The SIPtemberfest Book Club is now reading Ambitious Brew – The Story of American Beer, by Maureen Ogle. Admittedly some of us are only oh, say, about one chapter in. However this is not indicative of the quality of this book and only speaks to the amount of time available to sit down and read it!
So far Ogle has painted a wonderfully vivid picture of a burgeoning American beer culture in the mid-1800s and the concept of “German sociable drinking;” that happy place between sobriety and drunkenness that Americans were just starting to realize.
In the 1830s, whiskey was America’s poison of choice and was at it’s peak consumption rate (seven gallons annually per capita – no that’s not a typo.) But as the prohibitionists tried to crack down on “the devil’s handmaid,” those trusty Germans and their lower ABV lager elbowed their way into our American culture and proved – for the time being at least – that drinking and violence were not bound at the hip and that it was possible to “combine alcohol with respectability, pleasure and decency.” Which is exactly what we hope to do at SIPtemberfest!
We like to think of SIPtemberfest as kind of like being in a beer garden: leisurely enjoying quality beers while surrounded by beautiful fall foliage, local food and music, and the company of your beer-drinkin’ peers in the base area of Mad River Glen. And we have an open door policy at the SIP which means that you don’t have to have a ticket to come hang out with all of us responsible beer geeks. You can hang out with us completely for FREE! But the catch is that we expect EVERYONE to be respectful of this policy. Abuse (i.e. getting drinks for your non-SIP-ticket-holding friends,) is not only super uncool and will earn you mega-bad beer karma, but it’s illegal and you will risk getting tossed out by our eagle-eyed security guards and possibly ruining it for everyone else by forcing us to close our gates to ticket-holders only.
Since there are NO MORE TICKETS to Saturday, we want to make sure folks know they can still come up, hang out and head to the General Stark’s Pub for some bottled beer or wine. But don’t cheat the SIP. It’s very un-German and you really, really don’t want to be that guy.
There ARE STILL TICKETS to Friday night’s Meet the Brewers Dinner & Tasting, so if you are really into appreciating beer to it’s fullest, this is a wonderful chance for you to channel your inner German and be in the presence of Vermont Beer Greatness at the same time! Click here for more information about this wonderful event and don’t hesitate to get your tickets!!
And if you’re a history/beer geek like the folks here at Team SIPtemberfest, pick up a copy of Ambitious Brew and let us know what you think!