Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sample The Heady History Of Upper Peninsula Beer

Written by  Paul Starr
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up book

On Monday, April 27, The History Press will add Upper Peninsula Beer: A History of Brewing Above the Bridge to its catalogue. Brewing came to the Upper Peninsula in the 1600s, when French fur traders substituted pine needles for hops in batches of spruce beer. Promoted as a health drink, the evergreen suds remained in favor with the British army when it occupied the region.
German immigrants drawn in by the mining boom introduced more varieties to the area’s fermented beverage selection, and the first of many commercial breweries opened in Sault Ste. Marie in 1850. Today, Keweenaw, Blackrocks and Ore Dock Brewing Companies are a few of the local craft brewers canning, bottling and shipping the malty flavor of the Peninsula throughout Michigan, Wisconsin and beyond.
Dr. Russell M. Magnaghi is history professor emeritus and former director of the Center for the Upper Peninsula Studes at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan. He studied at St. Louis University and taught at NMU between 1969 and 2014. Known as “Mr. UP History,” he has written extensively on this unique region of the United States, focusing on immigration, Native Americans and the university. In his classes, talks and publications, he has paid special attention to the food and beverages of the UP. Always enjoying a fine brew, Magnaghi readily accepted the invitation to develop this in-depth study of brewing in the Upper\ Peninsula and pulled together this element of local history, which was nearly lost to future generations.
Paul Starr

Paul Starr

Paul Starr is the creator of the I'm a Beer Hound and one of the organizer and the driving force behind Art & Craft Beerfest, Lansing Beer Fest, Beerfest at the Ballpark Spring & Fall. When he's not working on Beer Hound he's probably watching the Lions, Tigers or Red Wings. Being a recent new Dad of twins, he doesn't have much extra time these days for mischief.