I’m a historian who uses beer and brewing to explore the American experience—and to help us all appreciate what we drink a little better. On Brewed Culture, I share my journey through the world of beer history and invite you to come along. As an experienced scholar, communicator, educator, and consultant, I’m always looking for new ways to incorporate beer’s fascinating past into brewery spaces, museums, classrooms, and special events.

If you have a story to explore or a project to pursue, get in touch with me at

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In the Wild

I love using beer history to engage the present. Whether via individual public talks, collaborations, or writing, I’m always looking for new connections, new opportunities, and new audiences.

Read on to learn about some specific projects, but I’m always looking for new connections and opportunities, such as:

  • Museum exhibits
  • Historically-minded beers or collaborations
  • Research and writing that incorporates history into an organization’s mission or brand
  • Events and event series
  • Podcast and other media appearances
  • Public talks, presentations, discussions
  • Short classes and other educational opportunities

Featured Article:

Streets as Stages—The Munich Beer Riots of 1844

In the debut article for Source Material, Good Beer Hunting’s new historical series, I recounted the cultural and class struggles behind Munich’s 1844 beer riots, when thousands of working class Bavarians rioted over a small increase in the price of beer…or so it seemed.

Image by Colette Holston, Good Beer Hunting

Continue reading “In the Wild”

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I’m a trained historian, communicator, educator, and consultant who uses beer’s past to connect to its present. Born and educated in the Midwest, my wife and I now live near Seattle, Washington. When I’m not investigating beer history and raising Joey and Zoe, our two children, I’m working with breweries, nonprofits, other experts, and publishers to share my insights as widely as possible.

History is meant to do more than fill up bookshelves, and the proverbial pint glass offers not only an engaging perspective of the past but also an accessible way to bring it to just about anyone. Breweries, museums, educators, and others can use beer’s distinct historic role to tell the stories that matter to them most—even stories that may not directly be about beer at all.

My ability to activate the past using beer has led to engaging articles, museum exhibits, historical collaborate beers, dozens of public events, and more. If you have a project you’d like to pursue, feel free to reach out to me at

Keep reading for more of my story.

Continue reading “About”

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The New Beer Culture Summit is a Mixed Fermentation

(Update December 31, 2019: While I greatly support the Beer Culture Summit and the Chicago Brewseum’s mission, I have since left the organization and will be pursuing my own projects.) On a sunny August day last year, I was driving north on the Dan Ryan expressway with Chicago Brewseum founder and director Liz Garibay, bound … Continue reading The New Beer Culture Summit is a Mixed Fermentation

Containing a Kernel: Bud Light’s New Ad is Really Old

(Update 5/26/2019: A Wisconsin federal judge has ordered Anheuser-Busch to halt some advertisements suggesting MillerCoors uses corn syrup without “giving more context.”) Anheuser-Busch has revived an age-old marketing tactic in American brewing, even though it might be a bad idea. The nation’s largest brewer repeatedly uses high-profile Super Bowl ads to premiere bold narratives about … Continue reading Containing a Kernel: Bud Light’s New Ad is Really Old