The story of brewing in North Carolina’s Triad region is a microcosm of our national brewing story – from community brewing to the rise of prohibition, the rise of big beer, the rise of craft brew, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the current brewing culture. North Carolina Triad Beer: A History, written by Richard Cox, David Gwen, and Erin Lara, is another fine addition to American Pallet Publishing’s series of U.S. brewing history.
For those who are not familiar with North Carolina’s geography, the Piedmont Triad region is a roughly triangle-shaped area made by connecting the cities of Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and High Point. North Carolina Triad Beer follows the story of brewing in this region, beginning in the early 1700s with the Moravians and their settlement of Bethabara all the way through to the current day, including the struggles of craft brewers in the COVID-19 era.
As in many states during and after Prohibition, North Carolina and the Triad region struggled to find balance in the laws regulating the manufacture and sale of alcohol. North Carolina Triad Beer documents the early political efforts between teetotalers and brewers that resulted in a law that prohibited the manufacture or sale of beer that was higher than 6%; and the recent efforts of craft brewers to generate enough support for the brewing industry to change the law in 2008.
North Carolina Triad Beer is a case study on the use of lobbying and the political system as it relates to the expansion of modern alcohol laws. Of course, it should also provide the reader with an understanding and appreciation of where craft beer has come – and where it may go – in North Carolina. Speaking of “going” – North Carolina Triad Beer includes a list of current breweries in the Triad region, so after you read the book and gain a desire for a Red Oak Amber Lager, you’ll have a handy guide to get you there!
North Carolina Triad Beer: A History, was published in 2021 by American Palate, a Division of History Press. It is available on Amazon in paperback, hardback and Kindle.
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